Success and glamour: the ŠKODA MONTE CARLO story

› Following the ŠKODA POPULAR’s success at the legendary MONTE CARLO Rally, the first MONTE CARLO models were produced in 1936
› ‘Monte’ 1-2 finishes in 1977 with the ŠKODA 130 RS and the ŠKODA FABIA R5 in 2017
› First motorsport milestones on two and four wheels date as far back as 1901 and 1908

Mladá Boleslav / Frankfurt, 9 September 2019 – MONTE CARLO: a name of exceeding importance to ŠKODA. Traditionally, sporty and lifestyle-oriented top-of-the-range variants of some ŠKODA model lines are given a particularly dynamic design and have MONTE CARLO added to their name. These models commemorate the many great successes celebrated by the Czech brand at the legendary MONTE CARLO Rally. Highlights include the ŠKODA 130 RS’s 1 2 class finish in 1977, and the ŠKODA FABIA R5’s recreation of this feat in the WRC2 category precisely 40 years later in 2017. The Czech brand set its first motorsport milestones back in the early 20th century.

Václav Laurin and Václav Klement, the company’s founding fathers, recognised motorsport as the perfect field to test their vehicles and to make a name for the still young company at an early stage. At the brand’s first ever race, the long-distance race from Paris to Berlin, Narcis Podsedníček was first to cross the finish line in the German metropolis, riding an L&K single-cylinder motorcycle designed by Laurin and Klement. The brand commenced production of automobiles in 1905 and achieved its first victories at hill-climb and endurance races. Then, in 1908, the 95-PS four-cylinder Laurin & Klement FCS set a world speed record in its class of 118.72 km/h at the newly designed Brooklands race track in England – the world’s first permanent race track.

First ‘Monte’ podium and the birth of the MONTE CARLO models

In 1936, ŠKODA created a sensation for the first time at the MONTE CARLO Rally, which had been taking place since 1911. Zdeněk Pohl / Jaroslav Hausman drove the ŠKODA POPULAR to a second place finish in the 1,500-cc category and ŠKODA subsequently launched a sporty road version – this was the birth of the MONTE CARLO model family. In total, 70 ŠKODA POPULAR SPORT MONTE CARLOs were built as either a roadster or a streamlined coupé. One of these is now part of the collection at the ŠKODA Museum in Mladá Boleslav.

ŠKODA POPULAR Monte Carlo Roadster

ŠKODA 130 RS 1-2 finish

Following promising appearances by privateers using the ŠKODA OCTAVIA TS at the beginning of the 1960s, the ŠKODA 130 RS achieved the brand’s greatest success at the time in 1977 at the now legendary MONTE CARLO Rally. Behind the wheel of the ŠKODA 130 RS, the ŠKODA works team pairings of Václav Blahna / Lubislav Hlávka and Milan Zapadlo / Jiří Motal achieved a 1-2 finish in the category for cars up to 1,300 cc. The ŠKODA 130 RS celebrated victories at prestigious rallies well into the mid-1980s – also securing the 1981 European Touring Car Championship title. In the 1990s, the Czech brand made its first appearance in the World Rally Championship with the ŠKODA FELICIA and claimed several class victories. In 1999, the newly developed, 300-PS all wheel drive ŠKODA OCTAVIA WRC made its debut in the World Rally Championship; the ŠKODA FABIA WRC followed in 2003.
 

ŠKODA 130 RS

SKODA OCTAVIA WRC

The ŠKODA FABIA’s success story

The ŠKODA FABIA SUPER 2000, released in 2009, marked the start of a unique success story. From 2010 to 2012, the all-wheel-drive car was driven to a total of three successive title wins in the Intercontinental Rally Challenge by Juho Hänninen / Mikko Markkula (one win) and Andreas Mikkelsen / Ola Fløene (two wins). In the European Rally Championship, Juho Hänninen / Mikko Markkula, Jan Kopecký / Pavel Dresler and Esapekka Lappi / Janne Ferm also secured three consecutive titles, this time from 2012 to 2014. In total, the ŠKODA FABIA SUPER 2000 helped its drivers to win more than 50 national and international titles. This is a figure that the SUPER 2000’s successor introduced in 2015, the ŠKODA FABIA R5, should surpass – having already secured more than 600 wins at individual rallies and four WRC2 manufacturer’s titles in a row between 2015 and 2018. Since 2016, the WRC2 titles for driver and co-driver have been awarded to ŠKODA crews three times in succession: Esapekka Lappi / Janne Ferm, Pontus Tidemand / Jonas Anderson and Jan Kopecký / Pavel Dresler. The emotional high point for ŠKODA came in 2017 with a 1-2 finish provided by Andreas Mikkelsen / Anders Jæger and Jan Kopecký / Pavel Dresler at the ‘Monte’ – exactly 40 years after the brand’s 1977 triumph in MONTE CARLO and while sporting special-edition livery commemorating the ŠKODA 130 RS.

ŠKODA FABIA R5 a ŠKODA FABIA WRC

 

2011 sees the return of MONTE CARLO models to the portfolio

ŠKODA rekindled the tradition of giving sporty variants the name MONTE CARLO in 2011. Giving models the name of this Monégasque district not only pays homage to the brand’s history of motorsport, but also references the glitz, glamour and lifestyle synonymous with the principality located on the French Riviera. Above all else, the hallmarks of the MONTE CARLO editions include striking black details and an even wider range of equipment. The ŠKODA FABIA MONTE CARLO took the lead in 2011, as part of the second generation of FABIAs, and has been available as a variant of the third-generation model since 2014. From 2014 to 2018, customers could opt for the ŠKODA RAPID SPACEBACK MONTE CARLO; the ŠKODA YETI MONTE CARLO was offered from 2014 to 2017 and the ŠKODA CITIGO MONTE CARLO from 2014 to 2019. From the end of 2019, the model family will be extended to feature the new ŠKODA SCALA MONTE CARLO and ŠKODA KAMIQ MONTE CARLO variants alongside the well-known ŠKODA FABIA MONTE CARLO and ŠKODA FABIA COMBI MONTE CARLO.

Monte-Carlo is registered trademark by Monaco Brands.

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Hermann Prax                                                     
Head of Product Communications                
T +420 734 298 173                            
hermann.prax@skoda-auto.cz

Štěpán Řehák
Product Communications
T +420 734 298 614
stepan.rehak@skoda-auto.cz

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