Game, set and match for ŠKODA Motorsport: Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler (CZE/CZE) became WRC 2 champions, 2017 winners Pontus Tidemand/Jonas Andersson finished second overall, and youngsters Kalle Rovanperä/ Jonne Halttunen (FIN/FIN) complete a pure ŠKODA podium in the final standings of the 2018 FIA World Rally Championship’s WRC 2 category. For the fourth time in a row ŠKODA Motorsport won the WRC 2 Championship for Teams (all titles subject to official publication of the results by the FIA). Overall, 2018 was the most successful year in the history of ŠKODA Motorsport.
Time to celebrate at the annual Motorsport Press Conference of ŠKODA Motorsport in Prague: By winning the WRC 2 Championship for Drivers as well as Co-drivers for the third time in a row and also conquering the WRC 2 Team Championship for the fourth consecutive time, ŠKODA Motorsport topped the already successful 2017 season. The ŠKODA factory drivers Jan Kopecký, Pontus Tidemand and Kalle Rovanperä occupy the top three places of the WRC 2 final standings.
But not only on FIA World Rally Championship level ŠKODA crews collected victories and titles. The success story of the Czech brand took place worldwide. Scoring victories on all five rounds, one team dominated the 2018 FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) – ŠKODA driver Yuya Sumiyama and navigator Takahiro Yasui from Japan. Their Team Cusco’s achievements seamless continued the success, ŠKODA Motorsport factory supported teams celebrated during the past years in the Asia Pacific region. Achieving an APRC hat trick from 2012 to 2014 with the normally aspirated ŠKODA FABIA S2000, the following years the Czech brand added four titles in a row with the turbo-powered ŠKODA FABIA R5.
Manvir Singh Baryan/Drew Sturrock (KEN/GBR) won the FIA African Rally Championship (ARC). Scoring four victories with their privately entered ŠKODA FABIA R5, they could repeat last year’s victory.
After winning the FIA South American Rally Championship (CODASUR) in 2013, 2016 and 2017, ŠKODA crew Gustavo Saba/Fernando Mussano (PRY/ARG) again were successful. Among their three victories, first place of the CODASUR category at the FIA World Rally Championship round in Argentina was their season highlight.
In the FIA European Rally Championship (ERC), the three top spots of the Under 28 category (for drivers under 28 years old, driving a R5 car) were conquered by ŠKODA FABIA R5 drivers. Nikolay Gryazin/Yaroslav Fedorov (RUS/RUS) won from Chris Ingram/Dave Whittock (GBR/GBR) and Fabian Kreim/Frank Christian (DEU/DEU). On top of that, 17 national Championships were won by ŠKODA crews.
FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2)
FIA WRC 2 Champions Driver/Co-driver: Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler (CZE/CZE)
FIA WRC 2 Team Championship: ŠKODA Motorsport
FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC)
Championship for Driver and Co-driver: Yuya Sumiyama/ Takahiro Yasui (JPN/JPN)
APRC Cup for Manufacturers: ŠKODA
APRC Teams Award: Team Cusco
FIA South American Rally Championship (CODASUR)
Championship for Driver/Co-driver: Gustavo Saba/Fernando Mussano (PRY/ARG)
FIA African Rally Championship (ARC)
Championship for Driver/Co-driver: Manvir Singh Baryan/Drew Sturrock (KEN/GB)
ARC Manufacturer Cup: ŠKODA
FIA European Rally Championship (ERC), U28 category
Championship for Driver/Co-driver: Nikolay Gryazin/Yaroslav Fedorov (RUS/RUS)
Australia: Eli Evans/Ben Searcy (AUS/AUS)
Belgium: Kris Princen/Bram Eelbode (BEL/BEL)
Bulgaria: Miroslav Angelov/Nidialko Sivov (BGR/BGR)
Croatia: Krisztián Hideg/István Kerék (HRV/HRV)
Cyprus: Simos Galatariotis/Antonis Ioannou (CYP/CYP)
Czech Republic: Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler (CZE/CZE)
Finland: Eerik Pietarinen/Juhana Raitanen (FIN/FIN)
France (Gravel): Sylvain Michel (FRA)/Jerome Degout (FRA)
Lebanon: Roger Feghali/Joseph Matar (LBN/LBN)
Netherlands: Hermen Kobus/Erik de Wild (NLD/NLD)
Paraguay: Gustavo Saba/Fernando Mussano (PRY/ARG)
Poland: Grzegorz Grzyb/JakubVróbel (POL/POL)
Slovakia: Martin Koči/Radovan Mozner Jun. (SVK/SVK)
Spain (Gravel): Xavier Pons/Diego Sanjuan (ESP/ESP)
Sweden: Martin Berglund/Joakim Gevert (SWE/SWE)
Switzerland: Ivan Ballinari/Paolo Pianca (CHE/CHE)
Turkey: Burak Cukurova/Vedat Bostanci (TUR/TUR)