The Å koda Motorsport World Rally Team completed the second leg of the Corsica Rally with Alex Bengue in seventh place and Jan KopeckÃ½ 12th. Armin Schwarz withdrew from the rally after the days opening stage. Alex spent the day engrossed in...
The Škoda Motorsport World Rally Team completed the second leg of the Corsica Rally with Alex Bengue in seventh place and Jan Kopecký 12th. Armin Schwarz withdrew from the rally after the days opening stage.
Alex spent the day engrossed in a battle with the Citroen of Xavi Pons. He maintained his overnight eighth position on the opening stage before setting sixth fastest time on the next to pass Pons for seventh overall by lunchtime.
The Spaniard got past briefly on SS7 before Alex hit back with seventh fastest time on the final stage of the day.
Jan stuck to his plan of driving with caution as he learned this tricky event but Armin withdrew from the event with a handling problem that proved impossible to resolve safely. With the WRC rules demanding that these cars be used next week in Catalunya the decision was taken not to risk serious damage to the Fabia WRC 05 by continuing in the rally tomorrow under SupeRally regulations.
Tomorrows final leg features four stages to the south of Ajaccio. The route again comprises a pair of stages each run twice. The stage distance totals 95.46kms before the finish in Ajaccio at 1350 CET.
Alex Bengue: The first stage today was very slippery and I was probably a bit too careful but the second stage was better. On the third stage I had a tyre vibration for the last 24kms so I couldnt push to the maximum and lost seventh place to Xavi Pons but I got it back on the final stage. It has been a great battle with Xavi today and I hope I can stay ahead of him tomorrow.
Jan Kopecký: I am continuing to learn this rally and am working very hard to not take risks. I can drive quicker on the second runs through the stages which is how it should be so I am quite happy.
Armin Schwarz: We had a severe handling problem on todays opening stage that caused an excessive level of tyre wear. It wasnt the fault of Michelin but it meant that it was really too dangerous to continue until we could find out what was causing the problem.
Martin Muehlmeier (Head of Škoda Motorsport): Alex has driven exceptionally well today and deserves his current position. Jan has also been impressive on his debut. Its disappointing that Armin had to withdraw but we had to think of safety and also preserving the car for Catalunya.