If you want to learn something, watch how the best do it
What ŠKODA cars did you follow before you started your racing career?
I always admired the 130 RS and its victory in the Monte Carlo Rally, but of course I was mainly interested in cars that were racing at the time. I really enjoyed watching the FELICIA KitCar, which had a lovely clean sound, and what Emil Triner and Pavel Sibera got up to in it was amazing. Then came the WRC era, and the OCTAVIA WRC that Armin Schwarz drove to the podium in the famous Safari Rally Kenya – that was a stunning result. And then there were the cars I had the privilege of driving: the FABIA WRC, FABIA S 2000, FABIA Rally2 and now the FABIA Rally2 evo.
Which drivers from the history of ŠKODA Motorsport do you remember the most?
My dad, a racing driver I used to go to practically every race with as a fan, always told me that if I wanted to learn something, I should watch how the best do it. So I watched Emil Triner, for example, who could do amazing things with the FAVORIT or FELICIA cars, which Pavel Sibera also excelled with, and I watched Roman Kresta and his mastery of the OCTAVIA WRC. They were right up there with the best.
How did your career develop? Today you are known as a rally driver, but it wasn’t always like that...
I enjoyed all sports when I was a kid, and my dad didn’t push me into motorsport. In the end I threw in my lot with motorsport at the age of eleven, beginning with karting and then moving on to circuit racing. Gradually, thanks in part to my friends, I got involved with rally driving, which my dad was a bit uncomfortable with because he regards it as a very dangerous discipline. He was always very supportive even so. I had come into contact with ŠKODA on the circuits, then I built the OCTAVIA rally car, and from 2008 until last year I was a works driver for ŠKODA. Now I’m involved in testing and, above all, developing ŠKODA rally cars.
What is the development process like for rally cars?
The competition never sleeps and you have to keep pushing the car forward. Everything improves over time: the engine, chassis, brakes... There are lots of things to work on, even if it looks like the car is already perfect. There will always be new materials, new technical solutions that allow us to go a little bit further. But all of that needs to be tested, so there’s a lot of work to be done.
How do you see the future of ŠKODA Motorsport?
I believe that while eMobility booms combustion engines will remain relevant in motorsport, possibly thanks to the development of alternative fuels. And whatever form motorsport takes as a whole, I am convinced that ŠKODA will continue to play an important role in it and its cars will still perform as well as ever, entertaining drivers and fans alike.