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Pontus Tidemand gives ŠKODA Motorsport the first win of the season in the WRC 2

Rally Portugal 6572The speedy Swedes Pontus Tidemand/Jonas Andersson passed the ultimate endurance test at the Rally Portugal and gave ŠKODA Motorsport their first win of the season in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2). Despite two damaged tyres on the 368 classified kilometres, the works duo got an emphatic win. ŠKODA Motorsport’s second start of the season in the WRC 2 was a triumph for the ŠKODA Fabia R5: Behind Tidemand/Andersson, the customer team Nicolás Fuchs/Fernando Mussano (PE/PE) clinched a one-two result for the ŠKODA brand.

“This gravel rally in Portugal really took everything out of man and machine. Pontus Tidemand and Jonas Andersson weren’t thrown off course by the minor setbacks and showed a very strong performance in the face of fierce rivals. My congratulations go to the entire ŠKODA Motorsport team, who did a fantastic job. This is a great success for the ŠKODA brand,” said Michal Hrabánek.

Exactly one year after the ŠKODA Fabia R5 made its WRC debut at the Rally Portugal, the ŠKODA Motorsport Director was able to enjoy another spectacular success for the new rally car: “Of the top ten drivers in the WRC 2, seven were in a ŠKODA Fabia R5. The Rally Portugal proved that we have developed a fast and reliable car. And our customers also benefit from this. These successes are what motivate us to keep working hard.”

This was exactly the attitude that Pontus Tidemand displayed at the Rally Portugal on the gravel tracks riddled with sharp stones. A best time on the first stage on Thursday saw the Asia-Pacific champion take the lead in the WRC 2. However, the 25-year-old suffered tyre damage on both Friday and Saturday, and despite lightning-fast tyre changes, temporarily lost the lead to fellow ŠKODA driver Nicolás Fuchs, but fought his way back to the top impressively with phenomenal times. Then Tidemand claimed his second win for ŠKODA Motorsport in the WRC 2 in front of tens of thousands of delighted spectators on the legendary Fafe stage on Sunday. The Swede was also victorious at the Rally Spain last year.

“What a crazy rally! We are delighted with this hard-fought win after fantastic duels with our fellow ŠKODA drivers. Thanks go to the entire team, who once ageing gave us a great car to work with,” said Tidemand. After second place at the home rally in Sweden in February, the fair-haired racing driver finished on the winners’ podium for the second time on his second start in the WRC 2 this year.

In the overall standings for the season in the WRC 2, with 43 points, Tidemand moved up into third place behind Britain’s Elfyn Evans (62), who failed to pick up points in Portugal after a crash, and Nicolás Fuchs (55). The man from Peru won the Rally Argentina, and before that, Finland’s Teemu Suninen was victorious at the Rally Mexico – the ŠKODA Motorsport works team did not compete in either of these rallies. Including Tidemand’s triumph in Portugal, this means that each of the last three WRC 2 rallies have been won in a ŠKODA Fabia R5.

The second ŠKODA works team of Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler (CZ/CZ) also delivered an aggressive, strong performance in Portugal. After two damaged tyres on Friday, the experienced rally drivers restarted the race at the weekend with the burden of a 14-minute penalty, and after a spectacular pursuit, ended up finishing in tenth place to pick up a point for the overall WRC 2 standings. “We got the best-possible result after our misfortune with the tyres and now need to look to the future,” said Kopecký.

This Friday and Saturday, the Czechs and the winning duo Tidemand/Andersson will contest the Rally Český Krumlov in the Czech Rally Championship (MČR). Then from 9 to 12 June, the Rally Sardinia is the next WRC 2 task. In addition to Kopecký/Dresler, the third works duo of Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (FIN/FIN) will represent ŠKODA Motorsport.

Final standings Rally Portugal (WRC 2):

1. Tidemand/Andersson (S/S) ŠKODA Fabia R5 4:10:46.2 hrs.

2. Fuchs/Mussano (PE/PE) ŠKODA Fabia R5 + 1:28.8 min.

3. Aasen/Gulbæk (N/N) Ford Fiesta R5 + 3:19.7 min.

4. Pedder/Moscatt (AUS/AUS) ŠKODA Fabia R5 + 3:19.9 min.

5. Campos/Magalhães (P/P) ŠKODA Fabia R5 + 4:06.8 min.

6. de Mevius/Jalet (B/B) ŠKODA Fabia R5 + 6:11.6 min.

10. Kopecký/Pavel Dresler (CZ/CZ) ŠKODA Fabia R5 + 15:36.0 min.

Press release ŠKODA Motorsport


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