Having won the first speed trial of the 51st San Remo Rally, Jan Kopecký and Petr Starý of Škoda Motorsport, Škoda Auto’s factory team, started this challenging event full of challenging bends and quick changes in the driving rhythm really excellently. Unfortunately, the expected duel between Kopecký and Kris Meek plus a pack of home racers ended already during the second trial when Kopecký damaged the rear-left wheel suspension of his car by touching a wall along the track and had to give the race up as a consequence.
His team-mate Juho Hänninen struggled with the curved asphalt roads quite bravely, although he still does not seem to be as comfortable on this surface as he is on gravel. Coming 14th at Stage 1, he gradually climbed up the ranking to finish eighth in the end.
Commenting on the San Remo Rally, Head of Škoda Motorsport Michal Hrabánek says: ‘The ambitions of our team were certainly higher than the result, but it’s sport, you can’t win all the time. Nevertheless, taking part in this event was a good experience that we will definitely appreciate some time later. Now we are going to concentrate on our next appearance, i.e., the Bohemia Rally that is part of the Czech Republic championship.‘
Jan Kopecký: ‘Obviously, I am disappointed now, because we started very well but then I made a small mistake that one simply mustn’t make in these narrow streets here in San Remo. Anyway, I am still very happy about our results in our first year and very satisfied with our Fabia Super 2000, too.‘
Juho Hänninen: ‘This rally was another one of those where I appeared for the first time. In this particular case, knowing the track really makes a huge difference, because it’s full of bends that are pretty challenging if you don’t know them. It’s perhaps needless to say that I would have liked to be higher in the ranking, but the opponents were simply better this time.
– Skoda Motorsport