Canarias - Drama as Kopecky wins IRC spectacular
An engine trouble slowed Andreas Mikkelsen
Jan Kopecký has claimed a dramatic final-stage victory on Rally Islas Canarias El Corte Inglés after a suspected engine misfire slowed rival Andreas Mikkelsen with his first win on asphalt in his grasp.
Kopecký, in a factory ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000, had trailed Mikkelsen’s ŠKODA UK entry by 3.6s starting the final 16.12-kilometre test. But with Mikkelsen losing vital speed he was powerless to defend his advantage as Kopecký raced to his first win of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge season and his second on Gran Canaria following his maiden triumph in 2010.
Mikkelsen had to settle for the runner-up spot, 28.3s behind Kopecký but extends his lead in the IRC drivers’ standings, while ŠKODA, now unbeaten on this event for the three years, claims maximum IRC manufacturers’ points for the second time this season.
“I heard he had some problems with the engine, which is a pity because it was a nice battle the whole weekend,” said Kopecký. “Winning because of his problem does not make me so I happy but thanks to ŠKODA and my co-driver who today did a really great job.”
A dejected Mikkelsen, who led after all but two stages of the 15-stage rally, said: “I had no engine power, it was misfiring all the way. There was no power at all and it’s very disappointing because I was so close to my first win on Tarmac. It’s a shame. We felt it at the end of the second last one but there is nothing we could do.”
Luis Monzón was the top Peugeot finisher and the leading Spaniard in an impressive third overall with Sepp Wiegand a fine fourth on his Canarias debut for ŠKODA Auto Deutschland.
Jonathan Perez took fifth in another Peugeot with Joan Vinyes winning the IRC 2WD Cup in sixth position.
Robert Consani bagged IRC Production Cup honours for Renault in 12th overall but there was late agony for Briton Harry Hunt who dropped out of the top 10 to 13th when his car’s engine cut out two kilometres from the finish of the final stage.
|1.||Kopecký J. - Dresler P.||Škoda Fabia S2000||2h21m46.5s|
|2.||Mikkelsen A. - Floene O.||Škoda Fabia S2000||+28.3s|
|3.||Monzón L. - Déniz J.||Peugeot 207 S2000||+3:13.6s|
|4.||Wiegand S. - Gottschalk T.||Škoda Fabia S2000||+4:32.0s|
|5.||Perez J. - Velasco E.||Peugeot 207 S2000||+7:29.3s|
|6.||Vinyes J. - Mercader J.||Suzuki Swift S1600||+9:00.3s|
|7.||Antxustegui G. - Suarez G.||Suzuki Swift S1600||+9:18.9s|
|8.||Marrero A. - Marrero V.||Honda Civic Type-R||+11:27.4s|
|9.||Puskádi J. - Gódor B.||Škoda Fabia S2000||+12:03.3s|
|10.||Al-Ketbi R. - Al-Kendi K.||Škoda Fabia S2000||+14:43.5s|
|11.||Hernández G. - Pereira I.||Honda Civic Type-R||+15:13.8s|
|12.||Consani R. - Beynet C.||Renault Megane RS||+16:13.5s|
|13.||Hunt H. - Durant R.||Citroen DS3 R3T||+16:38.5s|
|14.||Lemes Y. - Vega S.||Ford Fiesta R2||+17:34.5s|
|15.||Tempestini M. - Pulpea D.||Subaru Impreza STi R4||+17:42.9s|
|16.||Diego M. - Diego V.||Renault Twingo R2||+22:38.1s|
|17.||Monarri A. - Sanjuan R.||Renault Twingo R2||+27:28.6s|
|18.||Aragones L. - Banobre C.||Renault Twingo R2||+28:50.1s|
|19.||Zullo Lopera M. - Gonzalez J.||Renault Twingo R2||+30:17.7s|
|20.||Stratieva E. - Gaureanu C.||Citroen C2 R2 Max||+31:49.1s|
Special stages in details
After SS13: Kopecky narrows gap to first with stage win
Jan Kopecký has ended Andreas Mikkelsen’s run of stage victories on the final day of Rally Islas Canarias El Corte Inglés to close to within 3.7s of the event leader with two stages remaining.
Kopecký, from Czech Republic, was 0.7s faster than Mikkelsen through the repeat of the 13.28-kilometre Maspalomas stage in his ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000.
“There are still some stages to go and anything can happen,” said Kopecký, who finished runner-up in the Intercontinental Rally Challenge standings to Mikkelsen last season. “It will be difficult to catch him but we have to try.”
Luis Monzón was third fastest in a Peugeot 207 S2000 with Sepp Wiegand fourth quickest and Oleksandr Saliuk fifth fastest in a Dream Team Ukraine M-Sport Ford Fiesta S2000.
Gorka Antxustegi was the fastest of the IRC 2WD Cup drivers in an impressive sixth overall. However, he still trails team-mate Joan Vinyes by 30.8s in the battle for category honours.
Marco Tempestini, in a Subaru Impreza R4 STI, set the pace in the IRC Production Cup division, completing the stage 9.2s faster than Robert Consani’s Renault Mégane RS.
After SS14: Rapid Kopecký sets up Canarias showdown
A mere 3.6s will separate Andreas Mikkelsen and Jan Kopecký starting the final stage of Rally Islas Canarias El Corte Inglés after Kopecký clinched his seventh stage victory on the Intercontinental Rally Challenge event.
Kopecký, in a works ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000, beat Mikkelsen by 0.1s over the rally’s penultimate stage, the 21.36-kilometre San Bartolome de Tirajana test, to edge fractions closer to ŠKODA UK driver Mikkelsen in the battle for top honours.
Peugeot 207 S2000 driver Luis Monzón was third quickest followed by ŠKODA Auto Deutschland’s Sepp Wiegand. Oleksandr Saliuk, in a Dream Team Ukraine M-Sport Ford Fiesta S2000, was fifth quickest.
After SS15: Kopecký fastest to claim dramatic win
Jan Kopecký has gone fastest on the final stage of Rally Islas Canarias El Corte Inglés to claim a dramatic victory on the Intercontinental Rally Challenge event after engine trouble slowed Andreas Mikkelsen.
Mikkelsen was leading by 3.6s starting the final stage but has fallen 28.3s behind his Czech rival in the final classification after taking an extra 31.9s to complete the last stage.
“I had no engine power, it was misfiring all the way,” said the distraught Norwegian, who settles for second overall. “There was no power at all and it’s very disappointing because I was so close to my first win on Tarmac. It’s a shame. We felt it at the end of the second last one but there is nothing we could do.”
Kopecký said: “I heard he has some problems with the engine. That’s a pity because it was a nice battle the whole weekend. Winning because of his problem does not make me so happy.”
Luis Monzón was second quickest to secure the final podium spot in his Peugeot 207 S2000. Sepp Wiegand completed his event debut with the third fastest time to secure fourth place in the overall classification for ŠKODA Auto Deutschland.