Croatia ERC: Jan Kopecky seals European Rally Championship title
|Friday, September 27th 2013, 17:24 GMT|
Jan Kopecky became the 2013 European Rally champion as he clinched the bonus points for leading the Croatia Rally at the end of day one.
The works Skoda driver has dominated much of the season and just needed a handful of points from Croatia to officially become the first champion of the revitalised ERC's new era.
He quickly moved to the head of the field on Friday's second loop as dry conditions left shock early leader Andreas Aigner's Production Subaru way off the pace of the Super 2000 cars.
Although Aigner remains second, he is now 52.9 seconds behind Kopecky.
Fellow Production runner Herrmann Gassner Jr has closed in on Aigner, ending the day six seconds behind.
Kopecky's ERC title comes after four successive runner-up finishes in the championship's Intercontinental Rally Challenge predecessor.
The Czech driver is unsure whether he will be entered for the remaining 2013 ERC rounds in Sanremo and Valais.
Leading positions after SS7: Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Jan Kopecky Skoda 1h11m32.5s 2. Andreas Aigner Stohl Subaru +52.9s 3. Herrmann Gassner Jr Gassner Mitubishi +58.1s 4. Tsjoen/Casier Duindistel Skoda +2m16.1s 5. Juraj Sebalj AKK Skoda +2m28.0s 6. Henk Lategan BRR Skoda +2m42.8s 7. Aleks Humar SEC Renault +3m23.4s 8. Andras Hadik Xiqio Subaru +3m39.1s 9. Daniel Saskin AK Ford +4m09.3s 10. Herrmann Gassner Sr Gassner Mitubishi +4m48.2s