Customers like SRT successfully compete with the ŠKODA FABIA R5 in rallies around the globe. But the Czech rally car not only is a commercial success, the ŠKODA FABIA R5 also is racing-wise the benchmark in its category. In 2017 ŠKODA crews were nearly unbeatable in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2) as well as in regional and national championships. Five months into the 2018 season, ŠKODA factory crews already won four out of five rounds of the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2) and are leading the Championship.
Since then 2017 was the most successful year for ŠKODA Motorsport: Pontus Tideland and co-driver Jonas Andersson became WRC 2 Champions, ŠKODA Motorsport also won the WRC 2 Team Championship. Czech Champions Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler were the spearhead of in total 14 crews winning their country’s national titles. Furthermore, the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC), the FIA Middle East Rally Championship (MERC), the FIA South American Rally Championship (CODASUR) and the FIA African Rally Championship (ARC) were won by teams competing in a ŠKODA FABIA R5.
Up to now, 200 ŠKODA FABIA R5 have been delivered to 89 customers in 30 countries. Until now they achieved 414 victories, participating in rallies in 57 countries. Beside this success story, the rally car from Mladá Boleslav is as well a true ambassador for the brand worldwide. Although ŠKODA is officially not yet present on the Japanese car market, the Cusco Team of rally driver Yuya Sumiyama imported a ŠKODA FABIA R5 to Japan and is currently leading the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship.
In 2018, ŠKODA Motorsport is even more focused on its customer services. As a result, the new motorsport season started very promising for ŠKODA customers. In the FIA European Rally Championship’s U 28 category, with Fabian Kreim (ŠKODA Auto Deutschland), Nikolay Gryazin (Sports Racing Technolgies/SRT) and Chris Ingram (Toksport WRT) currently no less than three drivers of ŠKODA FABIA R5 hold the top three spots of the overall standings.
In 14 European countries, the current championship leaders compete with a ŠKODA FABIA R5, but the success of the Czech rally car is even global. In the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship as well as in South America (Paraguay), the Middle East (Lebanon) and Africa (Mauritius) currently ŠKODA crews are holding the top positions of their national championships.
To maintain the global success of the ŠKODA FABIA R5, ŠKODA Motorsport is continuously improving the competitiveness of its R5 rally car. ŠKODA Head of Motorsport Michal Hrabánek emphasizes: “In the past, our work on the ŠKODA FABIA R5 focused on reliability. As a result, during the 2017 WRC season none of the factory cars had to retire due to technical issues. Thanks to the presence of our works team in the FIA World Rally Championship, we got the experience to further develop the car, making the ŠKODA FABIA R5 the best car in its category. In 2018 the competition is even more intense. We are facing new R5 cars from our competitors, but we are well prepared. For example, we are now offering an engine upgrade to our customer teams, which improves torque, power output and drivability of the ŠKODA FABIA R5’s power plant.”