SS7: Kopecký thanks team for stage win

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By Olivier Ferret

4 January 2013 - 16:20
SS7: Kopecký thanks team for stage (...)

Jan Kopecký has paid tribute to his ŠKODA Motorsport team following his fastest time through stage seven of the International Jännerrallye.

With the 8.76-kilometre Pregarten test free of ice, the bulk of the leading drivers have opted for treaded rather than studded tyres. Kopecký’s mechanics went one step further by replacing the suspension on all four corners of Kopecký’s Fabia Super 2000 during the 20-minute service halt in Freistadt to provide the Czech driver with an optimal car set-up.

“Thanks to the guys, they made a great job,” said Kopecký, who won the Austrian event in 2012. “It was very hard to change all the suspension but they did and they changed the brakes and everything.”

Kopecký’s stage best means he now leads the FIA European Rally Championship round by 13.6s with three stages of day one remaining.

François Delecour’s Kronos Racing Peugeot 207 has been restored to full working order after the Visit Romania-backed legend was forced to tackle stages four, five and six with a broken gearstick.

Raimund Baumschlager, meanwhile, bucked the trend by fitting studded tyres to his BRR Fabia in the belief that there will be snow on the 22.93-kilometre Schönau-St Leonard stage, which goes live at 16:35hrs local time.

Brake woe frustrates ERC star Černý

Jan Černý will be hoping the brake problem that struck on stage seven of the International Jännerrallye can be cured ahead of the Schönau-St Leonard test, which gets underway shortly.

Černý, the reigning FIA European Rally Championship 2WD champion, is making his competition debut in a ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000 in Austria and had been in sixth overall before experiencing the problem with his car’s brake pedal.

“The brake pedal went soft, we have to see what we can do,” said the Czech youngster, who is chasing funds to contest an expanded ERC programme in 2013 with his Fabia and says a strong result this weekend will be vital to his chances.

The brake glitch means Černý is down in seventh place.

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