Former ERC champion Kopecký is a class act

Former ERC champion Kopecký is a class act

28/01/2018 18:00

Jan Kopecký, the winner of the 2013 FIA European Rally Championship, turned 36 in style today (Sunday) with a class win on Rallye Monte-Carlo.

Co-driven by fellow Czech Pavel Dresler, Kopecký was ŠKODA Motorsport’s sole official representative on the world championship counter but thrived under the pressure to deliver a standout victory in his Fabia R5.

Taking the class lead on the second day of the iconic Tarmac rally, Kopecký adopted a measured approach to win by almost eight and half minutes having claimed a number of fastest times in his category along the way.

Esapekka Lappi, who succeeded Kopecký as ERC champion in 2014, was on course for a fine fourth place on only his third Rallye Monte-Carlo start only to slide wide and off the road on the final stage and drop to seventh. The Finn finished ahead of ERC event winners Bryan Bouffier and Craig Breen, who were eighth and ninth respectively. Ott Tänak, Jari-Matti Latvala, Kris Meeke and Thierry Neuville – all drivers with ERC event experience – placed second, third, fourth and fifth.

The 2018 ERC season begins on the Azores Airlines Rallye from 22-24 March.

Photo: ŠKODA Motorsport

It’s 25 days until the Azores Airlines Rallye opens the 2018 FIA European Rally Championship on 22 March. Here’s an update of what’s in store on the all-gravel spectacular in the mid-Atlantic Ocean.

Aloísio Monteiro will drive a ŠKODA Fabia R5 in the upcoming FIA European Rally Championship – and ERC ace Bruno Magalhães has been showing him the ropes.

Armindo Araújo, who will contest next month’s FIA European Rally Championship season-opening Azores Airlines Rallye, claimed a top-five finish on his return to competition following a lengthy absence.

Catie Munnings is targeting yet more progress when she embarks on her second FIA ERC Junior Under 27 Championship campaign in 2018.

Jari Huttunen impressed on his first outing in this season’s FIA World Rally Championship, taking two class stage wins and finishing sixth in his division on Rally Sweden last weekend.

Ricardo Moura has laid down the gauntlet to the FIA European Rally Championship title contenders by winning round one of the Portuguese national series yesterday (Sunday).