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GP Week : Issue 25
>> WRC InSIGHT personally see these cars in action, and can compare them with the cars used on other levels of the sport. World Rally Cars are therefore more remote from normal people. Why are there so few S2000 cars currently in the World Championship, and so many elsewhere? Super 2000 cars run in the Group N category. I think one reason is that it is not easy to find big sponsors for second level competition at world level events, but running Super 2000 cars in the IRC means they are competing in its category at the top level. And when you compare the television coverage from Eurosport in the IRC with the WRC transmissions from the World Championship, you do not see much coverage on World championship events of anything other than World Rally Cars. So coverage is better at IRC level for drivers of Group N category cars. It is also not easy and it is not cheap for private teams to prepare Super 2000 cars to compete in World Championship events. How did you come to select Jan Kopecky as the driver to work with? He is, of course, a Czech driver and he is still young, and clearly his performance can become better and better. We have always had a good connection with him. And looking into the future we need to have our own driver in the team. He is gaining a lot of experience at Super 2000 level but I must say it is not the case that we are helping him compete on rallies in his Peugeot 207 S2000! It may look like it, but believe me, we do not. We gave permission for him to drive other cars because we knew that he would have enough available time certainly at the first part of the year. It was his private decision and a private agreement for him to be able to do this. People have explained the current domination in Super 2000 by Peugeot is because of their background history of World Rally Cars. Not only at WRC level, but earlier in other categories as well, so they have every type of background to help them be successful now. The 207 is a faultless car, well balanced, very good for customer competition, certainly I think the car is good. We recently had a break in our competition activity, and you will now see some new people coming into our team with experience of World Championship rallying. We co-operate very closely with Mario Fornaris, who you will remember from his days at Peugeot and then with Mitsubishi, and in addition to our own Skoda engineers we are working with other engineers who have experience with other teams. Will your experience at this time with the Super 2000 make it possible for you to enter the top level of the sport under the proposed 2010 world rally car rules? The final regulations have not been decided either for the S2000+ or the World Rally Championship itself and many car manufacturers are waiting. We only have the basic specification and the basic idea. So far, as we are concerned at this time, one must decide whether to develop the Super 2000, which we are doing, or work on Super 2000+. If you try to do both at the same time, something will get compromised. 43