The winner of the 2011 Intercontinental Rally Challenge (IRC) is Andreas Mikkelsen of Skoda UK Motorsports. Driving a Fabia Super 2000 prepared by Skoda Motorsport (factory team), Mikkelsen comfortably won the season’s last rally in Cyprus to make his dream of winning the Championship title come true. Jan Kopecky of Skoda Motorsport came second in Cyprus to finish second overall, thus becoming the IRC Vice-Champion for the third consecutive year. The third best driver of this year’s IRC series is the 2010 IRC Champion and 2011 SWRC Champion Juho Hanninen. Skoda’s achievements this season decorate the celebrations of 110 years of the brand’s motorsport efforts.
image – Skoda Fabia Super 2011
With a mix of surfaces, five candidates for the title of whom four in Fabia Super 2000s and a double portion of points for grabs, the Cyprus Rally, the last event of this year’s IRC Championship, was the real climax of this season. Two of the candidates for victory dropped out in the first stage (Hanninen in a Fabia due to a crash and Neuville in a Peugeot due to technical problems), and so it was clear before the start of the final leg on Saturday that the Championship title would be snatched by Mikkelsen, Kopecky or Loix (all in Fabia Super 2000s).
Topping the standings after Day 1, Andreas Mikkelsen made perfect use of his lead today to win his second rally of this season as well as the whole series. Jan Kopecky of Skoda Motorsport (factory team) came second in Cyprus to finish second overall and the third best driver of this year’s IRC series is his teammate Juho Hanninen, which means that Fabia Super 2000s have won the first three places.
Skoda has won eight rallies of eleven in total in this year’s IRC Championship – Hanninen has won three (Canary Islands, the Ukraine, the Azores), Kopecky two (the Czech Republic, Hungary), Mikkelsen two (Scotland, Cyprus) and Loix one (Belgium).
For the first time ever, Skoda Motorsport will appear in the Race of Champions this year. Seen as the climax of the motorsport season, the event takes place in Dusseldorf, Germany over the first weekend in December (3-4 Dec).
2011 IRC final standings – Drivers category:
1. Mikkelsen – 153.5 points
2. Kopecky – 152 points
3. Hannnien – 125 points
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