Skoda confirms IRC title defense in 2012
Hanninen and Kopecky will be at the wheel
The ŠKODA Motorsport team will continue the Fabia Super 2000 project also in the upcoming year 2012. This year the project has led to the greatest achievements in the brand’s long history of motorsport efforts.
The participation in the Intercontinental Rally Challenge championship with the Fabia Super 2000 where ŠKODA has won the titles in both the Drivers and Manufacturers categories for two consecutive years remains the brand’s top priority. Furthermore, one of the factory crews will newly appear in selected rallies of the European Championship and the factory team will also appear in the home rally championship.
Juho Hänninen and Jan Kopecký remain the brand’s factory drivers for 2012. The first event in 2012 to see the factory team in action is the Jänner Rally that is taking place in Austria over the first weekend of January.
Commenting on the team’s agenda in 2012, Head of the ŠKODA Motorsport team Michal Hrabánek says: “ŠKODA’s top priority will be to defend the IRC titles we have won in the last two years. Three drivers in factory-prepared Fabia Super 2000s are going to fight for points in the Manufacturers category – Jan Kopecký and Juho Hänninen of ŠKODA Motorsport (factory team) and Andreas Mikkelsen of ŠKODA UK Motorsport. With future prospects in mind, we want to gain experience in selected events of the European Championship where we will be represented by Juho Hänninen & Mikko Markkula, one of our factory crews. Intending to become even more visible in the home market, the other factory crew, Jan Kopecký & Pavel Dresler, will appear on Czech tracks as part of the Czech Championship. Pavel Dressler has replaced Petr Starý who, unfortunately, has a long-standing health problem – in this connection, the whole team wishes Petr a fast recovery.”
2011 SWRC Champion Juho Hänninen: “I have learned a lot at ŠKODA Motorsport over the last three years, and these have been more than good times for the entire team. I believe that we will be successful also next year that holds some new rallies for us, but that is exactly what makes this sport so exciting. I am pretty certain that we are going to make another step ahead with the Fabia.”
Three times IRC Vice-Champion Jan Kopecký: “I appreciate the opportunity to continue cooperating with ŠKODA Motorsport. Our ambition in the Czech championship is of course to keep appearing on the top ranks and the goal in the selected IRC events is to always win as many points as possible in order to help ŠKODA win the third title in the Manufacturers category. I want to say a big thank you to Petr Starý for great three years that we have spent together and wish him a fast recovery.”