The Ukraine Rally is part of the IRC calendar for the first time in history. Unfamiliar tracks will be a big challenge for all the crews to take part.
The fourth IRC event this season, the Prime Yalta Rally scheduled to take place in the Ukraine over June 2-4, will see SKODA Motorsport (factory team) at full strength. The team’s ambitions for this asphalt rally that is part of the IRC calendar for the first time in history are high. Besides the reigning IRC champions Juho Hanninen & Mikko Markkula, the event will see a further four Fabia Super 2000s, including one to be driven by Jan Kopecky, currently second in the IRC rankings. The program of the Prime Yalta Rally consists of 14 stages (262 kilometers in total).
Hanninen is apparently excited about the prospect of appearing in this unfamiliar rally: “In the first place, it’s great that I and Mikko are back in the IRC again. I don’t have a clue what the local tracks look like – in this respect, this rally will surely be a big challenge for all the teams to take part. After quite some time, this is an event that is new for nearly all of the drivers to appear on the start line. I’d love to win there, that’s for sure, but it will no doubt be very difficult – the last few events have showed clearly that the quality of IRC is improving all the time.” The participation of the Finnish crew is supported by the Ukrainian importer of SKODA.
His teammate Jan Kopecky, currently second in the IRC rankings, adds: “In my opinion, good pace notes and a good set-up of the car will be the key success factors in this unfamiliar rally. I believe that we will optimize the set-up (together with Skoda Motorsport engineers) to be ready to fight for the top ranks.” Besides its factory crews, the SKODA family will keep their fingers crossed for a further three drivers of Fabia Super 2000s to appear at the Black Sea – Andreas Mikkelsen of SKODA UK Motorsport, Patrik Sandell of Sweden and Toni Gardemeister of Finland.
- Skoda Motorsport