Sun 31 Mar 2024

Moments that made ERC 2023 great: Kopecký makes more history in Zlín

Jan Kopecký scored a record-extending 11th win on his home round of the FIA European Rally Championship, Barum Czech Rally Zlín, last August.

Driving an Agrotec Škoda Rally Team-entered Škoda Fabia RS Rally2 on Michelin tyres, Kopecký preserved his overnight lead, which stood at 14.9sec, to triumph ahead of Miklós Csomós by 14.3sec.  

After home hero Erik Cais – out of contention for victory following his damaged tyre on stage six – had gone fastest on the first two stages on the final morning morning, Kopecký was quickest through Halenkovice, SS10, to return to Otrokovice for the midday service halt leading by 11.1s.

The multiple Czech champion, with compatriot Jan Hloušek co-driving, had struggled for confidence with a car that was “sliding too much” on SS8 and SS9, but set-up changes got him back on track for SS10. And he was quickest again on SS11 to grow his lead to 14.7sec. He reached the Power Stage leading Csomós by 13.6sec and set the fourth fastest time on the deciding test to become the sixth winner of the 2023 ERC season.  

“We are at the finish,” said Kopecký. “It was a difficult rally and I am very tired – but I am very happy. I was quite consistent during the rally, I didn’t do any huge mistakes although I had some luck. We were controlling our pace, if it was needed we started to push a bit more and it was enough. This morning I was a little too optimistic with the set-up of the car and it was too stiff. I made some changes, we won Semetin and this was important. I knew the gap was okay for the final stage but I knew I could not make any mistake.”

Starts: Thursday, July 18, 2024 at 4:31:00 AM
Starts: Friday, July 26, 2024 at 7:00:00 AM
Starts: Saturday, July 27, 2024 at 6:00:00 AM