Skoda UK Motorsport has been declared winner of the 2011 Intercontinental Rally Challenge (IRC). Andreas Mikkelsen a Fabia Super 2000 from the Skoda Motorsport factory team, won the last rally at Cyprus. Andreas Mikkelsen goes home as championship winner, while Jan Kopecký finished second.
For Jan, this is his third consecutive IRC Vice-Champion win. Juho Hänninen who won the 2010 IRC Champion and 2011 SWRC Champion, came in third at the 2011 IRC series. Four of the top five contenders for the top honor were in Fabia Super 2000s.
With Hänninen involved in a crash, and tech problems in Neuville’s Peugeot, it was left to the last three standing, i.e., Mikkelsen, Kopecký, and Loix in their Fabia Super 2000s. As expected the Fabia Super 2000s completed the race at top spots. Skoda went on to win 8 of 11 rally’s at the 2011 IRC Championship. Skoda Motorsport will now participate in the Race of Champions to be held on 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.”