Azores ERC: Jan Kopecky takes victory for Skoda
|By Charles Bradley||Saturday, April 27th 2013, 17:57 GMT|
Jan Kopecky won the Rally Azores, the fourth round of the European Rally Championship, to score his first ever victory on a gravel event.
The factory Skoda driver suppressed the challenge of Peugeot's Craig Breen on the final day of the rally, having taken a 13s lead into the day.
He set the fastest time on the final stage of the day, to lay to rest the ghost of him throwing away the 2010 event victory with just 5kms remaining, to win by 32.2s.
Breen was content with his runner-up finish, bearing in mind it was his first event in the Azores, complicated by the fact that the rally was marred by foggy and wet weather conditions throughout.
It is his third consecutive podium in the series, in his first gravel event in the Peugeot 207.
Local hero Ricardo Moura finished third, almost a minute in arrears, on his first drive in a Skoda S2000 car. Portugal's Bruno Magalhaes finished fourth in a Peugeot, ahead of Breen's team-mate Jeremi Ansian.
Robert Kubica finished sixth in his second-ever gravel event for Citroen, recovering well from his double barrel roll on Friday.
His next event in the series is Corsica next month.
Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Jan Kopecky Skoda 2h6m32.2s 2. Craig Breen Sainteloc Peugeot + 32.2s 3. Ricardo Moura Skoda + 58.8s 4. Bruno Magalhaes Delta Peugeot + 2m37.6s 5. Jeremi Ancian Sainteloc Peugeot + 3m27.4s 6. Robert Kubica Citroen + 9m19.1s 7. Alessandro Bruschetta Subaru + 14m57.4s 8. Luis Rego Mitsubishi + 16m36.0s 9. Antonin Tlustak Skoda + 17m42.1s 10. Marco Tempestini Subaru + 18m10.6s