SS14: Kopecký strikes back in Austria

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By Olivier Ferret

5 January 2013 - 12:13
SS14: Kopecký strikes back in Austria

Jan Kopecký has responded to Bryan Bouffier’s advances in the best possible fashion by setting the fastest time on the rerun of the 8.27-kilometre Gutau stage.

Kopecký’s advantage over his rival had been trimmed to 14.3s after 13 stages but a rapid run on stage 14 means his lead stands at 20s with four tests remaining.

At the completion of the run, Kopecký told ERC Rally Radio’s Chris Rawes that he was pushing to fend off Bouffier despite encountering patches of mud that had been dragged onto the rain-coated road by several cars running ahead of him in the starting order.

“Of course I need to push because Bryan is pushing so much,” said ŠKODA driver Kopecký, who was 5.7s quicker than Bouffier. “But it is not easy because there is so much mud on the corners in some places and in other places there is no mud. I’ve had some not nice moments.”

With the handling of his Mitsubishi Lancer improved following a differential change at service in Freistadt, ERC Production Car Cup contender Beppo Harrach went second quickest. Raimund Baumschlager was fourth fastest behind Peugeot driver Bouffier with Kajetan Kajetanowicz a strong fifth in his Subaru Impreza.

Rallying legend François Delecour’s bid to catch Václav Pech for fourth in the overall classification suffered a setback when the Frenchman reported that he did not have sufficient tyres for the wet conditions. “I have none left, only slick tyres with a cut,” said the Peugeot veteran.

Jaromír Tarabus has incurred 1m40s of time penalties due to the earlier electrical problems he encountered. The Czech is currently in 10th overall.

Stage 15, Unterweisenbach 2, goes live at 12:20hrs.

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