45th Rally Bohemia 2018 in the Rear View Mirror
The jubilee 45th Rally Bohemia 2018 is already the past. So let us look at this year Rally Bohemia with a distance of a wider view of statistics it has brought.
We can hardly start with something else than a recap of the records from this competition that have been improved by the home team ŠKODA Motorsport for a couple of past years:
- Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler in Mladá Boleslav, similarly to the past years, have confirmed the win of Czech Rally champions titles, the fourth in a row. Concerning Jan Kopecký, this has been his sixth title, Pavel Dresler has won his fifth. So Jan Kopecký is only falling by one Czech title behind the seven-multiple champion Václav Pech.
- ŠKODA Motorsport team has been winning at Rally Bohemia continuously since 2009, namely six times in a row (until 2014 Škoda Fabia S2000, then Škoda Fabia R5).
Within the first twenty of the overall order, there have been 13 cars of Škoda brand this year. It is not only Škoda cars which Rally Bohemia is convenient for but it traditionally also suits Václav Pech and Petr Uhel, namely regardless of the car they are starting in. During the past six years they appeared on the silver podium stage at “bohemka” five times while the losses on Jan Kopecký were as follows: 2018 (Ford Fiesta R5) 37.6 seconds; 2017 (Ford Fiesta R5) 1 minute 9 seconds; 2016 (Porsche 997 GT3) 1:00 minute, 2015 (Mini Cooper S2000 1.6T) 51 seconds, 2013 (Mini Cooper S2000 1.6T) 26.4 seconds.
This year Rally Bohemia was characterized by very small distances in the first ten of the overall order. It is best illustrated by the fact that after the first Leg (78 km SS) there was only a 30-second distance between the 3rd – 8th places in order.
In the finish after 153 km SS the difference between 3rd – 9th in order was only 1 minute and 5 seconds.
The competition was dramatic till the last metres because on the last SS 15 Staroměstská II. a change of the order on 3rd – 8th places occured (without any crew drop-out).
Number of SS won: J. Kopecký – 11×; V. Pech jun. – 1×, Š. Vojtěch – 1×, O. C. Veiby – 1×.
The following results deserve a special attention:
– O. C. Veiby/S. R. Skjaermoen who during the 2nd leg worked their way from 6th place up to 3rd thanks to escalating pace.
– Vojtěch Štajf/Marcela Ehlová who definitely performed their best drive of this season in the Czech Republic for the whole competition, and who placed the 4th overall and 3rd within Czech Rally Championship, despite getting into a skid during the last SS Staroměstská.
– Jindřich Štolfa/Miroslav Krčmář, who kept the overall 2nd place in Rally Bohemia Historic for most of the competition course, and unexpectedly won after the withdrawal of Jan Frei.
The title of “luckless fellows of the competition“ could be awarded to:
– Jan Černý/Petr Černohorský, who kept the 3rd place for the whole time, however, finally dropped down to 6th place after a half-axle broken only 1.5 km before the finish of the last SS.
– Jan Frei/Petr Šlegl, who with a distance of more than 2 minutes headed the overall order of Rally Bohemia Historic, but had to withdraw from the last but one SS due to a defect of the gear box. It was just that bad luck that helped Peugeot 205 GTI model achieve unprecedented success within Czech Historic Sporting Rally Championship when the crews Vratislav Hýbner/Jiří Jonášek and Roman Mihulka/Jiří Soumar occupied overall 2nd and 3rd places in Rally Bohemia Historic.
After five years the super-SS at the racing arena Autodrom Sosnová near Česká Lípa returned to the Rally Bohemia schedule, where all crews introduced themselves to crowded spectator stands right twice within SS 8+9 Gladiator. Here pairs of the crews fought in direct “gladiator battles” controlled by TV cameras. The record of the direct broadcast from Global Assistance Racing Arena on channel ČT Sport can be seen here: http://www.ceskatelevize.cz/porady/10207469169-svet-motoru/218471291263033-rally-bohemia-mlada-boleslav/
That SS also brought a couple of interesting things. The first passage was won by Václav Pech whose mileage travelled here is much higher than that of Jan Kopecký. However, a bigger surprise was the victory of Štěpán Vojtěch in the second passage who unexpectedly won the special stage within Czech Rally Championship after 12 years. The competition return to Sosnová and the possibility of presenting themselves to numerous spectators in the well-arranged area of the racing arena was positively evaluated by the racers. These fights in within the Czech Rally Championship in Sosnová had been preceded by a big event for the fans of the Czech rally history. Historically for the first time, during the exhibition drive of Rally Legend the both unique prototypes of Škoda 200 RS could be seen on one place there. This model is inseparably connected with the beginning of Rally Bohemia in the years 1974 and 1975.
This year, Rally Bohemia has also started to look at the future when the premiere ECO Energy Rally Bohemia was organized, and included in the world cup FIA Electric and New Energy Championship. After the competition start, Prolog in the form of an acceleration test for 200 metres followed. The test compared acceleration of cars from different millennia and of different drive types. We have also received the answer to the question whether Škoda Fabia R5 car driven by the fourteen-multiple Austrian champion Raimund Baumschlager is faster than Tesla Model S driven by acting winner of the world cup FIA E-Rally Regularity Cup Walter Fuzzy Kofler. The test results can be found here: http://www.rallybohemia.cz/2018/rs12/clanky_soubory/104/testakcelerace-vysledky.pdf
Within FIA Electric and New Energy Championship, three leading crews of this discipline arrived at Mladá Boleslav to fight for points in this unofficial E-Rally regularity world championship. It was them who proved their experience and precision from the very beginning. After the first leg, which included six regularity tests, they placed on podium stages in the following order: Javier Molto/Loren Serrano (ESP, BMW i3), Walter Fuzzy Kofler/Franco Gaioni (ITA, Tesla Model S 90D) and Didier Malga/Anne Bonnel (FRA, Renault Zoe). Czech crews did not get a chance for podium stages. However, immediately during the first test of the second leg on Sunday morning the currently leading Molto/Serrano made bad mistakes and they were punished with astronomical 2914 points. That sent them back to the seventh place where they remained until the finish. At the same time, the double champions of France Malga/Bonnel went on the offence during the first two tests of regularity, when they won both at Klokočka and Cetno, which got them to the head just before the Italian pair Kofler/Gaioni. The short test Staroměstská did not make any change to that so to the great delight of the winners, the premiere victory of ECO Energy Rally Bohemia travelled to France. The last test of regularity in the streets of Mladá Boleslav was won by the Czechs Lukáš Hataš/Tereza Němcová in Tesla Model X, and thus confirmed their third place in the world classification on the finish ramp. In addition to the FIA E-Rally Regularity Cup there was also a competition within Czech Trophy in ECO Rally. It was an opportunity for cars with hybrid drive or with CNG drive. And the crew of SEAT Ibiza for CNG, Michal Žďárský/Milan Nedorost, did not give a chance in the Czech Trophy to anybody, and won in the start-finish style.
In closing, here is some statistical hindsight of this year Rally Bohemia:
- Total 128 crews were taken over successfully in Rally Bohemia 2018 (Czech Rally Championship 73, Czech Historic Sporting Rally Championship 28, Legends 14, ECO Energy (FIA ENEC+Czech Trophy) 13.)
- The competition was completed by 90 crews (Czech Rally Championship 48, Czech Historic Sporting Rally Championship 16, Legends 13, ECO Energy all 13), which is 70% crews as against those taken over.
- The most crews, seven, withdrew from SS 3 Radostín I. SS 5 Chloudov II. follows – five withdrawals, and SS7 Ještěd I + SS 14 Cetno II. – both four withdrawals.
- Rally Bohemia measured total 547.07 km, of which 158.65 km were special stages. From that 5.16 km were cancelled (SS 12 Staroměstská I.) for Czech Rally Championship, the particapants of other parts of the competition experienced that SS. For the last third of the starting field of Czech Rally Championship and Czech Historic Sporting Rally Championship 10.8km of SS (SS 10 Lobeč I) cancelled. In both cases, the reason was oil spill on the track from the preceding car.
- Total 134 Media workers (journalists, photographers, cameramen – including television crews) accredited for this year Rally Bohemia.
- Based on the police estimation Rally Bohemia 2018 was visited by total 60 – 80 thousand spectators.
All information on this year Rally Bohemia can be found at the official competition web site www.rallybohemia.cz, and on the social networks. The traditional general partner of the competition is the car company ŠKODA AUTO. The event is held under the financial support of Central Bohemia region.
At social networks you can find Rally Bohemia at the following accounts: