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08/22/2016 Esapekka and Janne celebrates victory!

WRC Rally Germany

Just as they did three weeks ago at the Rally Finland, the ŠKODA works duo Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (FIN/FIN) in the Fabia R5 brought home a commanding win in the WRC 2 category. Their team-mates at ŠKODA Motorsport, Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler (CZ/CZ), crossed the finish line in second place. Lappi/Ferm clocked fastest time on six stages.

Victory in the WRC 2 class was decided on Saturday, the longest day at the Rally Germany. While the rally was characterised by twisting asphalt tracks through the Mosel vineyards around the rally centre of Trier on Friday and Sunday, Saturday was all about the legendary “Panzerplatte”. This is a section of track on the military training ground of Baumholder, which is characterised by medium-speed tracks on a mix of asphalt roads and slabs of concrete. On this stage, a clever tyre selection and a controlled offensive in changeable weather conditions saw Lappi quickly take the lead and go on to pull away from his rivals with several best times.

"I am over the moon," said Lappi after his win at the Rally Germany. "To be honest, I wasn’t really expecting to be driving for the win here. But apart from a few slips on Friday morning, we made it through the stages flawlessly and quickly. Saturday in particular was perhaps the best day of my WRC 2 career on dirty asphalt to date. The FABIA R5 worked perfectly and we also made the correct tyre selection. We had a lot of grip. Thanks go to Skoda team!"

Victory at the Rally Germany sees Lappi move up into third place in the WRC 2 overall standings (82 points). ŠKODA Motorsport also took the lead in the team standings(125 points).

1. Lappi/Ferm (FIN/FIN) Skoda Fabia R5
2. Kopecký/Dresler (CZ/CZ) Skoda Fabia R5
3. Kremer/Winklhofer (D/D) Skoda Fabia R5
4. de Mevius/Jalet (B/B) Skoda Fabia R5
5. Loubet/Landais (F/F) Citroen DS3 R5

Skoda Motorsport

08/01/2016 Victory at festival of speed in Finland

Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm repeat last year’s victorious performance at their home rally in Finland.

The 25-year-old Finn won the first seven special stages to put some distance between himself and the chasing pack early on. Lappi cemented his lead with five stage best times during the remainder of the rally, including a win on the legendary "Ouninpohja" stage at full speed over countless crests. "I am absolutely delighted,"said Lappi.

"It was a perfect weekend for us. It is something special to be able to celebrate our first win of the season at our home rally, especially as we led from start to finish. The FABIA R5 performed perfectly. On these wonderful stages, it was great fun to drive such a well-balanced car on the limit. I feel really sorry for Pontus and Jonas. They pushed and pushed on Sunday to try and claim the one-two for ŠKODA Motorsport. Sadly, they were not rewarded for the risks they took." The next world championship rally is scheduled to take place in less than three weeks. The hunt for world championship points will take place in the vineyards around Trier when the Rally Germany takes place from 18th to 21th August.

Rally Finland result top3 (WRC 2):

1. Lappi/Ferm (FIN/FIN) SKODA FABIA R5 2h 42m 59,6s
2. Suninen/Markkula (FIN/FIN) SKODA FABIA R5 +41.7s
3. Evans/Parry (GB/GB) Ford Fiesta R5 +2m 1.8s Skoda Motorsport

Photo: A. Lavadinho / atworld