ERC - Kopecky clinches dominant home win

Jan Kopecky and co-driver Pavel Dresler won the Barum Czech Rally Zlín in their ŠKODA Motorsport Fabia Super 2000.

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Jan Kopecky in Zlin (Imago)

They dominated the asphalt showcase from start to finish, locking out the nine stage wins on leg one before adopting a cautious approach on the rain-hit stages on leg two to claim their fifth victory from six starts in this year’s ERC.

Vaclav Pech (MINI John Cooper Works) took second with Jaromir Tarabus making it an all-Czech podium in third.

"I’m very happy to win my home round of the ERC and also for SKODA,” said Kopecky, who has extended his ERC title lead with his latest success.

"The car was perfect all weekend but today was just about getting to the finish in the difficult conditions because we had a big gap and it would have been stupid to have made a mistake.”

Following the sun-baked opening leg, overnight rain left Sunday’s stages damp with mud being dragged onto the corners adding to the challenge facing the crews.

Roman Kresta, competing on his last rally before retiring from competition, set the early pace by going fastest on the opening Majak stage to close to within 15.7s of second-placed Pech.

However, a puncture on the next stage cost him more than three minutes and any hope of a farewell podium despite his capture of four stage wins as he attempted to recover the time loss to fourth-placed Sepp Wiegand and team-mate Tarabus in third.

Tarabus also lost time with a puncture on Sunday morning but described completing the podium as the perfect” result.

After being delayed by a puncture and broken powersteering on leg one, Pavel Valousek made history by becoming the first driver to win an ERC stage in a Ford Fiesta R5. However, it wasn’t enough to beat Jaroslav Orsak to seventh as he lost out by 0.5s.

Tomas Kostka, in the second Fiesta R5, was less fortunate, retiring on Saturday with transmission failure.

Overall standings leg two

1. Jan Kopecky (CZE) Skoda Motorsport 2:15:23.0

2. Vaclav Pech (CZE) EuroOil Czech National Team 2:16:24.6 +01:01.6

3. Jaromír Tarabus (CZE) AK Rallysport Brno O.S. 2:17:55.7 +02:32.7

4. Sepp Wiegand (GER) Skoda Motorsport 2:18:27.3 +03:04.3

5. Roman Kresta (CZE) Skoda Kresta 2:19:21.7 +03:58.7

6. Miroslav Jakeš (CZE) Gemini Rally Team 2:21:58.8 +06:35.8

7. Jaroslav Orsak (CZE) GPD Mit Metal Racing Team 2:23:15.1 +07:52.1

8. Pavel Valousek (CZE) Delimax Team 2:23:15.6 +07:52.6

9. Antonin Tlustak (CZE) GPD Mit Metal Racing Team 2:23:50.4 +08:27.4

10. Robert Korístka (CZE) GPD Mit Metal Racing Team 2:25:00.2 +09:37.2

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