Hänninen and Markkula of ŠKODA Motorsport deal with disappointments at Madeira Rally

Juho Hänninen and Mikko Markkula, Finnish drivers of ŠKODA Motorsport had a disappointing start and an even more disappointing finish in their ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000 at the Madeira Rally at this year’s European Championships. The duo had to contend with an electricity defect in the last stage which dropped the team to seventh position. Despite these odds the two managed to get back into lead at the top of European Championships.

During the last stage of the race, Hänninen & Markkula were in third position. They could easily have reached a podium finish had electricity failure not struck during Leg 1 and Leg 2. This caused distress to the team but had not caused much damage to spirits as they are yet in top position in European Championships. The electric problems resulted in time loss while a further loss of 50 seconds in State 3 was caused due to double tyre defects.

Despite these difficulties which caused loss of time and distress to the two racers they continued with their standings winning nine stages in total. Bruno Magalhaes of Portugal was the final winner of the Maderia Rally while Vitor Sa of Portugal came in seconds.

News release: Brave performance by Hänninen & Markkula at Madeira Rally

› Hänninen & Markkula finished seventh in Madeira after having loads of bad luck
› The crew of ŠKODA Motosport (factory team) were fastest in nine special stages
› The Finnish drivers of the factory ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000 have reinforced their lead at the top of the European Championship standings

The Madeira Rally, the seventh event of this year’s European Championship, ended in disappointment for the championship leaders Juho Hänninen & Mikko Markkula. The Finnish drivers of ŠKODA Motorsport fought against bad luck to remain in a podium place for a long time, but an electricity defect in the last special stage sent them down to seventh in the end. Yet Hänninen & Markkula have managed to reinforce their lead at the top of the European Championship.

Hänninen & Markkula were third up until the start of the last special stage, which is why Juho Hänninen did not try to hide his disappointment: “I think we have put in a very good performance here and that we could have fought for the podium if we hadn’t had back luck in both Leg 1 and Leg 2. Obviously, we are disappointed now, it’s been a lovely event, but we have to look ahead. We have remained top of the European Championship and that’s the most important thing for the entire team”.

Hänninen & Markkula lost nearly 50 seconds in Stage 3 due to a double tyre defect. Despite this bad luck, they did not give it up and, committed to moving up the standings, won nine stages in total. The winner of the Madeira Rally is Portugal’s Bruno Magalhaes who won this event also last year, Vítor Sá (also of Portugal) came second.

The European Championship continues at the turn of August and September (31 August – 2 September) with the Barum Rally in Zlín (Czech Republic). The event is also part of the IRC Championship and the Czech Championship, and ŠKODA still has a good chance of winning all these three series.