Skoda Motorsport have announced their driver line up for 2018, with 17-year old Kalle Rovanpera securing his first factory drive.
Announced in the Czech Republic, apart from the 14-year long career Skoda veteran Jan Kopecky, the team comprises only young drivers, notably 21 year olds Ole Christian Veiby and Juuso Nordgren, and Rovanpera.
The FIA WRC2 series will be the primary challenge for the young drivers.
Thirty-four year old Kopecky will concentrate on the national Czech championship, while reigning WRC2 world champion, Pontus Tidemand, has an undefined programme.
Like last year, the team have not yet announced the precise calendar for each driver, as this relates to the fact that results from only seven of 13 WRC events will count in WRC2, and the need to reduce the opportunity of one driver taking away the drivers’ championship points of a rival teammate.
Complicating the Skoda event decision process is that Rovanpera’s age will prevent him competing in many countries, until he reaches the age of 18 on October 1st, with three WRC events still to go.
“For these reasons, like last year, the driver line-ups will be decided on an event-to-event basis,” a Skoda spokesman said.
Enigmatically, Tidemand said: “The competition is mega tough and every rally gives more and new experience that is important for the future.
“To reach a permanent spot in the WRC is of course my target, but for 2018 it is as simple as this – there are no seats available.
“I know that I’m ready and the best way for me to get there is definitely to continue establishing myself as someone to reckon with in the WRC circus, together with a winning team like Skoda.”
ŠKODA Motorsport Highlight video season 2017 from ŠKODA VIMEO PRO on Vimeo.
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