WRC 2 A FULL 2019








ŠKODA defends WRC 2 Title again

› Jan Kopecký and Pavel Dresler crown fantastic season with WRC 2 title
› ŠKODA crews won eleven out of 13 WRC 2 rounds of the FIA World Rally Championship 2018, including four double wins for ŠKODA Motorsport factory team
› For the third time in a row a ŠKODA works crew won WRC 2 Drivers Championship
› ŠKODA factory drivers conquer top three places of the WRC 2 overall standings
› After 2015, 2016 und 2017 ŠKODA Motorsport again secures WRC 2 Team Championship

Mladá Boleslav, 27 November 2018 – Game, set and match for ŠKODA Motorsport: Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler (CZE/CZE) became WRC 2 champions, 2017 winners Pontus Tidemand/Jonas Andersson finished second overall, and youngsters Kalle Rovanperä/ Jonne Halttunen (FIN/FIN) complete a pure ŠKODA podium in the final standings of the 2018 FIA World Rally Championship’s WRC 2 category. For the fourth time in a row ŠKODA Motorsport won the WRC 2 Championship for Teams (all titles subject to official publication of the results by the FIA).

ŠKODA Motorsport: A tradition of success – from motorcycling to FIA World Rally Championship
› Since 1901, ŠKODA has been winning on race circuits and rally tracks around the globe
› ŠKODA’s motorsport roots lie in the famous motorcycle races of the early 20th century
› In the 1970s and ’80s, the ultralight rear-engined racer ŠKODA 130 RS drove to a series of victories on race tracks
› Today the ŠKODA FABIA R5 is the most successful WRC 2 car of the FIA World Rally Championship, continuing the success story of ŠKODA Motorsport

Mladá Boleslav, 27 November 2018 – ŠKODA’s motorsport roots reach back more than 117 years. On June 1901, Narcis Podsedníček entered the long-distance race from Paris to Berlin for the first time, riding a L&K motorcycle made by ŠKODA’s founding fathers Laurin and Klement. What had begun in 1901 on two wheels, continued in the 1970s and ’80s with a worldwide series of victories on race circuits and rally tracks. Today the ŠKODA FABIA R5 is the most successful WRC 2 car of the FIA World Rally Championship, continuing the success story of ŠKODA Motorsport.

Early years and first victories
The love of motorsport goes all the way back to the company’s founding fathers Václav Laurin and Václav Klement (L&K). Just two years after the start of motorcycle production at L&K, they trusted racer Narcis Podsedníček with their new L&K single-cylinder motorcycle and, in 1901, sent him to the long-distance race from Paris to Berlin. Podsedníček was one of ten drivers who competed in the category of motorcycles and three-wheelers. On his L&K bike he reached the finish line first. He arrived in Berlin on 30 June 1901 at three o’clock in the morning – before the official timing had even been set up. A policeman testified his arrival time, but nevertheless he was disqualified. At the end, only three French drivers with three-wheelers from De Dion-Bouton where classified, but the moral winner was Podsedníček.

However, Laurin and Klement saw their economic future on four wheels. From 1905 onwards their cars continued the success story. Besides victories at hill climbs and endurance races, the Laurin & Klement FCS, powered by a four cylinder engine delivering 95 bhp, set a speed record of 118.72 kilometres per hour at Brooklands race circuit in the UK.

1936 – 1986: ŠKODA established as force to be reckoned in motor racing
During the period between the two wars, ŠKODA cars impressed technically with their central tube frame. On January of 1936, the ŠKODA POPULAR SPORT took second place in the category at the challenging Monte Carlo Rally. The ŠKODA RAPID repeated this success one year later. After World War II, a two-seater sports car based on the ŠKODA 1101 production model impressed on the race track at Spa-Francorchamps, driven by Czech and other European drivers. The new car was as well successful at the Monte Carlo Rally and the gruelling Tour d’Europe. Later the ŠKODA OCTAVIA, presented in 1959, went from success to success.

The ŠKODA 1000 MB marked a new chapter for the brand in the 1960s. In 1964, the first ŠKODA with rear-wheel drive and rear-mounted engine again represented a new technological approach. With his successor ŠKODA 130 RS Norwegian rally driver John Haugland achieved a lot of remarkable results. The car, because of his technical layout given the affectionate nickname ‘Porsche of the East’, won its class at the Monte Carlo Rally and the Acropolis Rally (1977). The ŠKODA 130 RS also won the European Touring Car Championship 1981 and achieved class wins at the RAC Rally in 1985 and 1986. Again John Haugland was the most successful driver behind the steering wheel of the ŠKODA 130 LR.

1990s: Further success in World Rally Championship
ŠKODA’s presence in modern motorsport started with the Monte Carlo Rally of 1991. Pavel Sibera/Petr Gross, driving a ŠKODA FAVORIT, won F2 class that and the following three years (1991-1994). In 1991, the ŠKODA FAVORIT also won the FIA World Rally Championship’s Cup for vehicles featuring engines with less than two litre capacity and one driven axle. In 1996, the new ŠKODA FELICIA Kit-Car, with Swedish professional Stig Blomqvist at the wheel, achieved a third place overall at the RAC Rally.

With the ŠKODA OCTAVIA WRC, introduced in 1997, the works team entered the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) on top level for the first time. The all-wheel-drive vehicle with a 300 bhp turbo engine achieved an outstanding third place overall at the rough Safari Rally Kenya of 2001. From 2003 to 2007, the successor model, the ŠKODA FABIA WRC, also made a big impact.

FABIA SUPER 2000 and FABIA R5 writing motorsport history
In 2009 the ŠKODA FABIA SUPER 2000 took the rally scene by storm – until then, no rally car had been more successful in this category. Between 2009 and 2014 the car won 50 national and international titles worldwide. The Czech duo Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler won the FIA European Rally Championship (ERC) in 2013. The FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) was won by teams driving a ŠKODA FABIA SUPER 2000 three years in a row (2012 – 2014).

The ŠKODA FABIA R5 – which had been officially approved (homologated) for motorsport by the International Automobile Federation (FIA) on 1 April 2015 – already drove to its first international success in its first season. Pontus Tidemand/Emil Axelsson won for ŠKODA again the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship title. On top of that, ŠKODA teams took five national titles.

In 2017, ŠKODA Motorsport factory crew Pontus Tidemand/Jonas Andersson became the FIA World Rally Championship’s WRC 2 Drivers and Co-Drivers Champions, ŠKODA Motorsport also won the WRC 2 Team Championship. Czech Champions Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler were the spearhead of in total 14 crews winning their country’s national titles. Furthermore, the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC), the FIA South American Rally Championship (CODASUR) and the FIA African Rally Championship (ARC) were won by teams competing in a ŠKODA FABIA R5.

And 2018 was even more successful for ŠKODA Motorsport. Now it was ŠKODA’s factory crew Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler turn to win the WRC 2 category of the FIA World Rally Championship, ahead of teammates Pontus Tidemand/Jonas Andersson. At the same time 18 years old ŠKODA youngster Kalle Rovanperä together with co-driver Jonne Halttunen conquered third place overall in the category. ŠKODA Motorsport for the fourth time in a row won the WRC 2 Team Championship as well.

The successful involvement of the factory team in international rallying also acts as a catalyst for customer interest which is becoming bigger and bigger: To date, almost 250 ŠKODA FABIA R5 rally cars have been sold to privateer teams and ŠKODA importers around the world.

› ŠKODA Motorsport operates out of new 16,400 square metres facilities close to the ŠKODA AUTO factory in Mladá Boleslav
› Purpose-built premises offer ample place for engineering, workshops and logistics

Mladá Boleslav, 27 November 2018 – ŠKODA Motorsport is now operating out of a brand new headquarter close to the ŠKODA Auto factory in the outskirts of Mladá Boleslav. The purpose-built facilities host all departments of ŠKODA Motorsport under one roof and can serve the needs of the customers and the factory team even better.

Research and development, production, workshop, storage, workshop for prototypes, logistics, offices and a show room for customers are concentrated in the brand new facilities close to the ŠKODA AUTO factory near Mladá Boleslav. The persons working for ŠKODA Motorsport share 1,859 square metres of office space and 3,844 square metres of workshop and storage facilities. In total, the new premises cover 16,400 square metres.

Christian Strube, Head of Technical Development ŠKODA AUTO, says: “With this new headquarter, we are prepared for the future challenges. Due to an improved workflow, we can develop and built up cars even more efficient and make our service for our customers even better. Last year, our target was to provide more than 200 FABIA R5 to customers worldwide. And we delivered! Up to now, almost 250 FABIA were sold. In order to keep that momentum, these new premises are an ideal foundation for the future success of our motorsport program.”

ŠKODA Motorsport boss Michal Hrabánek emphasizes: “This brand new facility clearly demonstrates ŠKODA’s commitment to motorsport. It will help us a lot to improve our customer service and to continue the success story of ŠKODA Motorsport worldwide!”










Media ŠKODA Motorsport worldwide

Photos:@Media ŠKODA Motorsport worldwide

29 November 2018

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