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Rallies of 2017 overview

25-27 August

Barum Czech Rally Zlín

FIA EUROPEAN RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND 6 OF 8
FIA ERC JUNIOR UNDER U27/ERC JUNIOR UNDER U28 ROUND 4 OF 6

THE RALLY IN 100 WORDS
Ever-present in the ERC since the championship’s streamlining in 2004, Barum Czech Rally Zlín is based in the South Moravian university city, 300 kilometres south of the Czech capital Prague. It is a Tarmac test like no other due to the bumpy and sometimes broken nature of the road surface. To add to the challenge, several stages feature high-speed blasts through forests and intermittent showers are always possible. While the weather might be hard to predict, huge numbers of fans follow the action, especially on the opening night-time Zlín superspecial stage. The rally has a long-term ERC contract in place.

FAST FACTS
1:
Barum Czech Rally Zlín first ran as an amateur event in 1971 with local driver Jan Halmazňa winning a ŠKODA 1100 MB. It joined the ERC in 1984 and has been part of the championship ever since.
2: With six wins to his name, Jan Kopecký is the event’s most successful driver.
3: Event sponsor Continental Barum’s giant tyre factory and distribution centre in nearby Otrokovice hosts the rally’s permanent service park.
4: Zlín’s transformation from small town to big city can be credited to Tomáš Bat’a, who founded a shoe factory there in 1894. Indeed, Bat’a’s old office – located in a moving elevator – is preserved in the Regional Authority Building 21.
5: Zlín was renamed Gottwaldov from 1949-1990 after the first communist president of Czechoslovakia, Klement Gottwald.

WHAT HAPPENED IN 2016?
Jan Kopecký won his home round of the FIA European Rally Championship, Barum Czech Rally Zlín, for the fifth time after a flat-out duel with Alexey Lukyanuk all the way until a dramatic final stage. The 2013 European champion Kopecký led after all but one of the 15 stages on the asphalt classic in his factory ŠKODA Fabia R5, but never had a margin of more than nine seconds over rapid Russian Lukyanuk, driving the event for just the second time in his Ford Fiesta R5. Lukyanuk briefly took the lead on Saturday evening and on Sunday he won both runs over the Pindula test to twice slash his deficit to Kopecký. On the second occasion this set up a final-stage decider between the pair, now separated by just 4.6 seconds. However, Lukyanuk’s hopes ended when he tagged a water barrel on the inside of the corner, breaking a steering arm and losing over 10 minutes. Defending champion and points leader Kajetan Kajetanowicz was forced to retire from the opening leg with engine problems, but restarted on Sunday. French asphalt ace Bryan Bouffier began the final morning in third, but a slow couple of stages dropped him behind Tomáš Kostka, only for Kostka to suffer a broken differential on the day’s third stage, robbing him of front-wheel drive and around 40 seconds. Bouffier took a two-second margin over Jaromír Tarabus into mid-day service but was unable to go any further, with his Gemini Clinic Rally Team Citroën DS3 R5 dropping to three cylinders. Local resident Tarabus then lost his hopes of a dream home podium when he crashed on the next stage. This promoted Jan Cerný to third, but when he got held up behind another car on the penultimate stage, it looked as if his podium chances had gone too, with Kostka moving ahead. However, Lukyanuk’s misfortune allowed both to celebrate top three finishes. Czech drivers filled the top five places in the end, with Pavel Valoušek recovering from a time-consuming puncture on Saturday to take fourth. ERC debutant Fabian Kreim lost out to Valoušek when he suffered a puncture of his own on the penultimate stage, but the German still completed a sweep of the top five for ŠKODA, which was supporting the 23-year-old’s participation in its home event. Chris Ingram took a well-timed first win of the ERC Junior season to strengthen his position at the top of the standings, while Giacomo Scattolon secured his second ERC2 win of the campaign.

EVENT ESSENTIALS (all timings local and subject to change)
Starts:
16h00, Friday 25 August, Námĕstí Míru/City Square (Zlín)
Finishes: 16h25, Sunday 27 August, Námĕstí Míru/City Square (Zlín)
Headquarters: AK Barum, Hornoomlýnská 3715, 76001 Zlín
Service park: Continental Barum factory, Otrokovice​
ERC appearances (since 2004 restructuring): 13 (2012-16)
Stages: 15
Stage distance: 204.25 kilometres (109.13kms leg one, 95.12kms leg two)
Liaison: 483.32 kilometres
Total: 687.57 kilometres
Surface: Asphalt

MEDIA INFORMATION (all timings local and subject to change)
Media Accreditation Centre location:
Tomáš Bat’a University Centre, nám. T.G.M. 5555, 76001, Zlín
Opening times: 08h00-23h00, 24 August; 07h00-24h00, 25 August; 08h00-23h00, 26 August; 08h00-20h00, 27 August
Media Centre location: Tomáš Bat’a University Centre Zlín
Opening times: 08h00-23h00, 24 August; 07h00-24h00, 25 August; 08h00-23h00, 26 August; 08h00-20h00, 27 August
Satellite Press Centre location: Foyer AB Continental Barum, Otrokovice
Satellite Press Centre opening times: 06h30-20h00, 25 August; 07h00-24h00, 26 August; 08h00-18h00, 27 August

MEDIA EVENTS (all timings local and subject to change)
THURSDAY 24 AUGUST
Pre-event safety briefing (all photographers, TV crews must attend to obtain photo tabards)
: Time to be confirmed, Media Centre, Zlín
FRIDAY 25 AUGUST
Free Practice (for priority drivers):
07h30-09h10, Morava (4.55 kilometres)
Qualifying Stage (for priority drivers): 09h15, Morava (4.55 kilometres)
Shakedown (for non-priority drivers): 10h15-13h00, Morava (4.55 kilometres)
Pre-rally press conference: 14h30, Regional Authority Building 21, třída T. Bati 21, 76190 Zlín
Start order selection: 15h30, Námĕstí Míru/City Square (Zlín)
FIA Action for Road Safety photograph: 15h45, Námĕstí Míru/City Square (Zlín)
Ceremonial start: From 16h00, Námĕstí Míru/City Square (Zlín)
SUNDAY 27 AUGUST
Finish podium:
16h25, Námĕstí Míru/City Square (Zlín)
Post-rally press conference: 17h15, Zlaté Jablko Shopping Centre, Námĕstí Míru/City Square (Zlín)

Television coverage: Daily highlights, rally review and Inside ERC magazine show on Eurosport and Eurosport Player, plus additional coverage on other networks
ERC Radio: Live throughout the event at FIAERC.com or through the ERC app
Results, standings, live timing and text commentary: www.fiaerc.com
Rights-free images: Register at http://media.fiaerc.com
ERC press officer: Richard Rodgers, media@fiaerc.com, +447503871575
Event press officer: Roman Ordelt, zlinpressmedia@seznam.cz, +420722623848

PREVIOUS WINNERS
2016:
 Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler (ŠKODA Fabia R5)
2015: Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler (ŠKODA Fabia R5)
2014: Václav Pech Jr/Petr Uhel (MINI John Cooper Works S2000)
2013: Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler (ŠKODA Fabia S2000)
2012: Juho Hänninen/Mikko Markkula (ŠKODA Fabia S2000)