BOGIE SCORES SKODA FOR BRC
Scot chooses new Fabia for a full title attack
Former BRC champion David Bogie will join Martin Wilkinson’s CA1 Sport outfit to pilot a Skoda Fabia R5 in the British Rally Championship.
Bogie’s car choice has been subject of rumour since his Ford Fiesta R5 – purchased in 2014 – was put up for sale at the end of last year.
The 2011 BRC champion will move to the Czech Republic marque for a full championship campaign. “It’s been a long time coming to be honest, since we first met with Skoda in October,” explained Bogie, 28.
“I’ve known Martin at CA1 a long time and through his connections and how we promoted ourselves to Skoda it did manage to push us up the queue for the car. Skoda Motorsport is keen to have a car in the BRC going for rally wins so it’s certainly in its interests as well. It realised I had a Fiesta and, if it couldn’t offer me a good package then that’s where I would be staying.
“So Skoda made us an offer that was reasonable and it stuck by its word and came good with the car for the first rounds of the championship.”
Bogie will rally the car for the first time on the Red Kite Stages on February 21, and believes that despite the competency of the Pro-tec team, which had looked after his cars previously, the time was right for a change.
“I had a good relationship with Pro-tec before, with five Scottish titles and a British,” added Bogie. “I can’t fault Pro-tec at all, but Martin Wilkinson assisted me with getting the Skoda and, moving forward the decision was made and I’m looking forward to working with him. He has a lot of experience.”
With his plans shrouded in secrecy, Bogie has gone under the radar when onlookers have been picking out title favourites for this year’s BRC, but the Scot says that’s just how he likes it.
“Back in 2011, myself and [co-driver] Kevin [Rae] were underdogs going into the championship and nobody was talking about us and we managed to win the first round and it went from there,” said Bogie. “I always like to go in as the underdog. I never put myself under pressure.”
The change of car comes as interest in the Ford Fiesta R5 has picked up, mainly thanks to Elfyn Evans’s backto-back WRC2 wins with the new R5 Evo upgrade in Monte Carlo and Sweden recently. The tweaks improve the power band of the M-sportbuilt machine. However, Bogie has seen enough to believe that the Skoda Fabia is the way forward.
“My car required an engine upgrade, so rather than doing the upgrade it made sense to me to go and get the Skoda,” said the Dumfries driver.
Bogie said that with very limited testing in the new car, he’s expecting a learning experience over the opening rounds of the season before he gets fully up to speed.
“I’m sure the Skoda Fabia will be competitive and that’s what we need,” said Bogie. “All I do need to do is get into the hot seat, get testing, get the set-up right and then feel comfortable in the car.
“Unfortunately that might take one gravel round and one Tarmac round, but I’m hoping to be able to adapt as quickly as possible.”
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