A three-year break, a year of hard work on preparations and a year of tough testing - that was the start of the Fabia Super 2000 project through which Škoda Motorsport continues its unique tradition of over a hundred years of excellence in motorsport.
The factory team presented their brand new car at the Monte Carlo Rally this year in January and the vehicle indeed surprised the whole car racing world and earned immediate recognition. The team then enjoyed some unforgettable moments in the IRC events that followed. In particular, the victory for Hänninen - Markkula at the Russian Rally in July and two victories for Kopecký - Starý at the events in the Czech Republic and Spain in August and September, respectively, are seen as new milestones in Škoda's rallying history. Kopecký - Starý finished second in their first IRC season and Škoda is the runner-up in the manufacturer competition although it did not appear in all of the championship events.
Commenting on the Fabia Super 2000 project, Head of Škoda Motorsport Michal Hrabánek says: “We were starting this project with a clear vision based on three key lines – (i) rallying, where the undisputed priority was to appear in selected IRC events, (ii) the customer line, where the goal was to sell 10-15 vehicles to private customers and cooperation with our importers, and (iii) on further development of the vehicle which in fact is a never-ending process. These three lines are complementary and we are indeed satisfied with our results in 2009 when we look at them as a whole. We have made some great rallying achievements, become fully competitive and developed a fast and reliable car that, in combination with a top-class crew, is geared to win. Private teams using the car have also been successful in 2009. Patrik Sandell (SWE) of BRR won PWRC events in Norway and Cyprus, Lambros Athanassoulas (GRE) of A-Style triumphed at the Acropolis Rally and Eyvind Brinyldsen (NOR) won the N category at the Catalunya Rally. The Fabia S2000 has also achieved some great results in national rally events, especially in Austria (Raimund Baumschlager), Spain (Alberto Hevia) and Italy (Piero Longhi). Driving a private Fabia for BRR, the member of Škoda Motorsport (factory team) Juho Hänninen won the Finnish Rally. All these achievements are very effective promotion for the Škoda brand.”
“Furthermore, we have sold 13 vehicles to private owners so far and are planning to sell a further at least three by the end of this year. The demand kept exceeding our production capacity all year long, which only shows that the Fabia Super 2000 is a great product, and we are also pleased to see that our importers are keen to support the project and take part in it, because this offers Škoda a large number of positive synergies worldwide. We are now going to concentrate on reinforcing our positions in the markets that we have already penetrated, i.e., Italy, Spain, Austria, the Czech Republic, Belgium and the United Arab Emirates, but we also want to win some new markets that offer great potential for growth in terms of both rallying and brand development, such as Germany, Poland, France, Slovakia and Scandinavia. One of the sides that the general public cannot really see is further development of the car, i.e., further improvements of all its parameters“, says Hrabánek.
“Our this year's rallying agenda is now over. The priority for the next season is IRC – just like this year, we are planning to take part in selected events, but this time the number of our appearances is supposed to be higher. I can say with certainty that we are going to appear at the Monte Carlo Rally in January which, thanks to the already announced scope of Eurosport TV coverage, will be a big milestone in the worldwide history of rallying. I wish to thank both our crews for working really hard and we are not talking just about all the kilometres they've done. Their approach is highly professional in all aspects and they indeed are indispensable part of our achievements. I also wish to say a big thank you to the entire Škoda Motorsport team that puts in loads of hard work, too,” adds Michal Hrabánek.
Zdroj: Škoda Auto a. s.