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ERC NEWS 

Jan Kopecky in front for Skoda on Rally Zlin

Jan Kopecky, Skoda, Zlin 2011Skoda's Jan Kopecky is in the lead midway through the first full day of his and his team's home round of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge, the Rally Zlin.

Andreas Mikkelsen had briefly led for Skoda UK early on Saturday morning before Kopecky moved in front. After five stages, the Czech driver holds a 5.8-second lead over Mikkelsen.

Overnight leader and reigning IRC champion Juho Hanninen is back in fifth, having lost time with a tyre deflation early on then been frustrated with his performances - although he is still only 14.4s off the lead.

Guy Wilks dropped a few seconds with a tyre going down, but remains third for Peugeot UK, just ahead of fellow 207 driver Bryan Bouffier.

Last year's Zlin winner Freddy Loix is only sixth at present, while Corsica victor Thierry Neuville has been unhappy with the handling of his Peugeot and is an increasingly distant seventh.

Leading positions after SS5:

Pos  Driver             Team/Car                 Time/Gap
 1.  Jan Kopecky        Skoda                    40m51.8s
 2.  Andreas Mikkelsen  Skoda UK                   + 5.8s
 3.  Guy Wilks          Kronos/Peugeot UK         + 11.7s
 4.  Bryan Bouffier     PH/Peugeot France         + 12.5s
 5.  Juho Hanninen      Skoda                     + 14.4s
 6.  Freddy Loix        BFO Skoda                 + 24.6s
 7.  Thierry Neuville   Kronos/Peugeot Benelux    + 47.0s
 8.  Toni Gardemeister  TGS Skoda               + 1m25.7s
 9.  PG Andersson       Proton                  + 1m30.2s
10.  Michal Solowow     Cersanit Ford           + 1m51.6s
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