WRC

Rally Catalunya: Skoda preview

Catalunya Rally -- Team Å koda Motosport with the same three crews With no chance to draw breath after Corsica the Å koda Motorsport World Rally Team heads to mainland Europe for the penultimate round of the 2005 World Rally Championship, the ...

Catalunya Rally -- Team Škoda Motosport with the same three crews

With no chance to draw breath after Corsica the Škoda Motorsport World Rally Team heads to mainland Europe for the penultimate round of the 2005 World Rally Championship, the Catalunya-Costa Daurada Rally (October 27-30).

The same three crews will contest this final asphalt event with Armin Schwarz/Klaus Wicha leading the team as usual while the second Fabia WRC 05 is driven by the French crew of Alex Bengue/Caroline Escudero and a third Fabia will be in the hands of Czech Champions Jan Kopecký/Filip Schovánek.

This year the rally moves away from its recent home in the Costa Brava holiday resort of Lloret de Mar and relocates to the town of Salou on the Costa Daurada. Several familiar stages (including the famous 'bridge' stage) have now disappeared from the itinerary but in their place have come stages not used for several years in the Tarragona region to the west of Barcelona.

Armin said: "Catalunya is a completely different character to Corsica. The stages don't have the same rhythm but they are still very fast. Most of the surface is new so the roads aren't as abrasive as they used to be. Any of the stages I knew from the past seem to be being run in the opposite direction this time so I think this rally will be as new for me as everyone else."

Alex said: "This will be a very interesting rally for me. I only did the recce before but this year everything is new! Hopefully that will mean that no one has a real advantage. The roads are much faster than Corsica but there are still a lot of corners and if the grip levels are good then we can go quite well."

Jan said: "I have done this rally once before but the stages this year will be new for everyone so different levels of previous experience won't matter so much. After having to drive carefully in Corsica it will be nice to be able to really try my best in Spain and I'm looking forward to it very much."

Škoda Motorsport World Rally Team manager, Joan Sureda, said: "Personally I am sad that the rally has moved away from my home area but the people of Tarragona will be just as enthusiastic about the event. The stages there are quite fast and I hope that they will suit our car and our drivers."

Catalunya Rally in detail:

Thursday evening sees a ceremonial on the seafront of Salou. Friday features five stages, two of which which be run for the first time on the event since 1995, totalling 155.82kms. Saturday's leg sees a further six stages (totalling134.85kms). Sunday's final leg features just three stages (totalling 68.08kms) before the finish on the seafront at 1329 CET.

-skoda-

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About this article
Series WRC
Drivers Jan Kopecky , Alex Bengue , Caroline Escudero , Klaus Wicha