The SKODA Motorsport team will continue the Fabia Super 2000 project also in the upcoming year 2012. This year the project has led to the greatest achievements in the brand’s long history of motorsport efforts. The participation in the Intercontinental Rally Challenge championship with the Fabia Super 2000 where SKODA has won the titles in both the Drivers and Manufacturers categories for two consecutive years remains the brand’s top priority.
Furthermore, one of the factory crews will newly appear in selected rallies of the European Championship and the factory team will also appear in the home rally championship. Juho Hanninen and Jan Kopecky remain the brand’s factory drivers for 2012. The first event in 2012 to see the factory team in action is the Janner Rally that is taking place in Austria over the first weekend of January.
Commenting on the team’s agenda in 2012, Head of the SKODA Motorsport team Michal Hrabanek says: “SKODA’s top priority will be to defend the IRC titles we have won in the last two years. Three drivers in factory-prepared Fabia Super 2000s are going to fight for points in the Manufacturers category – Jan Kopecky and Juho Hanninen of SKODA Motorsport (factory team) and Andreas Mikkelsen of SKODA UK Motorsport. With future prospects in mind, we want to gain experience in selected events of the European Championship where we will be represented by Juho Hanninen & Mikko Markkula, one of our factory crews. Intending to become even more visible in the home market, the other factory crew, Jan Kopecky & Pavel Dresler, will appear on Czech tracks as part of the Czech Championship. Pavel Dressler has replaced Petr Stary who, unfortunately, has a long-standing health problem – in this connection, the whole team wishes Petr a fast recovery.”
2011 SWRC Champion Juho Hanninen: “I have learned a lot at SKODA Motorsport over the last three years, and these have been more than good times for the entire team. I believe that we will be successful also next year that holds some new rallies for us, but that is exactly what makes this sport so exciting. I am pretty certain that we are going to make another step ahead with the Fabia.”
Three times IRC Vice-Champion Jan Kopecky: “I appreciate the opportunity to continue cooperating with SKODA Motorsport. Our ambition in the Czech championship is of course to keep appearing on the top ranks and the goal in the selected IRC events is to always win as many points as possible in order to help SKODA win the third title in the Manufacturers category. I want to say a big thank you to Petr Stary for great three years that we have spent together and wish him a fast recovery.”
The Mlada Boleslav-based car manufacturer is celebrating 110 years of its motorsport efforts this year and 2011, quite symbolically, has been the most successful year in this long and unique history – SKODA has comfortably repeated its last year’s victory in the Manufacturers category of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge championship, Fabia Super 2000 drivers have won the first three places in the Drivers category of the IRC (Mikkelsen 1st, Kopecky 2nd, Hanninen 3rd) and Juho Hanninen & Mikko Markkula have won the first-ever SWRC title for SKODA. At the end of this year, SKODA Motorsport and its Fabia Super 2000s made their debut in the Race of Champions, a prestigious multi-discipline event with a history of over 20 years.