However, the reigning European champions won’t be fighting for top stage times when the action begins on Saturday morning.
Instead they will be putting ŠKODA’s 1.6-litre turbocharged engine through its paces on the asphalt event in a Super 2000-specification Fabia.
The new engine will power ŠKODA’s Fabia R5 challenger when it makes its competition debut next season and the Zlín appearance is part of the ongoing development process.
“I will not be competing officially, but the procedures will be the same as at any normal rally,” said Kopecký, who won in Zlín last season and will drive through the event’s 15 special stages as a course-opening car.
ŠKODA Motorsport head Michal Hrabánek added: “We tested the R5 engine successfully at the Rally Bohemia, and would like to thank the ERC and the organisers of the Barum Rally for giving us the opportunity to test the new engine again in competitive conditions.”
Barum Czech Rally Zlín counts as round eight of the 2014 ERC season