Škoda shared all sorts of goodies today and they were all about rally. The unbeatable Fabia S2000 will continue competing in the European Rally Championship next year, but there are changes compared to 2013. Instead of this year’s ERC champion Jan Kopecky two crews will fly Škoda’s banners next year. Esapekka Lappi and Sepp Wiegand are scheduled to tackle the ERC events (apparently not all events) while Kopecky will end up at the other side of the world. Czech ace joins the Asia Pacific Rally Championship – it’ll be good for marketing, Škoda says.
Czech manufacturer is also busy working on the new specification of Fabia-based rally car. Current S2000 car will be retired at the end of 2014, making way for a brand new piece of machinery. They (Škoda) call it the Fabia R5, but we know better. It’s a RC1 actually, although FIA’s announcement did mention name changes only under WRC paragraph, so I R confused at the moment. Whatever the name, either Fabia R5 or Fabia RC1 or Fabia RallyCar, it will be based on the new generation of the Czech B segment car and Škoda expects the homologation sometime in 2015.
Unlike Volkswagen, who, according to many people, had nothing to do with Škoda’s IRC and ERC exploits in terms of using the latter’s knowledge and experience to build their WRC project in such a short notice, Škoda will use Volkswagen’s WRC knowledge and experience.
But of course, Škoda can never teach Volkswagen, and of course, Škoda can learn a lot from Volkswagen. After all, Škoda is (owned by, but not) Volkswagen.