Pontus Tidemand is preparing for the upcoming WRC events and during the weekend he participated in the Czech championship rally Rally Sumava Klatovy. After more than 150 kilometers on technically varying asphalt roads, he finished second and impressed the Czech rally fans in his SKODA Fabia R5.
It is a fact that to be well prepared is everything when it comes to getting a good result, that goes for rallying as well. That is why SKODA Motorsport wants to give Pontus Tidemand and his co-driver Jonas Andersson the best tools in order to be able to perform on top now that the most intense part of their WRC 2 season is only weeks away. In addition to tests on both gravel and asphalt, they got the chance to do the Czech event to find the rhythm as well as get the adrenaline going again – and get valuable kilometers on asphalt that might be a crucial factor in the WRC 2.
After Friday evening’s five stages, the last ones in complete darkness, Pontus was in second place, 16.4 seconds after the experienced asphalt expert Jan Kopecký. Despite that the time gap increased slightly on Saturday, Pontus was constantly right there behind him and even beat him on several stages. When the rally was completed, the time difference between them was 26 seconds, something that Pontus was pleased with.
“We had a great progression throughout the rally and it was so much fun” says Pontus. “It means a lot to get a weekend like this to kick off the season again and get back to race mode so we really appreciate the opportunity. It felt like a confidence boost to know that we could keep up with Kopecký as well as we did and that we lost less than ten seconds on him today. His driving here is just world class.”
Besides the well-deserved result, Pontus also got four stage wins on the 12 stages and, as mentioned, was only beaten by SKODA’s second works driver Jan Kopecký, who also won the national championship last year.
“All in all, this was an event we can be very happy with. I really like having Jonas in the co-driver’s seat and he does a fantastic job, just like the rest of the team. The atmosphere has been brilliant all weekend and the big spectator crowds were a big part of it. This is the feeling that we take with us now that we continue working towards next rally” says Pontus.
The thorough preparations continues over the next few weeks and then it is time for EVEN Management’s Pontus and Jonas to be back in the WRC circus and Rally Portugal on May 19 to 22.
Rally Sumava Klatovy top 5
1. Jan Kopecký 1:19:05.9
2. Pontus Tidemand +26.1
3. Pavel Valoušek +1:05.8
4. Jan Černý +1:36.4
5. Václav Pech +1:47.