120 years of motorsport: hear how it all began

120 years of motorsport: hear how it all began

This year, ŠKODA is celebrating 120 years of successful involvement in motorsport. It’s a thrilling story of racing drivers and their countless victories.


A sporting spirit was deeply ingrained in keen cyclists Václav Laurin and Václav Klement, the founders of the firm that became ŠKODA, and that spirit lives on today. That is one reason why ŠKODA Storyboard is going to devote the next twelve months to 120 years of motorsport successes achieved first by Laurin & Klement and then by ŠKODA.

You can look forward to reminders of the company’s famous history, events at the ŠKODA Museum and celebrations staged by the present-day ŠKODA Motorsport team. 

Listen to the sound of one of the first works racing vehicles built by Laurin & Klement, the Slavia B-type from 1901 – incidentally, that motorcycle still works to this day! 

L&K SLAVIA motorcycles first appeared on the roads in November 1899. Their sporting debut for the Czech manufacturer came at the end of June 1901, when they took part in the international 1200-kilometre Paris–Berlin race. That marked the start of a long series of sporting glory for the Czech carmaker.  


In the interwar period, the baton was passed from L&K motorcycles to the new generation of ŠKODA cars. In January 1936, for example, the ŠKODA POPULAR roadster came second in the 1500-cm3 category at the Monte Carlo Rally; the following year the larger RAPID coupé also did well. After World War II, three ŠKODA 1101s came top of their class in a 24-hour race in Spa, Belgium. Special supercharged Sport and Supersport versions and ŠKODA 1100 OHC roadsters and coupés were then made for motorsport competitions (1957 and 1959). That was followed by the famous era of the ŠKODA OCTAVIA series, including three consecutive victories in their class at the Monte Carlo Rally (1961-1963).

ŠKODA 1100 OHC (1957)

The Porsche of the East

1964 was the debut year of the rear-engine and monocoque body ŠKODA 1000 MB.  It was followed by the Š 110 L Rallye, Š 120 S and, above all, the “Porsche of the East”: the legendary ŠKODA 130 RS coupé. This car came first in its class at the Monte Carlo Rally (1977) and Acropolis Rally (1978, 1979 and 1981), not to mention outright victory in the brands’ classification in the European Touring Car Championship (1981).

ŠKODA 130 RS (1975)

The modern history of ŠKODA’s involvement in motorsport began at the start of the 1990s, with an appearance in the Monte Carlo Rally by the FAVORIT hatchback. Next up was the OCTAVIA Kit Car, but a new WRC competition was announced for the 1999 season. The first ŠKODA representative in this category was the OCTAVIA WRC, which was followed by the FABIA WRC (2003-2007).

Sporting FABIA

A new chapter – in a different competition category – was written by the all-wheel drive FABIA Super 2000. The works crew of Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler won two consecutive drivers’ championships in the ERC and, later, the APRC. From 2009 to 2014 ŠKODA FABIA Super 2000 drivers notched up a total of 50 national and international championship wins! 

ŠKODA FABIA Rally2 evo (2019)

The ŠKODA FABIA R5/Rally2 became the Czech carmaker’s flagship motorsport model in 2015. Crewed by the ŠKODA Motorsport works team, this car picked up five constructors’ world championship titles from 2015 to 2019. Successful ŠKODA customer teams won five more FIA championships, with 23 first places in national championships as well.

The thrilling history of ŠKODA motorsport success is still being written. ŠKODA Storyboard will not only let you watch it unfold over the course of this year: we will also be taking a look back at its famous achievements and behind-the-scenes stories.   


Related Stories Based on tags: 1100 OHC, 130 RS, 2021, Popular Monte Carlo, R5, Rally2 evo