Franz Wittmann/Bernhard Ettel score points once more at "Rally Russia" after an excellent performance
The Interwetten Racing Team finishes sixth in the IRC overall standings and thus is best Non-S2000-car
Juha Hanninen (FIN) and Jan Kopecky (CZE) celebrate first IRC victory for Skoda
Franz Wittmann and Bernhard Ettel have more than reached their goal at the "Rally Russia", their fourth IRC-run. They not only finished as best Non- S2000-car in their Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX but also once more scored points as overall sixth. Thus the Interwetten Racing duo also confirmed their sixth place of the Rally Azores at the second gravel-rally of the season.
Today's final leg of the rally with start and finish in Vyborg (approx. 150 kilometres west of St. Petersburg) encompassed five special stages with a lenght of slightly over 55 kilometres. What made this so difficult was the fact that these stages had to be completed one after the other without the opportunity for a service.
"Therefore it was all the more important not to risk too much - that is why we almost "carried" the car across the finishing line. We managed to evade the many bedrocks that poke out of the gravel time and again and thus spared ourselves a possible tyre damage. For safety reasons, we had two spare tyres on board but luckily didn't need them. To complete five stages on pure gravel in a row takes a lot of nerve. But thankfully everything went smoothly on the final day, as well", explained an obviously satisfied Franz Wittmann.
The rally ended with a double victory for Skoda by Juho Hanninen and Jan Kopecky - thus the Czech manufacturer celebrated its first success within the IRC-series.
"We can draw a positive balance of the rally of which we can be proud. Foremost, I'd like to thank my co-driver Bernhard who didn't make one single mistake during this fast rally and thereby highly contributed to our success. My further thanks go to the team of Stohl-Racing who provided me with a perfect and very stable car. We didn't have the slightest problems despite the high demands of the rally. Throughout the event we only encountered three tyre damages that cost us some time. To me, it was important to learn and get to know the courses in order to raise my chances for next year with improved pace notes", said the Interwetten Racing driver.
Correction of the final result of the "Rally Russia"
Interwetten Racing Team moves up to fifth place
The stewarts of the "Rally Russia" awarded Anton Alen (Fin/Fiat S2000) a 5-minutes-penalty after the fact, since he had only been awarded a five-minutes-penalty following his drop out on Friday instead of a ten-minutes one. Thus the Finn drops back once more behind Franz Wittmann who now has reached his best IRC career result by fifth overall place. In the IRC intermediate standings he therefore currently lies in thenth place with seven points.