Skoda Confirms Rally Brazil, Argentina Presence
According to Skoda's spokesperson Karel Pokorny, the Skoda factory team plans to send both cars for these two events, to be driven by Juho Hanninen and Jan Kopecky respectively. However, the announcement did not include the Czech manufacturer's programme for the entire 2010 IRC campaign, but only confirmed its presence in the aforementioned events.
“We will run two cars in Brazil and Argentina. Skoda has some experience in Argentina from the World Rally Championship but we have never been to Brazil so that will be something new,” said Pokorny.
“We saw last year the pace of the Fabia Super 2000 on gravel on the (rallies in) Azores and Russia and we hope this will continue when we go to Brazil and Argentina,” added the Skoda spokesperson, referring to the behavior of the team's cars on the gravel roads of the two South American events.
The Brazilian and Argentine events of the 2010 IRC season will count for the 2nd and 3rd events in the calendar (respectively), with both being scheduled to run in March. The team started off their 2010 campaign very well last weekend, during Rally Monte Carlo, when both its drivers made the scoreboard.
Hanninen went on to finish in the runner-up position – after WRC vice-champion Mikko Hirvonen – while Kopecky had to settle for 5th place. Consequently, Skoda is now leading the IRC manufacturers' race, holding a 4-point advantage over M-Sport and having double the points of French manufacturer Peugeot.