First stage victory for Valoušek
News after SS6
Local hero Pavel Valoušek has claimed his first stage win on Barum Czech Rally Zlín with a sensational time through stage six, the repeat of the 9.01-kilometre Biskupice test.
Valoušek, the Czech championship leader, headed a Škoda Fabia Super 2000 one-two-three with Freddy Loix second and Guy Wilks third.
Rain fell heavily before the start of the stage and those drivers running further back on the road on the Intercontinental Rally Challenge qualifier were able to gain a slight advantage by having sufficient time to carve extra ‘cuts’ into their slick tyres to provide more grip.
Bryan Bouffier was fourth quickest, 3.7 seconds slower than Valoušek and only one-tenth of a second ahead of Keith Cronin, who produced a stunning performance in the works PROTON Satria Neo S2000 to go fifth fastest.
Jan Kopecký, who shared the sixth fastest time with Andreas Mikkelsen, still holds the overall lead although his advantage over Bouffier has been trimmed to 23.2s.
Kopecký, in a works Fabia, was one of several drivers who reported aquaplaning in sixth gear, such were the treacherous nature of the conditions.
Juho Hänninen has slipped from fourth to fifth after only managing the eighth fastest time.
Overall positions after SS6:
1 Jan Kopecký (Škoda Fabia S2000) 49m36.3s
2 Bryan Bouffier (Peugeot 207 S2000) +23.2s
3 Kris Meeke (Peugeot 207 S2000) +28.0s
4 Freddy Loix (Škoda Fabia S2000) +31.0s
5 Juho Hänninen (Škoda Fabia S2000) +32.1s
6 Václav Pech (Ralliart Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX) +53.9s
7 Pavel Valoušek (Škoda Fabia S2000) +1m40.6s
8 Andreas Mikkelsen (M-Sport Ford Fiesta S2000) +1m52.0s