Fabia Super 2000s bag all three top honors at 2011 IRC Championship
Andreas Mikkelsen of Skoda UK Motorsport is the winner of 2011 Intercontinental Rally Challenge (IRC). The driver was in a Fabia Super 2000 prepared by the ŠKODA Motorsport factory team, and went on to win the last rally at Cyprus. While Andreas Mikkelsen bagged the championship title, Jan Kopecký of ŠKODA Motorsport finished 2nd overall. This is the 3rd consecutive time Jan has bagged the IRC Vice-Champion. 2010 IRC Champion and 2011 SWRC Champion Juho Hänninen, came in third at the IRC series.
With 5 drivers for the title, four were in Fabia Super 2000s. Hänninen’s crash, Neuville’s Peugeot technical problems saw the number of competitors for top spot reduced to three, Mikkelsen, Kopecký, and/or Loix in Fabia Super 2000s. At the end of day, it was the Fabia Super 2000s that coveted top three spots.
Of eleven rally’s at the 2011 IRC Championship, ŠKODA won 8. The winners are as follows. Three time winner Juho Hänninen won at Canary Islands, the Ukraine, and Azores. Kopecky got two, at the Czech Republic, and Hungary. Mikkelsen got top honors at Scotland, and the last rally at Cyprus, while Loix picked up his lone trophy at Belgium. This year will see Skoda Motorsport be part of the Race of Champions. The motorsport event is scheduled for 3rd-4th December 2011 at Düsseldorf, Germany.
Andreas Mikkelsen had this to say. “I can’t believe it, it’s a fantastic feeling and I am full of emotions. We’ve had a great year and I wish to thank all of the members of our team. Special thanks go to ŠKODA, we’ve had a fantastic car.”
Jan Kopecký had this to say. “We knew we had to win in Cyprus to win the Championship title, but Andreas was simply too fast here. The car has been fantastic throughout the year and I want to thank the whole team for preparing everything excellently.”
Juho Hänninen had this to say. “Although we haven’t been appearing regularly in the IRC this season, we had a good chance to win the title in the end. Considering the double portion of points available here in Cyprus, my stupid mistake really had a major impact on the final standings. Anyway, I am pleased that we have helped the team win the Manufacturers Cup”.
Michal Hrabánek, Head of the Skoda Motorsport team had this to say. “Congratulations to Andreas on winning the Championship, we are pleased that the winner is a Fabia Super 2000 driver, just like last year. I am sure that Andreas’ prospects for the future are great. We have repeated our last year’s victory in the IRC Manufacturers Cup and our thanks for that go to all of the drivers who have contributed to this achievement. In addition, Hänninen & Markkula in a Fabia Super 2000 have won the World Championship, which means that this season has really been very successful for us. Our year’s results are in the same league with the greatest achievements made over those 110 years of our motorsport efforts. I believe we have promoted ŠKODA really excellently and showed that the importer programme produces great results even at the highest level. I wish to thank the entire team, this season has been long and tiring and the team’s professional attitude and commitment was the base for all of our achievements.”