FIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP (WRC2) 2015: ŠKODA MOTORSPORT- NEW New ŠKODA FABIA R 5 SET TO MAKE ITS CUSTOMER RACING DEBUT
WRC2 A FULL 2015
New ŠKODA Fabia R5 set to make its customer racing debut.
› First high-tech powerhouse delivered to Raimund Baumschlager’s team
› Baumschlager: “The Fabia R5 will be the best car in its class”
› Head of customer racing, Marcela Janatová: “Very big interest in our new Fabia R5”
29 th April 2015
Mladá Boleslav, 29 April 2015 – The new ŠKODA Fabia R5 is much sought-after on the global customer racing scene. The first high-tech powerhouse has recently been delivered to Raimund Baumschlager (A). The twelve-time Austrian rally champion will make his first outing with the new car at the Wechselland Rally on 1 and 2 May. When the ŠKODA Fabia R5 made its international debut at the Rally Šumava Klatovy last weekend, the result was a dominant victory. The ŠKODA works team’s car, driven by Asia-Pacific Champion Jan Kopecký (CZ), proved to be both fast and reliable.
“Customer racing is far more than a mere business model for ŠKODA. The entire team is putting its heart and soul into every one of our rally cars. It makes no difference whether that car is a works car or a customer car. Our customers all over the world have come to value this passion and the high degree of technical expertise within our brand,” said ŠKODA Motorsport Director Michal Hrabánek.
“There is great interest in our new ŠKODA Fabia R5 on the customer racing scene. After the successful homologation of our new rally car, we have seen another dramatic rise in the number of enquiries,” said Marcela Janatová, the new head of the ŠKODA Motorsport customer programme. “We will strive to fulfil the requests of most customers before the end of the year. Even this spring, cars are being delivered to Germany, Italy, Belgium and Portugal,” Janatová continued.
The first customer behind the wheel of the four-wheel drive car will be experienced rally driver Baumschlager. The 55-year-old driver has been part of the test team for the new ŠKODA Fabia R5 in recent months. “It is an excellent rally car, which is outstanding to drive on any surface,” praised Baumschlager. “I am sure that the Fabia R5 will be the best car in its class.”
The Baumschlager BRR-Team had already purchased several Fabia Super 2000s from ŠKODA Motorsport and is again one of the most important customers to purchase the Fabia R5. Come mid-May, Fabian Kreim (D) will also make his first appearance in the new car for ŠKODA AUTO Deutschland in the German Rally Championship (DRM).
As well as an ultra-modern car, anyone purchasing the new Fabia R5 also receives technical support from the ŠKODA Motorsport team. “This way, both sides can share their knowhow and benefit from each other in the long term,” said Hrabánek. The basic race-ready version of the new ŠKODA Fabia R5 will cost 180,000 Euros in accordance with the regulations of the International Automobile Federation (FIA).
For that price, customers receive a spectacular four-wheel drive racing car, powered by a 1.6-litre turbo engine in accordance with FIA regulations. As well as changes to the chassis design, this is the largest change compared to the two-litre naturally aspirated engine in the Fabia Super 2000. The new car also features a new five-speed sequential gearbox and McPherson struts.
Baumschlager: “The Fabia R5 is even more accurate to drive and boasts mighty torque thanks to its turbo engine. It is just a brilliant rally car, which will continue ŠKODA’s success story.”
Perfect start: New ŠKODA Fabia R5 wins on its rally debut.
› Jan Kopecký and Pavel Dresler triumph with the new rally car at the opening round of the Czech Rally Championship
› Hrabánek: “Delighted to have made such a successful start”
› Faster and more reliable: ŠKODA Fabia R5 impresses thousands of fans on its debut on home soil
Klatovy, 25th April 2015 – First race, first commanding victory, and the fastest time on eleven of twelve special stages: the new ŠKODA Fabia R5 enjoyed a dazzling rally debut in its native Czech Republic. Asia-Pacific champion Jan Kopecký (CZ) guided the rally car to a dominant victory at the 50th anniversary of the Rally Šumava Klatovy. Thousands of fans cheered on the new car, which proved to be both fast and reliable on its debut.
“The rally debut of our new ŠKODA Fabia R5 symbolically launched a new chapter of our motorsport tradition in the home of the brand. As such, we are particularly delighted to have made such a successful start. We were very excited, and the debut showed that we are on the right track with the new rally car,” said Michal Hrabánek. However, the ŠKODA Motorsport Director warned against getting carried away: “We do not want to read too much into the first result. The car and the team will have to come through some very different tests at the coming rallies.”
That said, the opening round of the Czech Rally Championship (MČR) went like clockwork. The ŠKODA Fabia R5 became one of very few rally cars ever to have won its first official special stage. And there was more success to come: by the end of an impressive display over 150.71 kilometres, Jan Kopecký and Pavel Dresler, in the green, white and black ŠKODA Fabia R5, had opened up a lead of 1:34.6 minutes over Bryan Bouffier. The Frenchman is no slouch, having finished runner-up in the 2013 European Championship – again behind Kopecký in a ŠKODA.
“The first start with our new ŠKODA Fabia R5 could not have gone better. We were obviously a bit tense as, after all the many tests, only an actual race would truly reveal how well the car was running. And it worked perfectly: we are very happy about the win and hope we were able to impress a lot of people with our new Fabia R5,” said debut driver Kopecký, who was even able to try out some different set-ups on his first outing with the new rally car. “We are already really looking forward to the next rallies, as it seems to be a great car.”
The experienced 33-year-old will be back in action at the Rally Český Krumlov, the second round of the Czech Rally Championship, on 22nd and 23rd May. At almost exactly the same time, ŠKODA Motorsport will make its comeback in the WRC 2 category of the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) from 21st to 24th May. European champion Esapekka Lappi (FIN) and new signing Pontus Tidemand (S) will be at the wheel of the new ŠKODA Fabia R5. Hrabánek: “Running two cars will be another challenge with our new rally car. Before then, we will continue testing. The win puts us in a good position going forward, but we still have a lot of work ahead of us.”
The number for the Rally Šumava Klatovy: 11
Jan Kopecký and Pavel Dresler won eleven of the twelve special stages as the ŠKODA Fabia R5 made its race debut. Not only did the new car triumph on its very first special stage, but it won the longest stage on the rally by an impressive margin. Kopecký finished over 17 seconds ahead of Bryan Bouffier on both runs of the 25.59-kilometre stage.
Rally Šumava Klatovy – Result
1. Kopecký/Dresler (CZ/CZ), ŠKODA Fabia R5: 1:20:20.9 hrs
2. Bouffier/Moreau (F/F), Citroën DS3 R5: + 1:34.6 min
3. Valoušek/Havelková (CZ/CZ), ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000: + 2:48.9 min
4. Odložilík/Tureček (CZ/CZ), Subaru Impreza WRC: + 2:55.1 min
5. Sýkora/Palivec (CZ/CZ), Ford Fiesta R5: + 2:59.5 min
Czech Rally Championship (MČR)
Event / Date
Rally Šumava Klatovy: 24.04.–25.04.2015
Rally Český Krumlov: 22.05.–23.05.2015
Rally Hustopeče: 19.06.–20.06.2015
Rally Bohemia: 10.07.–12.07.2015
Barum Czech Rally Zlín: 28.08.–30.08.2015
Rally Příbram: 02.10.–04.10.2015
Media Andrea Privarova
Rally Report Magazine Argentina
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