ŠKODA Motorsport drivers


Jan Kopecký

Facts & figures:

Date of birth: 28/01/1982
Place of birth: Opočno (CZ)
Place of residence: Kostelec (CZ)
Nationality: Czech
Hobbies: Skiing, snowboarding, running
Internet: www.motorsport-kopecky.cz
Motorsport since: 1995
At ŠKODA since: 2009

Complete CV for download here
 
To follow the footsteps of his father Josef, who was an avid rally driver, Jan Kopecký started karting at the age of 13. As soon as possible the young Czech changed to circuit racing, working up his ranks on national level. Soon he started winning, among others the 2001 ŠKODA OCTAVIA Cup. Using the rally version of the ŠKODA OCTAVIA S2000 Kopecký gave his rallying debut the same year and never looked back.
 
Competing a ŠKODA OCTAVIA WRC in the Czech Championship (ČMR) he impressed the right people at ŠKODA Motorsport. Promoted to factory driver he won his first of now five Czech titles in 2004, driving a ŠKODA FABIA WRC.
 
When after a break ŠKODA Motorsport returned to rallying in 2009 with the ŠKODA FABIA S2000, Jan Kopecký again was one of the factory drivers. He finished the season scoring second overall in the Intercontinental Rally Challenge (IRC) and third overall in the Czech Championship. He backed up these results by finishing second overall in the IRC the three following years in a row, always driving a ŠKODA FABIA S2000. In 2012 Kopecký, since then partnered with co-driver Pavel Dresler, again became Czech Champion, taking the European Rally Championship (ERC) a year later with a record six wins. 
 
Up to that point Kopecký had made his name mainly as a tarmac specialist. But in 2014 the former racing driver surprised some people. On the demanding gravel stages on the other side of the globe the ŠKODA FABIA S2000 driver won the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC). 
 
When the ŠKODA FABIA R5 arrived in early 2015, Kopecký started a remarkable series of victories in the Czech Championship. Since then he was never beaten on home soil again, taking the Czech title from 2015 to 2017 three times in a row. 
 
Also in 2015 Kopecký celebrated his debut win on WRC 2 level of the FIA World Rally Championship during Rallye Deutschland. In 2016 he added a WRC 2 win in Spain finishing the season fourth overall in WRC 2. The following year for the first time he won a gravel rally on world championship level, taking the win on the gruelling Sardinia roads during Rally Italy. Jan Kopecký ended the 2017 WRC 2 season fourth overall.

Pavel Dresler

Facts & figures:

Date of birth: 23/6/1986
Place of birth: Studénka (CZ)
Place of residence: Studénka (CZ)
Nationality: Czech
Hobbies: Cycling, skiing, classic cars
Internet: www.dresler.cz
Motorsport since: 2005
At ŠKODA since: 2001

Complete CV for download here
 
Career highlights:

2005
- Austrian Rally Championship - First international rally (Rally Waldviertel, 1st place in N2 class))
- Czech National Rally Cup - First rally (Rallye Střela)

2006
- Czech Sprintrally Championship - First top 5 finish (Rally Vsetín, 5th overall)

2007 - 2010
- Czech Rally Championship & Historic Rally Championships

2011
- 1st overall in the European Sporting Rally Championship
- First joint start with Jan Kopecký for ŠKODA Motorsport in the Intercontinental Rally Championship (IRC)
- 2nd place at the Rally Cyprus

2012
- Co-driver for Jan Kopecký in the ŠKODA Motorsport team in the Fabia Super 2000
- 2nd overall in the Intercontinental Rally Challenge (IRC) (two wins)
- 1st overall in the Czech Rally Championship (MČR)
(five wins)

2013
- Co-driver for Jan Kopecký in the ŠKODA Motorsport team in the Fabia Super 2000
- 1st overall in the European Rally Championship (ERC) (six wins)
- 2nd overall in the Czech Rally Championship (MČR) (four wins)

2014
- Co-driver for Jan Kopecký in the ŠKODA Motorsport team in the Fabia Super 2000
- 1st overall in the Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) (four wins)
- Individual starts in the Czech Rally Championship (MČR) (one win)

2015
- Co-driver for Jan Kopecký in the ŠKODA Motorsport team in the Fabia R5
- Czech Rally Championship (MČR) and selected appearances in the WRC 2 category of the World Rally Championship (WRC)

Pontus Tidemand

Facts & figures:

Date of birth: 10/12/1990
Place of birth: Charlottenberg (S)
Place of residence: Charlottenberg (S)
Nationality: Swedish
Hobbies: Water sports, spending time with friends, motorsport
Internet: www.pontustidemand.se
Rallying since: 2008
At ŠKODA since: 2015

Complete CV for download here
 
When Pontus Tidemand for the first time stood at the start of a cross kart race he was 13 years old. But he already had eleven years of quad driving experience under his belt – and apparently learned a lot from it. However, the following years the young Swede won a couple of cross kart titles on home soil and in the Nordic Championship before finally moving on to rallying. 
 
To hone his asphalt driving skills he also did some circuit racing. This strategy perfectly accelerated his rally career. After winning a one make series Tidemand took the overall Swedish title in 2011 at the age of 20 – the youngest ever rally champion of Sweden.
 
After been selected for the FIA Young Driver Excellence Academy Tidemand advanced to the FIA Junior World Rally Championship (J-WRC) in 2012. In only his first season he finished third overall. In between he started competing a four-wheel drive ŠKODA FABIA S2000 as well in his native championship as on world championship level. When Tidemand won the J-WRC in 2013 he definitely proved to be one of the fastest drivers of his generation.  
 
Next step on his career ladder was the world championship’s WRC 2 category. In 2014 already he celebrated his first win (Rallye Deutschland). When he was not honing his skills in the FIA World Rally Championship Tidemand competed in the FIA World Rallycross Championship, driving an Audi S1 Supercar for the team of his fellow countryman Mattias Ekström. Best result was fourth place during the German round.
 
In 2015 Tidemand was signed by ŠKODA Motorsport. He paid back by winning five rounds and in the end taking the title in the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC). In between him and then new co-driver Jonas Andersson regularly raced WRC 2 rounds of the FIA World Rally Championship, their main playing field for 2016 as well. 
 
2017 turned out to be the most successful season so far for Pontus Tidemand. By winning in Sweden, Mexico, Argentina, Portugal and Wales plus scoring some more top results he took the title of the world championship’s WRC 2 category. In addition his performance was the corner stone for ŠKODA winning the WRC 2 manufacturers crown.
Jonas Andersson

Facts & figures:

Date of birth: 01/01/1997
Place of birth: Arvika (SWE)
Place of residence: Arvika (SWE)
Nationality: Swedish
Hobbies: Fitness, family, football
Rallying since: 2002
At ŠKODA since: 2016

Complete CV for download here
 
Career highlights:

2002
- World Rally Championship - First start in WRC (Sweden)

2003
- World Rally Championship

2004
- World Rally Championship - 3 wins and 4 podiums in JWRC category

2005
- World Rally Championship - 1 win and 2 podiums in JWRC category

2006
- World Rally Championship - First start with ŠKODA car in WRC (Germany, ŠKODA Fabia WRC); 1 win and 3 podiums in JWRC category

2007
- World Rally Championship - 3 wins and 4 podiums in JWRC category

2008
- World Rally Championship - First point scored into WRC classification (Monte Carlo, 8th overall)

2009
- World Rally Championship

2010
- World Rally Championship - First start and first podium in SWRC (Jordan, ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000)

2011
- World Rally Championship - First podium in WRC (Sweden), second podium in WRC (Wales)

2012
- World Rally Championship - First win in WRC (Portugal), 3 podiums

2013
- World Rally Championship - 2 podiums

2014
-World Rally Championship - 4 podiums

2015
- World Rally Championship - 3 podiums

2016
- ŠKODA Motorsport, ŠKODA Fabia R5
- World Rally Championship - WRC 2 - Co-driving Pontus Tidemand for the first time (Sweden)

Ole Christian Veiby

Facts & figures:

Date of birth: 06/17/1996
Place of birth: Kongsvinge (N)
Nationality: Norwegian
Rallying since: 2012
At ŠKODA since: 2018

Complete CV for download here
 
Ole Christian Veiby’s way into rallying was basically unavoidable. His father Erik was a rally driver himself, clients of his management company EVEN are current factory drivers like Andreas Mikkelsen and Esapekka Lappi as well as 2017 Rallycross World Champion Johan Kristoffersson.
 
Veiby junior started with the Norwegian way of karting, which obviously means gravel. Already in his debut season, he became Norwegian Crosskart Champion in the 125 cc class. On reaching 16 years of age, Ole Christian – by then commonly known as OC – set his sights on rallies. He also took part in the Porsche Carrera Cup Scandinavia. 
 
Making his FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) debut on the Spanish round of 2014, Veiby entered the full Junior World Rally Championship (J-WRC) in 2015. With one victory (Wales Rally GB) he finished second overall, keeping fit between the J-WRC rounds by competing in some rallycross events with a Volkswagen Polo RX. He also contested selected rally events in his native Norway driving a ŠKODA FABIA S2000.
 
Partnered from then on by Norwegian navigator Stig Rune Skjærmoen in 2016 Veiby competed again in the J-WRC, this time winning Rally Finland. During this season, he also made his WRC debut with a four-wheel drive car. Driving a ŠKODA FABIA R5 he drove three WRC 2 events, all with top results. 
 
That performance sparked the interest of ŠKODA Motorsport, which in 2017 send OC to the AsiaPacific Rally Championship (APRC) to compete for the factory supported team MRF ŠKODA. The young Norwegian paid back the trust with two wins and the second place in the championship.
 
Meanwhile on world level Veiby was a regular in the WRC 2 category, driving a Printsport entered ŠKODA FABIA R5. With one win (Rally Poland) he finished sixth overall. At Wales Rally GB he joined the ŠKODA Motorsport factory team for the first time. 




 

Juuso Nordgren

Facts & figures:

Date of birth: 11/19/1996
Place of birth: Kirkkala (FIN)
Nationality: Finns
Rallying since: 2014
At ŠKODA since: 2018

Complete CV for download here
 
Juuso Nordgren is on his way to put the small Finnish town of Karkkila back on the rally map – some decades after living legend and Karkkila native Markku Alén started his remarkable career in the village north-west of Helsinki.
 
Nordgren is just at the beginning of his, although already named “Future Rally Star of Finland” in 2016 by AKK Sports, the promotional arm of Finland‘s motorsport federation. That award came after he won the Junior Rally Championship of his homeland the year before. The reward was a funded drive at that year’s Rally Finland, where Nordgren not only celebrated his WRC debut but also third place in the Junior World Rally Championship rankings.
 
When he was a boy, Juuso Nordgren divided his sports enthusiasm between ice hockey (playing) and rally (watching). As his father was a rally driver himself Juuso obviously had to change skating for drifting one day. He took first blood in karting, finishing second overall in the Finnish Championship of 2011. In 2014 his rally debut came on one of those legendary Finnish local rallies where pace notes are not allowed.
 
But Nordgren soon showed talent. Guided by more experienced rally drivers and co-drivers from his home country he worked up his ranks. After the Finnish junior title of 2015, he came second overall in the R2 class of the championship in 2016. In 2017 Nordgren stepped up to WRC 2, driving a privately entered SKODA FABIA R5 on selected rounds. Already on his debut in a four-wheel-drive rally car during Rally Finland he raised some eyebrows, winning four stages in WRC 2 category. Later that year he was drafted into the SKODA Motorsport factory team for the first time, competing at Rallye Catalunya and Wales Rally GB as part of the Czech manufacturers Junior Drivers Development Program. 




 

Kalle Rovanperä

Facts & figures:

Date of birth: 10/01/2000
Place of birth: Jyväskylä (FIN)
Nationality: Finns
Rallying since: 2013
At ŠKODA since: 2018

Complete CV for download here
 
Kalle Rovanperä has rallying virtually in his blood. His father Harri in his prime was factory driver for several teams. He even scored one victory in the FIA World Rally Championship (Sweden 2001).
 
When he was eight years old, he was filmed drifting a small Toyota rally car through snowy forests like an expert. The video years later went viral on YouTube with more than one million views.
 
Because Finnish law doesn’t allow participation in rallies before the age of 18 – until Kalle got an exemption from that rule – he went to Latvia, starting with rally sprints at the age of twelve. For the next couple of years, co-driver Risto Pietiläinen, not by chance father Harri’s former navigator, had to drive the road sections. That didn’t stop little Kalle from winning the Latvian Junior Championship in 2015, following it up with the main championship in 2016 and 2017, on both occasions driving ŠKODA FABIA. 
 
Meanwhile Finnish manager legend Timo Jouhki had taken over, sending the teenager from Finland’s rally capital Jyväskylä to the Italian Rally Championship 2016 to get some experience on tarmac. During the Memorial Bettega, a rally show in Bologna, he drove a World Rally Car beating some factory drivers on his way to the final. 
 
On October 2nd 2017 he passed his driving test, one day after his 17th birthday courtesy to a waiver by the Finnish government. With this important paper in the pocket, Rovanperä was finally cleared to compete on international events.  22-years-old Jonne Halttunen became the new co-driver insted of Risto Pietiläinen (50).  
 
Rovanperä started at the British WRC round Wales Rally GB only three weeks after his 17th birthday. On the 2017 season’s finale in Australia Rovanperä became the youngest driver ever to win a round of the WRC 2 category.