The Interwetten Racing drivers finish the qualitatively and quantitatively best-manned IRC-run in 11th place Franz Wittmann/Klaus Wicha superiorly reach the hoped-for top 15 place at the Barum Rally It was a great relief when Franz ...
The Interwetten Racing drivers finish the qualitatively and quantitatively best-manned IRC-run in 11th place
Franz Wittmann/Klaus Wicha superiorly reach the hoped-for top 15 place at the Barum Rally
It was a great relief when Franz Wittmann/Klaus Wicha (Peugeot 207 S2000) crossed the finish ramp of the Barum Rally on Sunday in Zlin. For after three retirements this season, reaching the finish had not only been the professed goal but also a boost for the self-confidence. Even more so since, with eleventh overall place, the Interwetten Racing duo had superiorly realised the hoped-for top 15 result. That counts for a lot since the Barum Rally - with 28 entered S2000 cars - had been both quantitaviely and qualitatively the best-manned IRC-run this season.
In order to reach this goal a lot had been done in the run-up to the Barum Rally. Beside extensive testing, Franz Wittmann also completed the World Championship run in Germany where he finished in very good 17th overall place.
ROMO Team Manager Ronny Leschhorn: "We were satisfied with the preparation and therefore were able to hand over a perfect car to Franz. It is, of course, difficult to go right to the limit after three retirements. But we are making good progress and I'm sure that Franz will already fight for points again at the next rally."
The only downers for the Interwetten Racing duo were a tyre damage on Saturday and a slip on Sunday (SS 14) which cost over two minutes altogether and thereby prevented a top 10 result. As for the rest, the Lower Austrian residing in Wels showed himself rather satisfied, especially since he reached eighth-best overall time on the last special stage and moved up to eleventh place.
Clearly marked by the big fight at the three-day-event, the Interwetten Racing driver explained: "Tyre-wise we chose the safety variant. From this perspective everything was in order at this rally."
The next run of the IRC Series by Franz Wittmann will be from September 23 to 25 in San Remo.
Czech rally fans encountered a big disappointment at their home rally. Local hero Jan Kopecky (Skoda Fabia S2000) had been in the lead up to the 14th special stage when a technical defect forced him to retire. Thus the victory went to Freddy Loix (Bel/Skoda Fabia S2000). It was the third IRC triumph this season for the Belgian. Juho Hanninen (Fin/Skoda Fabi S2000) reached second place, thereby extending his lead in the IRC ranking, in front of Pavel Valousek (CZ/Skoda Fabia S2000).