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Esapekka Lappi will now be Skoda Motorsport’s sole entry in Rally Australia (18-20 November), final round of the FIA WRC2 championship, after Skoda withdrew Jan Kopecky’s entry.  

Jan Kopecky (left) with Esapekka Lappi.Currently Lappi is lying third in the series, 13 points behind jointly Skoda private team driver Teemu Suninen and Ford driver Elfyn Evans.  

The FIA has already stated that the title would go to Suninen unless Lappi finishes first or second in the category in Australia.  It would be more fitting for Skoda if a works driver, rather than a private Skoda team driver, took the title.  

The current championship standings show that Jan Kopecky, albeit officially entered on the event, would have no supporting role for Lappi to play, in the way that Pontus Tidemand’s entry had done effectively in Catalunya Rally.  

Good news, however, is that WRC3 driver, Michel Fabre, who until Wales Rally GB had stood a good chance of that title, is still planning to compete in Rally Australia, the only WRC3 competitor on the event.
- Martin Holmes

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