Considering the Dutch pairing of Hermen Kobus and Erik de Wild were experiencing the first major event in their new Skoda Fabia R5, a result of 8th overall in the Barum Czech Rally Zlín (August 29/30) was a mighty impressive result. But for a harmless spin on the second day it would in fact have been 7th, as the Skoda was a bare six seconds behind the Peugeot 208 T16 of Craig Breen at the finish!
It was also a great result for Kumho’s new TM02 tarmac rally tyres, about which Hermen was suitably enthusiastic. Thanks to Skoda Motorsport he had been able to pre-test both the car and the tyres on Czech soil:
“This gave us the opportunity to try out the new Kumhos and adapt the setup of the car to suit. I was very happy with them on the event – even though the tarmac temperatures rose as high as 55 degrees, they held up perfectly.”
He thoroughly enjoyed the rally too:
“This is by far the hardest and most impressive rally I have ever driven. The stages had everything – jumps, blind tightening corners, bumpy and worn asphalt, and some very fast sections. You not only need a quick car to win there, but a lot of guts too!”
Commented Kumho Motorsport’s Steve Thompson:
“We were very happy with the performance of our new tarmac tyres and felt Hermen did a great job too. We look forward to seeing what he can achieve with further experience of the Fabia R5 – there could be some surprises ahead.”