After two days of rally action in the northeast of France, the crew of Jipocar Czech National Team was entering the final leg of Rallye de France from the 11th place of overall classification. The big time gaps in front and to the back from Martin Prokop and Jan Tománek were not promising any changes in the leader board in case of expected standard scenario when drivers wanted to finish the rally safely.
But again proved the validity of the rule, that the rally ends up at the finish ramp. Robert Kubica crashed in the very last special stage of the whole rally and gave to Martin a belated birthday gift in form of move into top 10 and one scored Championship point.
Martin Prokop: “Compared to Saturday, when we tried to push very hard and drove on our limit, today we wanted only to control and keep our position. Moving to the evaluated position is t least a small satisfaction for me and the whole team as we worked really hard during the whole rally. The car was great with perfect set-up and tyre choice. We made no mistakes and pushed on maximum during the Saturday leg. My feeling in the car was perfect but the times were simply not good enough to fight with the best. Compared to my previous French Rallies with WRC car, this was very good performance with no objective troubles but we unfortunately still didn´t break the code of success here in France. The track was dry and very fast this year and all factory drivers were extremely motivated in the name of “let’s catch the Volkswagen guys” what was very demanding to keep with the crazy pace. It felt really like circuit racing with no reserves. Now we want to prepare perfectly for the last rallies in Spain and Wales what both are my favourite events. I am trying to take our French result positively and as a good motivation into the last two races.”
Rallye de France - Alsace 2014, final results
1. Latvala J. - Anttila M. (Volkswagen Polo R WRC) 2:38:19,1
2. Mikkelsen A. - Fløene O. (Volkswagen Polo R WRC) +44,8
3. Meeke K. - Nagle P. (Citroën DS3 WRC) +1:05,3
4. Sordo D. - Martí M. (Hyundai i20 WRC) +1:48,7
5. Hirvonen M. - Lehtinen J. (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +2:00,7
6. Evans E. - Barritt D. (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +3:00,8
7. Østberg M. / Andersson J. (Citroën DS3 WRC) +3:02,5
8. Neuville T. / Gilsoul N. (Hyundai i20 WRC) +4:08,4
9. Bouffier B. / Panseri X. (Hyundai i20 WRC) +4:12,9
10. PROKOP M. /TOMÁNEK J. (Ford Fiesta RS WRC ) +6:07,5
In the current overall standings of the World Rally Championships Martin Prokop remains 9th and Jan Tománek is 10th in the Co-drivers´ classification.
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