Slovakian driver Jaroslav Melicharek claimed his first outright rally win last weekend at the wheel of the MML Sports-run Mitsubishi Lancer World Rally Car. Melicharek was completely dominant on the Rally Vsetin, the last round of the Czech Republic series and ends his season in the best possible way, with the win carrying him through the winter off-season.
The one-day event comprised eight stages and the competition was fierce; Melicharek was facing five other World Rally Cars, including Skodas and Subarus.
He was completely at home in the Lancer WRC and this was clear from the start. On the opening loop of three stages, he was fastest on two and second fastest on the third, by just 0.1seconds.
Following the first of the day's two services, he was straight back on the pace, claiming another win, followed by a third and then a second-fastest stage time. However, each of these was by fractions of a second and by the end of the sixth stage of the event, held a healthy 13-second lead.
He took another stage win on the penultimate test of the event while on the last stage, he dropped some seven seconds to the second placed car, simply because he didn't want to take any big risks so close to his first outright win.
Despite the time loss, he still arrived at the finish ramp of the event as the winner, with a margin of 13 seconds.
Commenting on the weekend, MML Sports Managing Director John Easton said; " I'm delighted that Jaroslav finally got his maiden rally win. It has been clear this year that it was only a matter of time and I don't think it could have been in better style. He completely dominated the event and built enough of a lead that he was able to back off on the last stage to ensure he reached the finish and didn't suffer any last minute problems.
"Jaroslav's results have been improving all season and I think taking the win on the last round of the championship will give him a huge lift in confidence and should have the competition a little rattled over the winter."