Rally Guanajuato Mexico

03. - 06.03.2016

7.
place

Vodafone Rally de Portugal

19. - 22.05.2016

8.
place

Rally d'Italia Sardegna

09. - 12.06.2016

Very good performance and 6th place for Martin Prokop on Sardinia

Martin Prokop of Jipocar Czech National Team had very good Rally Sardinia and despite problems with his painful back, he managed to finish valuable sixth in the demanding and rough conditions of the Mediterranean island and among tough competition of factory team drivers.

Martin with his co-driver Jan Tománek had fantastic Friday morning section, they started focused and in a very good pace what ment 2nd, 4th and 6th best times in individual special stages. After the Friday Leg, the Czech crew was 7th overall with just a small gap from Elfyn Evans on 6th. On Saturday Martin tried hard to continue in the Friday scenario but he wasn´t able to find the same pace and speed he showed on Friday. The excess effort resulted in few big moments but luckily without considerable damage of his Fiesta WRC. Also major problems with his back made the whole day in rally car quite painful as the longest special stage Monte Lerno with nearly 60 kms was twice to go on that day. Despite all the pitfalls of the Saturday Leg, Martin was not only holding his position in overall classification but also moved up to 6th after driving mistake and related technical problems experienced by Robert Kubica. On the last day of the rally only shorter programme of four special stages was ahead of the drivers and because the gaps in the overall classification were quite big, the day has brought no drama and changes in top 10. Everybody tried to keep himself on the safe side and to bring the car safely to the finish ramp. The same was true also for Martin with Jan and they finished the Rally Sardinia on fantastic 6th position. Not only the overall result but mainly the times achieved on Friday and the total gap of one second per kilometre back from the winner Ogier is significant step forward for Martin and big motivation for the whole team for the next races of the season.

Martin Prokop comments: “We had an excellent start into the rally but unfortunately I wasn´t able to fight directly with Evans later because of my problems with back. This would have been very nice battle but I was only passively holding my actual position. Certainly the performance from Friday Leg is a good sign or us that we are able to put all the key factors together – the best possible set-up of the car with my driving style and I am able to perform my very best in actual moment. Putting all these components together was quite difficult for us in the past. I changed and improved my driving style in slow corners and before the Rally Poland we must work on the fast ones. Also my pacenotes are now easier and more effective. Well I consider this rally being a turning point for me and the whole team. I am also happy that many fans from Czech Republic saw us on the road and track, thanks for the support and Czech flags everywhere!”

Manager Quirin Müller: “After some little bit frustrating results and performances in the past, we were now able to get very close to the speed of the fastest factory drivers. For sure not during the whole rally what still is a way to go for us and was also caused by Martin´s back injury, but we have got more valuable information and and after analysing them we will be able to repeat and improve in the future. On Friday Martin proved to himself, to the whole team and fans that he can be the same fast as the very best drivers and of course also to finish the special stages safely at the same time. Now it is an objective for the whole team to repeat such results and to be able to perform like that during the whole rally.”

Final standings of Rally d´Italia Sardegna 2014:
1. Ogier S. / Ingrassia J. (Volkswagen Polo R WRC) 4:02:37,8 
2. Østberg M. / Andersson J. (Citroën DS3 WRC) +1:23,1 
3. Latvala J. / Anttila M. (Volkswagen Polo R WRC) +1:32,8 
4. Mikkelsen A. / Fløene O. (Volkswagen Polo R WRC) +2:39,3 
5. Evans E. / Barritt D. (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +4:41.8 
6. Prokop M. / Tománek J. (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +6:05,3 
7. Solberg H. / Minor I. (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +7:15,8 
8. Kubica R. / Szczepaniak M. (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +12:19,0 
9.Bertelli L. / Dotta M. (Ford Fiesta RRC) +15:22,1 
10. Al Qassimi K. / Patterson Ch. (Citroën DS3 WRC) +16:49,3

In the current overall standings of the World Rally Championships Martin Prokop remains 9th and the same position belongs to Jan Tománek in Co-drivers´ classification. Jipocar Czech National Team is 6th overall in the Teams´ standings.

For the latest news please check Facebook profile “Martin Prokop Official” and Twitter @ProkopOfficial.

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