Rally Poland: Tidemand increases WRC 2 lead7/2/2017

ŠKODA factory team Pontus Tidemand and co-driver Jonas Andersson pulling away at the top of the WRC 2 standings with second place at Rally Poland.

For the eighth time in a row in 2017 a ŠKODA FABIA R5 team won a round of the World Rally Championship. At Rally Poland, current Asia Pacific Rally Championship leaders Ole Christian Veiby/Stig Rune Skjaermœn (NOR/NOR), driving a Printsport entered ŠKODA FABIA R5, achieved their first win on World Rally Championship level. After already winning four WRC 2 events this season ŠKODA Motorsport’s Pontus Tidemand and co-driver Jonas Andersson (SWE/SWE) came second. With a WRC 2 championship lead of 50 points they are now in best position to win this year’s title.

The weather changed on the final day of the rally back to the poor conditions of the opening day. Heavy rain falls made the gravel tracks of the Masurian Lake District slippery and treacherous again. After Pontus Tidemand’s time consuming puncture on Saturday afternoon, the race for the first place in WRC 2 category was more or less decided. Youngster Ole Christian Veiby secured his very first WRC 2 win with a faultless and very concentrated drive and climbed into the second position in the championship standings.

“Congratulations to both teams. Bringing home the victory Ole Christian and Stig Rune not only proved that they are really fast, but very clever too. For us this result is another confirmation of our decision to employ both to compete for ŠKODA in the Asia Pacific Rally Championship. With a valuable second place Pontus and Jonas are in the best position to win the championship prematurely this year,” commented a delighted ŠKODA Motorsport boss Michal Hrabánek at the finish line in Mikolajki.

Pontus Tidemand was fastest in WRC 2 on three of the remaining four stages of the final leg of Rally Poland securing second place and valuable points for the championship home. “It is a pity that a puncture stopped the nice fight with Ole Christian. Congratulations to him for this great performance. However the points for second place put me in a very good position in the championship race, which was in the end my main goal,” concluded the WRC 2 leader from Sweden.

The eighth round of World Rally Championship proved again, that the ŠKODA FABIA R5 is by far the fastest and most reliable car in WRC 2 category. At the finish line in Mikolajki ŠKODA teams occupied top four positions in the category. In the WRC 2 championship standings, ŠKODA works driver Pontus Tidemand leads after eight rounds with 118 points ahead of stablemate Ole Christian Veiby (68 points).

Final Result Rally Poland (WRC 2):
1. Veiby/Skjaermœn (NOR/NOR), ŠKODA FABIA R5, 2:53.29,3 h
2. Tidemand/Andersson (SWE/SWE) ŠKODA FABIA R5, + 32.9 sec
3. Gilbert/Jamoul (FRA/BEL), ŠKODA FABIA R5, + 4:20.3 min.
4. Guerra/Cué (MEX/ESP), ŠKODA FABIA R5, + 7:04.9 min.
5. Bonato/Boulloud (FRA/FRA), Citroën DS3 R5, +7:22.9 min.
6. Chuchala/Rozwadowski (POL/POL), Ford Fiesta R5, + 8:16.9 min.

Current standings WRC 2 after eight rounds:
1. Pontus Tidemand (SWE), ŠKODA, 118 points
2. Ole Christian Veiby (NOR), 68 points
3. Teemu Suninen (FIN), Ford, 54 points
4. Eric Camilli (FRA), Ford, 52 points
5. Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR), ŠKODA, 50 points
6. Jan Kopecký (CZE), ŠKODA, 49 points

Number of the day:
8 Since the first round of 2017 World Rally Championship in Monte Carlo, ŠKODA FABIA R5 teams won each of the eight rounds in WRC 2 category.

The 2017 calendar of the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2):
Rally Monte Carlo; 19/01/–22/01/2017
Rally Sweden; 09/02/–12/02/2017
Rally Mexico; 09/03/–12/03/2017
Rally France; 06/04/–09/04/2017
Rally Argentina; 27/04/–30/04/2017
Rally Portugal; 18/05/–21/05/2017
Rally Italy Sardinia; 08/06/–11/06/2017
Rally Poland; 29/06/–02/07/2017
Rally Finland; 27/07/–30/07/2017
Rally Germany; 17/08/–20/08/2017
Rally Spain; 05/10/–08/10/2017
Rally Great Britain; 26/10/–29/10/2017
Rally Australia; 16/11/–19/11/2017