Jan Kopecky scored his maiden WRC 2 victory of the season at RallyRACC Catalunya - Rally de España on Sunday afternoon to keep him in the hunt for the title.
The Czech driver headed Skoda Fabia R5 team-mate Pontus Tidemand by 15.3sec after four days of gravel and asphalt speed tests to secure his first victory after three consecutive second place finishes.
Tidemand led during Friday’s muddy opening but Kopecky took charge once the rally switched to his favoured asphalt roads. He built up a comfortable lead before a puncture threatened to derail his weekend, allowing Tidemand to close to within five seconds.
Kopecký quickly restored his advantage and measured his pace through Sunday’s final leg as he and Tidemand shared two stage wins each.
“This win at Rally Spain is worth its weight in gold. After three second-place finishes in a row in WRC 2, it was about time I got a win,” said Kopecký.
Hungary’s Frigyes Turan was almost 15 minutes back in third in a Ford Fiesta R5 with Jim Van Den Heuvel fourth in a Mitsubishi Lancer.
Teemu Suninen’s title hopes took a setback with turbo troubles in the opening leg. The Finn recovered to fifth and heads to his final scoring opportunity in Great Britain later this month still in contention for the crown in second place. Ole Christian Veiby completed the top six.
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