After the successful premiere at the Monte Carlo Rally in January and the second-place finish at the Azores Rally in May, the Mlada Boleslav-based team Skoda Motorsport has announced that it will appear at the next IRC event, the Ypres Rally in Belgium (18 – 20 June). The highly competitive start list promises a top-class rally where every second may decide the outcom.
Commenting upon its team’s upcoming appearance at the Ypres Rally, Head of Skoda Motorsport Michal Hrabanek says: ‘Initially, we were planning to appear again after the Azores rally as late as at the rally in Russia, but we changed our mind – because the rally in Belgium is one of the most important events in the IRC calendar, with many top-class drivers on the start line and an excellent setting. Another reason is, that our Motorsport project involves competitions and, equally importantly, a Fabia Super 2000 customer sales programme. So we have decided to compete in Belgium, with the future prospects of our project in mind. One of the key drivers behind this decision was the excellent cooperation we have with our Skoda importer in Belgium, who is supporting the appearance of Francois Duval, a Belgian star driving a Fabia Super 2000 for René Georges’ team. Last but not least, the event is going to be another premiere for the Fabia Super 2000, as this will be the vehicle’s first exclusively tarmac competition.‘
‘Launched in the first half of this year, Skoda Motosport’s customer programme seems to be equally positive as the results of the factory team,’ adds Hrabanek.
The first private customer was Raimund Baumchlager’s BRR team, which was also involved in last year’s Fabia Super 2000 prototype testing. BRR takes part in the PWRC series, using a private Fabia Super 2000 driven by Swede Patrick Sandell who has had a great season so far winning the PWRC in Norway and Cyprus and coming second in Sardinia.
Supported by Skoda’s Austrian importer in another series, Raimund Baumschlager is competing in a Fabia Super 2000 in the Austrian Championship, dominating the series after the first two events with one win and one third place.
The Fabia Super 2000 has already ‘scored’ also in Italy, a country where motorsport is very popular. Owning two Fabia Super 2000 vehicles, the A-Style/MRT team takes part mainly in the Italian Championship, with one runner-up position (Gamba) and one third place (Travaglia) so far. Furthermore, Skoda Motorsport will soon sell one vehicle to SkodaRally Team Italia (a team supported by the local importer).
‘We are preparing more vehicles to be sold in other countries where we are at various negotiation stages with the respective potential buyers. The demand is now greater than the project’s capacity to deliver. Nonetheless, we still want to satisfy as many as 15 customers this year. We are pleased with the number of enquiries we have received from potential customers – the current demand indeed shows that our strategy of supporting our factory team as well as private teams is correct,’ says Michal Hrabanek.
- Skoda Motorsport