Skoda has been officially awarded the Intercontinental Rally Challenge (IRC) Champion honours and Juho Hanninen & Mikko Markkula of Skoda Motorsport (factory team) have received the award for the best crew of the 2010 IRC Drivers competition. Skoda thus takes over from Peugeot, the team that previously dominated the championship for three years. Furthermore, this fantastic achievement by the entire team is underlined by the runner-up position of Jan Kopecky & Petr Stary, another crew that is part of Skoda’s factory team. Kris Meek (Peugeot), the winner of the series last year, finished third. The Head of Skoda Motorsport Michal Hrabánek was handed the cup for the winner of the Manufacturers competition.
- Historic achievement by Skoda Motorsport
- Skoda wins the Manufacturers competition
- Hanninen-Markkula with a Fabia Super 2000 win the Drivers competition
Skoda’s factory team took part in 11 of this year’s 12 IRC events in total and celebrated victory at 7 of them. Besides these wins, Skoda crews achieved a further 17 podium positions! Hanninen & Markkula won in Argentina, Sardinia and Scotland, Loix & Miclott in Belgium, Madeira and the Czech Republic and Kopecky & Stary at the Canary Islands. Private teams supported by Skoda importers did very well, too, particularly Skoda UK Motorsport. The success of the Fabia Super 2000 in the 2010 season was crowned by a number of triumphs in national championships, including in Germany (Matthias Kahle), Austria (Raimund Baumschlager), the Czech Republic (Pavel ValouSek), Spain (Alberto Hevia), Lebanon (Roger Feghali) and Slovakia (Jozef BéreS).
Summarising the season that has just ended, Head of Skoda Motorsport Michal Hrabánek says: “I wish to thank all those who have contributed to this historic achievement by Skoda and helped us to win the IRC championship – the management of Skoda, the members of the Skoda Motorsport team, our colleagues at the Technological Development Department, as well as subcontractors and colleagues outside the company. I also want to thank our Skoda importers in all the countries where the Fabia Super 2000 project was well received and contributed significantly to our joint achievements in terms of increasing awareness and enhancing the image of the Skoda brand – it has indeed been a great promotion for Skoda!”
Juho Hanninen: “The quality of this year’s IRC was really high. This is my first big international title and I am very proud of it. The whole team put in a great performance – we had no technical problem throughout the season, which is an important precondition for success, because to achieve a good result you first have to finish the respective events. I have made considerable progress on asphalt tracks, and I am already looking forward to further cooperation with Skoda Motorsport”.
Jan Kopecky: “I’d like to thank Skoda for the opportunity to be part of the Fabia Super 2000 project – all of the team members have been working hard, which has lead to this fantastic achievement for the brand. Finishing second in the IRC is nice – our ambition was, of course, to win the title, but our own couple of mistakes have made that impossible at the end of the day. Nevertheless, the season as a whole was certainly successful and we are already looking forward to the next one”.
- Skoda Motorsport