“Karmel“ was the venue of Haugland’s bio launch ceremony
(12. 11. 2023)
John Haugland’s biography launch ceremony recently took place at the “Na Karmeli“ Škoda Education Centre, with many famous personalities in attendance. The event’s significance was highlighted by a short welcome speech by Victor Connrad Roneberg, the Norwegian ambassador, and Czech-Norwegian band We Are Domi.
“It’s been a long time since I felt so well and comfortable in terms of my relations to Škoda and its people,“ Stanislav Cinkl, the former boss of the prototype facility in the manufacturer’s Development department, summed up the feeling he also shared with others. He, too, praised the unusual style adopted for the launch and enjoyed the presence of current as well as past drivers and co-drivers who had made it to the beautiful setting provided at “Karmel“. “When joined together, the conference rooms take up to 600 people, and it seems that that’s the audience figure we’ve actually got here,“ Dan Porazil said, adding that he was particularly pleased by both the main character and Fred Gallagher, a man who throughout his career navigated for five world champions, being there. That was despite the fact that Jan Kopecký, the 2018 WRC2 world champion, and former Sparta ice-hockey team skipper and pilot of the Tatra 603 (the one whose engine was impossible to be misheard) Stanislav Hajdušek, made last-minute excuses due to a viral infection.
The launch was divided into four parts, each framed by We Are Domi’s performance which in good taste smoothly blended with the night’s ceremonial tone. Spectators learned among other things how long it had taken to bring the book to life, who was included in it and why, and what kind of photographs readers had to look forward to. “A very interesting moment came when Markéta Srbová, the confident host of the launch event, interviewed Johnny’s co-drivers. It became apparent that it was no coincidence they all had something in common and we – members of the audience and fans – realised why it was them that Johnny had picked out of all people,“ the author explained, also mentioning Jan-Olof Bohlin, the late co-driver of choice for Johnny Haugland, who died in 2021.
The final stage of the official part of the launch included the traditional champagne and toasts, followed by a big autograph session of guests, drivers and co-drivers who appear in the book. “And this is supposed to be normal here?“ Fred Gallagher asked as he watched Johnny and Dan pouring champagne all over their book. “Yes, we’re a rally nation,“ an unexpected voice came from among the audience. And did the main hero feel happy? “It was a great event and I’d like to thank all of those behind its preparations. I’m really glad to have been able to meet up with so many friends and other people I know after all these years,“ Škoda legend John Haugland concluded.
The book is still available for ordering from the www.peopleforrally.cz website and the e-shop of booksellers Kanzelsberger.
You can find a comprehensive photo gallery from the book launch ceremony here: firs part, second part, third part.
Peopleforrally.cz thanks Tomáš Brázdil and Daniel Šimek from Rallyservice.cz for their excellent cooperation.