Skoda’s Fabia R5 poised for 2015 rally de­but

Yorkshire Post - Motoring - - FRONT PAGE - Carmel Stewart

SKODA’S Fabia S2000 – one of the most suc­cess­ful rally cars of the Su­per 2000 era – will be suc­ceeded by an all-new model, the Fabia R5. An in­tense de­vel­op­ment pro­gramme will be­gin at Skoda Mo­tor­sport’s Mlada Boleslav base in early 2014, ahead of a com­pe­ti­tion de­but in 2015.

Con­firm­ing the Fabia R5 pro­gramme, Michal Hrabánek, mo­tor­sport di­rec­tor, said: “The new R5 rally car will be equipped with a 1.6litre turbo en­gine, in ac­cor­dance with FIA reg­u­la­tions. That’s a big change com­pared to to­day’s nat­u­rally-as­pi­rated, two-litre petrol en­gines.

“The R5 cat­e­gory suc­ceeds the pre­vi­ous Su­per 2000 class. This way we are able to con­tinue to com­pete suc­cess­fully in in­ter­na­tional cham­pi­onships and to push ahead with our cus­tomer pro­gramme. En­ter­ing the R5 class is a log­i­cal step for us. As it stands, we are as­sum­ing that the new car will be ho­molo­gated by mid-2015.”

The an­nounce­ment fol­lows an ex­cel­lent sea­son for Skoda Mo­tor­sport. With over­all vic­to­ries in three in­ter­na­tional and six na­tional cham­pi­onships, the com­pany has en­joyed one of the most suc­cess­ful pe­ri­ods in its 112year mo­tor­sport his­tory.

Dr Frank Welsch, head of tech­ni­cal de­vel­op­ment, said: “The chal­lenge is now to fol­low on from this suc­cess.”

RALLY STAR: Skoda is pow­er­ing ahead in mo­tor­sport.

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