A Season of ŠKODA FABIA R5 Success

A Season of ŠKODA FABIA R5 Success


This has been the first full season that ŠKODA Motorsport has entered the FABIA R5 car into rallying events and the returns have been immense.

7. 12. 2016

Both the ŠKODA Motorsport works team and the numerous customer teams and independent drivers from around the world, who have been queuing up to get their hands on the car, have enjoyed success on an almost unparalleled level.

ŠKODA Fabia R5




The pinnacle of rallying is without question the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC), and as an R5 car, the FABIA R5 was competing in the WRC 2 Championship. And what a season it had.

The ŠKODA Motorsport pairing of Esapekka Lappi / Janne Ferm were crowned WRC 2 Champions at the last event of the season, the Rally Australia. Victory at that event - their fourth in a row (after the Rally Finland, Rallye Deutschland, and the Wales Rally GB) - ensured they pipped fellow Finns and FABIA R5 drivers Teemu Suninen / Mikko Markkula, who were driving for Team Oreca, to the title by just ten points. Suninen and Markkula won three rallies themselves on the way; the Rally Guanajuato Mexico, the Rally Italia Sardegna and the Rally Poland.


 Esapekka Lappi
      Janne Ferm


All-in-all, the ŠKODA FABIA R5 enjoyed a WRC2 rally win ratio of 76.9;% as it claimed victory in 10 of the year’s 13 rallies.

But the story doesn’t end there. The other two ŠKODA Motorsport pairings, Czechs Jan Kopecký / Pavel Dresler and Swedes Pontus Tidemand / Jonas Andersson, finished the season 4th and 5th in the Championship respectively. Each claimed one event victory during the season, with Kopecký winning the RallyRACC Catalunya - Costa Daurada and Tidemand the Rally de Portugal.

And there is more. In 6th place in the final WRC 2 Championship standings was Peruvian Nicolás Fuchs. He also won a rally (the Rally Argentina) in his FABIA R5 on his way to becoming the highest point-scoring South American in WRC 2 history.

All-in-all, the ŠKODA FABIA R5 enjoyed a WRC 2 rally win ratio of 76.9% as it claimed victory in 10 of the year’s 13 rallies. Add in a further 24 podium places, including not one but two ‘1-2-3-4’ results (at the Rallye Deutschland and the Wales Rally GB), and you can be in little doubt of the level of dominance the FABIA R5 enjoyed.



And it wasn’t just in the World Championship where the FABIA R5 was winning titles. In national and regional events around the world, it enjoyed similar success.

ŠKODA Motorsport’s Jan Kopecký was also driving in the Czech Rally Championship and five successive wins saw him clinch our home championship is fine style.

Freddy Loix won the opening six rallies to secure the Belgian Rally Championship, his fourth in a row with ŠKODA, but the first in a FABIA R5. Meanwhile, Fabian Kreim also won six events en route to the German Rally Championship title.

In Hungary, there was a similarly dominant performance from Norbert Herczig, who was crowned Hungarian Rally Champion for the ŠKODA Rally Team Hungaria after four wins and a runners-up spot in the opening five events of their season. And in Slovakia, it was the Energy Oil Motorsport team pairing of Pavel Valoušek / Veronika Havelková who claimed the Slovak Rally Championship in a FABIA R5.

Rally Great Britain 2016 7013
Rally Great Britain 2016
Rally Spain 2016
Rally Australia 2016 7082
Rally Australia 2016


Rally Spain 2016 6948
Rally Spain 2016

Sylvain Michel won the French Tarmac Rally Championship in a FABIA R5 for Team 2C Yacco, while in Denmark, Esben Hegelund won five of the six events in the Danish Rally Championship to secure the title with the car prepared and run by the Wevers Sport team.

Desi Henry won the Irish Forest Rally Championship and in one of the stories of the season, 16-year old Finnish driver Kalle Rovanperä won the Latvian Rally Championship behind the wheel of the ŠKODA FABIA R5 run by the TGS Worldwide OU team, with five rally victories along the way.


Outside Europe, there were further success stories.

Gaurav Gill secured ŠKODA’s fifth successive win in the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC), the first for the FABIA R5. He has completed a clean sweep of all six APRC rallies in front of his home crowd at the Rally India.

It was Nasser Al-Attiyah’s first time behind the wheel of a FABIA R5, but the dominant Qatari driver still claimed the FIA Middle East Rally Championship (MERC) with three victories along the way in Qatar, Kuwait and Jordan.

South America too has seen ŠKODA success,

with Paraguayan driver Gustavo Saba winning the CODASUR South American Rally Championship. And either he or fellow FABIA R5 driver Didier Arias will also be crowned Paraguayan Rally Champion too, with the final event of that championship taking place in early December.

For the FABIA R5, 14 Championship victories around the world mean 2016 has been a momentous year and one for which everyone at ŠKODA Motorsport is justifiably very proud.

But we are certainly not resting on our laurels and are confident that 2017 can be even better.