WRC2 win for Tidemand in Spain can he repeat it in China?

Fresh from taking the APRC title in Hokkaido last month Skoda driver Pontus Tidemand won the WRC2 category at Rally Spain and now he and co-driver Emil Axelsson are hoping for a repeat win in this weekend’s China Rally where they will drive a new MRF R5 Fabia.

Salou/Spain, 25 October 2015 – ŠKODA Motorsport celebrated a resounding one-two at the Rally Spain. ŠKODA works duo Pontus Tidemand/Emil Axelsson (S/S) won the penultimate race in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2) in their Fabia R5, claiming their first WRC 2 race victory for the Czech car-maker. Their team-mates Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler (CZ/CZ) finished runner-up to complete the one-two for ŠKODA. “Congratulations to Pontus and Emil on their first WRC 2 victory in the ŠKODA Fabia R5,” said ŠKODA Motorsport Director Michal Hrabánek. “We are also delighted with the second place for Jan and Pavel. We are happy that this debut season for the new Fabia R5 has proven it to be a worthy replacement for the extremely successful Fabia Super 2000. The ŠKODA Fabia R5 won 17 of the 22 special stages here in Spain, which clearly goes to show how good our car is on gravel as well as on asphalt.”

“What a rally! It’s my first WRC 2 win for ŠKODA and I could not be happier,” said Tidemand, who also won the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) for ŠKODA this season*. “When this rally started, my aim was simply to finish. I did not expect to be on top of the podium at all. However, our speed through the gravel stages on Friday was the key to our success. We tried to avoid taking unnecessary risks on the asphalt stages on Saturday and Sunday. This tactic paid off, even though Jan and Pavel made up some time on us. Thanks to everyone in the whole ŠKODA Motorsport team! I’m now looking forward to the APRC finale in China!”

Kopecký was also more than happy with the situation. “Before the rally, I was not sure whether we would be challenging for a podium finish,” said the Czech rally champion. “The ŠKODA Fabia R5 performed superbly on gravel as well as on asphalt, and the conversion to a race car set-up on Friday went very smoothly. The ŠKODA team can take the credit for that as their work was perfect. I am delighted to have played my part in a one-two for ŠKODA.” The 51st Rally Spain was an enthralling spectacle, as all eight winners from the current WRC 2 season were battling it out. It featured 23 special stages and a total of 331.25 kilometres on asphalt and gravel – a first for the World Rally Championship – around the rally centre at Salou on the Costa Daurada. However, the final special stage in the WRC 2 class was not completed,

This article originally appeared on aprc.tv.