WRC

Rally Catalunya: Skoda leg one summary

Alex Bengue heads the Å koda Motorsport World Rally Team drivers after the opening leg of the new-look Catalunya-Costa Daurada Rally. He was always the leading Fabia WRC 05 driver but a timing error at the start of SS4 cost him one minute and...

Alex Bengue heads the Škoda Motorsport World Rally Team drivers after the opening leg of the new-look Catalunya-Costa Daurada Rally.

He was always the leading Fabia WRC 05 driver but a timing error at the start of SS4 cost him one minute and left him in 12th position on his debut at the Spanish rally.

Jan Kopecký made a steady start and let his confidence build until he ended todays six stages in 13th place while Armin Schwarz finished the leg in 16th.

Alex set three top 10 times during the opening four stages and was denied a clean sweep only by conditions that were dry for one stage and wet for the next, leaving tyre and suspension settings very much a compromise. On the final stage Alex was fourth fastest to claim his fourth top 10 time.

This years rally is based entirely in the Tarragona region to the west of Barcelona and no longer features the familiar stages around Lloret de Mar, including the bridge stage so well known from photographs. Tomorrows leg features six stages to the north west of Salou. The route comprises three pairs of stages with the third pair a repeat of the first. The day totals 134.85kms.

Quotes:

Alex Bengue: The conditions have been very difficult today. It has been impossible to find a set up of suspension and tyres that works perfectly on both the wet and dry roads that we have seen in each pair of stages today. However Ive been able to set some good times when everything was right and fourth fastest on todays final stage was really good for us.

Jan Kopecký: I tried to start today the way I finished in Corsica. Its been tricky because of the conditions but my confidence is growing with every stage and so Im fairly happy with the way the day has gone.

Armin Schwarz: We have had similar handling problems here to the ones we had in Corsica but thankfully not quite so severe. It is impossible for me to push harder.

Martin Muehlmeier (Head of Škoda Motorsport): The mixed road surface conditions have made it a tough day for all the drivers so I am pleased to have all three cars in the rally and to see both Alex and Jan confirming the speed they showed in Corsica.

-skoda-

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About this article
Series WRC
Drivers Armin Schwarz , Jan Kopecky , Alex Bengue