ŠKODA Slovakia Motorsport: Martin Koči is the new Slovak Rally Champion
- Rally Košice: Champion Martin Koči won 11 out of 13 special stages
- ŠKODA Slovakia Motorsport: a successful premiere season
- Martin Koči / Radovan Mozner ml. won the Slovak Rally Champion title
Bratislava, October 22, 2018 – The exciting series of Slovak Republic’s 2018 Rally Championship now has a winner: Martin Koči and Radovan Mozner jr., the crew of ŠKODA Slovakia Motorsport team, with ŠKODA FABIA R5. The 44th Rally Košice, consisting of two legs, took place this weekend. The crew dominated 11 out of 13 special stages and rightfully enjoyed victory in their hometown.
„It’s fantastic! Martin’s performance throughout this season is admirable. I liked the courage, ambition and confidence with which he stepped into each of the events, where his only goal from the beginning has been to win the champion title. I admire his ability to learn from the few mistakes he made. These mistakes could have endangered the achievement of his ambitious goals, but he made sure there would be no more. I would like to congratulate Martin Koči and his co-driver Radovan Mozner. I would also like to thank the entire ŠKODA Slovakia Motorsport team for a job well done throughout the season,“ said Marek Růžička, the executive manager of ŠKODA AUTO Slovensko.
Before the start of the 44th Rally Košice there were two crews in the lead of Slovak Rally Championship ranking: Gregorz Grzyb / Boguslav Browiński from Poland and Martin Koči / Radovan Mozner jr. from Slovakia. Both crews had 165 points at the time and could score another 60 points during the event in Košice. Everyone was expecting a heavy battle of the two crews, likes of which we they are used to from previous seasons where the time differences could be counted in fractions of a second. Everything turned out differently in the end. On the first day of the event the Polish driver retired from the race after the first special stage due to technical difficulties.
„After seeing Grzegorz retired from the race I felt sorry for missing out on a suspenseful mutual battle. On the other hand, we realized we could not drop out of the race and we have to stay focused in order to win. It was mentally even more difficult than a direct fight for each second,“ said Martin Koči about the situation after the first special stage.
The ŠKODA Slovakia Motorsport crew won 6 out of 7 special stages during the first day of the event and since G. Grzyb did not enter the 2nd leg of Rally Košice 2018 it was clear on Saturday that the Slovak Rally Champion title would belong to Martin Koči and Radovan Mozner jr. With ŠKODA FABIA R5.
Those who thought that Martin Koči would play it safe until the finish line of the event were wrong. „I am local, our team is based in Košice, therefore we had a strong desire to win here at Rally Košice,” said Martin about his motivation. He turned his desire into results during each and every one of the event kilometers – and dominated 5 out of 6 special stages of the 2nd leg. His driving was appreciated by the audience as well, especially during the announcement of the results. Gavlák / Horniaček finished 2nd and Drotár / Ferencz finished 3rd at Rally Košice 2018. All crews in the top 3 competed with ŠKODA FABIA R5 racing special.
Martin Koči and Radovan Mozner jr. from ŠKODA Slovakia Motorsport team became the 2018 Slovak Rally Champions with 225 points. Gregor Grzyb and Boguslav Browiński from Poland finished 2nd with 165 point and Peter Gavlák with Emil Horniaček finished 3rd with 122 points. All three victors in the overall Slovak Rally Championship ranking competed with ŠKODA FABIA R5. Martin Koči and Radovan Mozner jr. also became Slovak Rally Champions in group 2.
„The Slovak Rally Champion title makes me extremely happy. I would like to thank my co-driver Rado Mozner for his perfect cooperation and the entire ŠKODA Slovakia Motorsport team for excellent work throughout the season as well as my family and fans for their support. I am delighted to have added the 9th Slovak Rally Champion title to the family team collection. This season was fantastic, our performance was good. There were a few mistakes which cost us some points, otherwise we might have celebrated the title earlier. Even though we are champions, we still have room for improvement,“ said the champion Martin Koči in a true sports character fashion.