Friday news briefs from Barum Rally
All the information you need
Çetinkaya ready for Czech IRC battle
Burcu Çetinkaya is upbeat about her chances on Barum Czech Rally Zlín following a successful recce for the Intercontinental Rally Challenge event.
The 29-year-old from Istanbul, who is contesting an expanded programme of IRC rounds this season in her Peugeot Sport Turkey 207 Super 2000, will be the 77th driver to tackle the opening stage of the all-asphalt rally in Zlín at 22:28hrs local time tonight.
“It’s going to be a very difficult rally but we had a good recce and have a good set-up,” said Çetinkaya. “If it rains we will be in a good position because we have some good Yokohama rain tyres.”
Valoušek targets Czech points over IRC glory
Pavel Valoušek will not jeopardise his chances of winning the Czech championship title for the first time when he makes his first start in the Intercontinental Rally Challenge this season.
Valoušek, whose Škoda Fabia Super 2000 is run by Motorsport Kopecký, the preparation firm owned by Josef Kopecký, the father of event favourite Jan Kopecký, is five points clear of Václav Pech with one round remaining.
“The main point this weekend is to keep my position in the Czech championship,” said Valoušek. “The second driver is close behind and Roman Kresta is third and can also win so you can expect a big fight.”
Valoušek lives 300 metres from the event service park in Otrokovice. He completed 250 kilometres during a pre-event test last week.
“I am well prepared and I also have the same car as the Škoda factory team and I also get data from Škoda, which is very important,” said Valoušek, who competes under the Škoda Delimax Czech National Team banner. “I have many friends coming to this rally so I will do the best I can.”
Co-driver Pugh celebrates turning 40 in Zlín
Co-driver Phil Pugh prepared for his return to the Intercontinental Rally Challenge by celebrating his 40th birthday today.
Pugh, who will partner Guy Wilks in a Škoda UK Motorsport Fabia Super 2000, was presented with a cake by his team boss Cathie Sleigh following pre-event shakedown in Otrokovice.
Following the presentation Wilks paid tribute to his navigator: “We’ve had seven years together with many highs and lows and every emotion. It’s just nice to be back on a rally when it’s his birthday because it’s often my turn on Monte Carlo.”