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Dreaming no more: Jan Kopecký wins European Rally Championship

Ref:A0691
Published: 1 October 2013



Skoda Motorsport driver Jan Kopecký says that becoming the 2013 FIA European Rally Champion is 'a dream come true', after he clinched the title with victory on Rally Croatia.


Kopecký and co-driver Pavel Dresler made a risk-free start in Croatia, before showing their class on the slippery asphalt roads along the Adriatic coast and moving into the lead in their factory Skoda Fabia S2000.


The 31-year old driver held onto the lead until the end of the 14 stage, 148 mile (239km) Porec-based event, to score his sixth ERC victory of the season and his eighth podium finish from eight starts.


With two rounds of this year's series remaining, Kopecký becomes the first Czech driver to win the ERC title.


It''s been a fantastic season for Kopecký, with a highlight being his home win on the Barum Czech Rally Zlín. He also triumphed on the ERC rallies in Austria, on the Canary Islands, in the Azores, in Romania and now in Croatia - winning on all surfaces, from snow and ice to gravel and asphalt.


"Winning the title is a dream come true for me," explained Jan Kopecký. "I would like to thank Skoda Motorsport and our fantastic team for the amazing work they have done this season. We are European champions and also won Rally Croatia. It does not get any better than this."


Pavel Dresler: "It is the icing on the cake at the end of a fantastic season in the Skoda, and the highlight of my career." 


Michal Hrabánek, Skoda Motorsport Team Principal, said: "With the ERC title for Jan Kopecký and Pavel Dresler, we have claimed another major success for the Skoda Fabia Super 2000 project. Our entire team has worked hard all year to achieve this goal. This is a wonderful reward for everyone involved. We have once again proven the quality of the Fabia Super 2000 and the technical expertise of ŠKODA."


Having secured the first international title of his rally career (having narrowly missed out by finishing IRC runner-up in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012) Kopecký is now aiming to retain his Czech Rally Championship title.


Having won all four of the Czech rounds he''s started, Kopecký''s home national title hopes will be decided on the Rally Príbram (October 5 to 6).


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