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ERC NEWS 

Kopecky takes win in Barum Rally

Jan Kopecky completed the biggest win of his career when he drove his Skoda Fabia S2000 to victory on the Barum Rally.

The 27-year-old Czech Republic driver didn't put a wheel wrong through yesterday's treacherous conditions, working hard to build a minute lead.

He then protected that lead through today's six stages, bringing his Skoda home to a rapturous welcome from the partisan home crowd: a Czech driver winning a Czech rally in a Czech machine. It was the perfect weekend for the Zlin locals.

After a tricky start to the event - a puncture on the superspecial leaving him 33rd on Friday night - Kris Meeke turned his and Peugeot UK's rally around with a sensational run back through the field.

Meeke ended the event second, ensuring Kopecky, his closest title rival, only reduced the margin between the pair by two points. Meeke still has a three-point advantage in the race for this year's IRC title.

Skoda's hopes of a fairytale one-two on this event ended when third-placed Juho Hanninen dropped half a minute spinning his Fabia S2000 on the first stage out of service this afternoon.

That mistake allowed Roman Krest to briefly steal that provisional bottom step of the podium, but a spirited charge ' which included fastest times on the last two stages - ensured Hanninen returned to third.

Kresta eventually placed his Peugeot fourth. Super 2000 first-timer Martin Prokop placed the BFGoodrich guest car in a fine fifth. Prokop was one place ahead of the man he replaced in the BFG car, with Pavel Valousek rounding out the top six in a private Skoda.

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