Japan : Skoda Motorsport - Finish
The Škoda Motorsport World Rally Team's debut at Rally Japan saw Armin Schwarz bring the Fabia WRC 05 to the finish in 10th place.
Team mate Mikko Hirvonen had started the rally with fourth fastest time on the opening stage and had remained
within the top nine places for much of the opening day before he crashed out of the event on SS7.
Today's five stage final leg saw high drama on the leaderboard with both rally leader Petter Solberg and Gigi Galli retiring. Armin stayed clear of trouble throughout another difficult day but could not push for a higher finish.
Martin Muehlmeier, Head of Škoda Motorsport
“We didn't know what to expect when we came here. We had no previous knowledge of the event and so it was difficult for everyone. Mikko got off to a great start and we were very optimistic that we could reach the finish with a good result but he made a mistake and went off. Armin drove safely to get the car to the finish but he was never in a position to challenge for a better result. The next two events will be a different challenge because there is no time between them but at least we know more about what to expect.”
The World Rally Championship now returns to Europe for two back-to-back asphalt rallies in Corsica (October 20-23) and Spain (October 28-30) where the Škoda Motorsport World Rally Team will be represented by Armin Schwarz, Alex Bengue and Jan Kopecký.
Press release Skoda Motorsport