Kopecký has now six victories on Barum Czech Rally Zlín

28. 8. 2017 - Petr Říha, Roman Ordelt

The Czech driver Jan Kopecký (Škoda Fabia R5) won the 47th Barum Czech Rally Zlín, this being his sixth victory overall. Barum rally is the sixth event of FIA European Rally Championship (ERC) series and likewise the sixth event of TrueCam Czech Rally Championship 2017 (MČR). On the second place was Alexey Lukyanuk from Russia (Ford Fiesta R5) who was almost one minute behind him. The third place scored Roman Kresta (Škoda Fabia R5).

Jan Kopecký won five out of six stages on Sunday and without major pressure reached the top. He took the last stage quite easy, finishing fifth, but Lukyanuk wasn't strong enough to take him. 'It was amazing even though we made some mistakes. I'm glad I could compete and I'm very happy about our victory on Barum rally. This is special. If we could come back next year, we will,' Kopecký said.

Kopecký, 35 years old, absolutely dominated Barum rally and it was his 17th consecutive victory on domestic rallies. He won eleven out of fifteen special stages. On three occasions Alexey Lukyanuk was faster than him and on the last stage it was Roman Kresta. 'I'd like to thank everyone for the great work they did. I thank Škoda Motorsport for the opportunity, my co-driver Pavel Dresler, because he was great, my family who supported me, especially now since I'm getting older,' Kopecký said.

His Russian rival Alexey Lukyanuk had a fantastic start and got close to him to 0.3 seconds. With each passing stage, his leg hurt more and more, a sad result of an accident he suffered three months ago. The driver of Russian Performance Motorsport team was mainly struggling when he was using his leg on breaks. He was happy to finish Barum rally in such tropical weather, though, firstly, he seemed a bit disappointed with the second place. Last year he lost the second place on the last stage. 'I wasn't sure I'd come here. At the end I was careful and trying to get safely to finish. And we did, so we're very happy. We did everything we could,' Lukyanuk said.

The most nerve-wrecking fight was for the third place. After Václav Pech was out (Ford Fiesta R5), Tomáš Kostka (Škoda Fabia R5) jumped on his place, having 3 seconds on Kresta, but Roman Kresta showed that he knows these sections better than anyone and overtook him, winning SS Košíky. So after three years absence, it was a podium come-back for Roman Kresta on Barum rally. 'I was pushing really hard on the last stage. I have to admit, I'm mad. It was crazy. The car was perfect. The third place is more than we expected. Thanks to my team and fans,' Kresta said.

Category ERC2 won Hungarian Tibor Érdi (Mitsubishi Lancer EVO X). The first place in ERC3 achieved Aleks Zawada from Poland (Opel Adam R2), the Czech talent Filip Mareš (Peugeot 208 R2) finished second.

Final results of the 47th Barum Czech Rally Zlín 2017:
1. Jan Kopecký, Pavel Dresler (CZE, Škoda Fabia R5) 1:56:15.2 h
2. Alexey Lukyanuk, Alexey Arnautov (RUS, Ford Fiesta R5) + 55.5 s
3. Roman Kresta, Petr Starý (CZE, Škoda Fabia R5) + 1:22.8 min
4. Tomáš Kostka, Ladislav Kučera (CZE, Škoda Fabia R5) + 1:25.8 min
5. Kajetan Kajetanowicz, Jaroslaw Baran (POL, Ford Fiesta R5) + 2:06.4 min
6. Marijan Griebel, Stefan Kopczyk (DEU, Škoda Fabia R5) + 1:09.7 min
7. Martin Koči, Filip Schovánek (SVK/CZE, Škoda Fabia R5) + 2:31.4 min
8. Pavel Valoušek, Veronika Havelková (CZE, Škoda Fabia R5) + 2:51.6 min
9. Bruno Magalhães, Hugo Magalhães (PRT, Škoda Fabia R5) + 3:24.5 min
10. Bryan Bouffier, Xavier Panseri (FRA, Ford Fiesta R5) + 3:30.8 min

Won SS:
11 – Kopecký, 3 – Lukyanuk, 1 – Kresta

ERC2 priority:
1. Tibor Érdi, György Papp (HUN, Mitsubishi Lancer EVO X) 2:13:40.6 h
2. Zelindo Melegari, Maurizio Barone (ITA, Mitsubishi Lancer EVO IX) +5:43.9 min
3. Sergej Remennik, Mark Rozin (RUS, Mitsubishi Lancer EVO X) +16:42.2 min

ERC3 priority:
1. Aleks Zawada, Grzegorz Dachowski (POL, Opel Adam R2) 2:08:55.4 h
2. Filip Mareš, Jan Hloušek (CZE, Peugeot 208 R2) + 3:06.1 min
3. Simon Wagner, Gerald Winter (AUT, Peugeot 208 R2) + 3:25.2 min

2WD priority:
1. Aleks Zawada, Grzegorz Dachowski (POL, Opel Adam R2) 2:08:55.4 h
2. Egon Smékal, Petra Němcová (CZE, Citroën DS3 R3T) + 1:27.3 min
3. Filip Mareš, Jan Hloušek (CZE, Peugeot 208 R2) + 3:06.1 min