Illustrative photo – 50th Rally Český Krumlov, race of the championship of the Czech Republic in automobile competitions, May 19, 2023, Besednice-Malče. On the picture, Jan Kopecký with Jan Hloušek.
Hustopeče (Břeclavsko) – The reigning Czech champion Jan Kopecký will be aiming for the ninth triumph in the 18-year history of the competition at the upcoming Hustopeče Rally. Václav Pech, who has won the popular rally between South Moravian vineyards four times, will be the main rival of the leader of the domestic championship standings.
“Hustopeče has been a home business for our team for the third year and is thus a very unique competition for us. We feel the support of not only our fans, but also everyone around us,” said Kopecký in a press release, whose main partner is Agrotec. “The whole rally town is really alive and the great atmosphere is usually helped by the very sunny weather and the compact format of the entire competition,” said the forty-one-year-old driver, who is aiming for his tenth jubilee Czech title.
After three rallies, MČR has a lead of 68 points over second-placed Aleš Jirásek. The third is Martin Vlček. The results of Pecha, who starts with a car in the WRC category, are not counted in the championship. The long-standing Kopecky Sok won both the Wallachian Rally and the Šumava Klatovy Rally this year.
Even now, the fans are looking forward to the battle between Kopecky and Pech, who in the past two years in Hustopeče were only six seconds apart at the finish line. Pech won in 2021, Kopecký enjoyed the triumph last year.
“To be honest, I can't really explain the small differences myself. The erzeta on the service roads between the vineyards are much more dusty and slippery than the classic roads, and there are also gravel sections. Driving here requires much more improvisation than elsewhere, and there is a risk of rider error much closer,” said Pech, who is looking forward to another exciting fight. “I don't want to shout it out, but I hope it will be waiting for us again,” he wished.
Just like in mid-May, Filip Mareš and Erik Cais will be missing from the start at Rally Český Krumlov, who prefer international starts this year. Both drivers will present themselves at the Liepaja Rally in Latvia at the weekend, which is part of the European Championships.
The Hustopeč Rally will start on Friday afternoon, in the first stage the crews will face six special stages and the finish line will be after 11 p.m. There are six more measured sections on the program on Saturday. The winning crew will be decorated after 2:00 p.m.
Current order of the MČR: 1. Kopecký (Škoda Fabia RS Rally2) 168, 2. Jirásek (Škoda Fabia R5) 100, 3. Vlček (Hyundai i20 R5) 84, 4. Březík (Škoda Fabia R5) 80, 5. Mareš (Škoda Fabia RS Rally2) 72, 6. Trojan (Skoda Fabia R5) 68.