This week, the jubilee 500th Škoda Fabia in Rally2 specification was handed over to the Italian Delta Rally team at the Škoda Motorsport headquarters. This is undoubtedly another significant milestone for Škoda in its successful Rally2 programme, punctuating the Fabia's dominance in its class.
Rally2 cars are placed in the second highest category of the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC2) and the top class in the vast majority of other international and national championships. By developing a car of this specification, Škoda Motorsport responded to the new pyramid of cars permitted at international rallies, which the FIA introduced in 2013. The new regulations of the Rally2 class (formerly R5) were intended to make rallying significantly more affordable, especially for private teams. The base of the car must come from the B segment and, unlike S2000 specification cars, can be equipped with a turbo engine from another production model of the brand or group, as long as the displacement does not exceed 1620 cc. Another limitation is the intake restrictor, which confines power to around 214 kW (290 hp). In addition, a five-speed sequential gearbox and a purely mechanical all-wheel drive system are allowed. The FIA has also set a price cap for a ready-to-race car, which is €260,766 excluding tax in 2023.
The Škoda Motorsport team quickly realised the potential of this concept and, following the success of the ŠKODA Fabia S2000, threw itself into the development of a new car in Rally2 specification. At the beginning of the 2015 season, the Škoda Fabia Rally2 was ready and quickly became the most successful car in its category on special stages around the world. Commercial success was not long in coming either, and at least half of the Rally2 cars on the tracks of the World and European Rally Championship represent the Škoda brand.
Lucie Bortová, Head of Customer Programme at Škoda Motorsport, handed over the anniversary Škoda Fabia RS Rally2 to the Italian Delta Rally team this week. "Having reached the 500-unit mark of the Škoda Fabia in Rally2 specification, I am incredibly proud of everyone at Škoda Motorsport. On the other hand, this success would not have been possible without the strong loyalty of our customer teams. My sincere thanks go to all of them. Together, we will continue this success story with the new Škoda Fabia RS Rally2," commented Bortová.
Riccardo Cappato, Head of the Delta Rally Team added: "We started competing with Škoda cars in 2017 at the request of our customers. Škoda cars already had a reputation for being reliable and really fast, which was confirmed very quickly. Another important factor in the decision-making process was the excellent customer and technical service that the Škoda Motorsport team provides to its customers, which allows us to always get the most out of the car. We work with both professional and amateur drivers, so it is also important for our team that the cars are relatively easy to drive and not tricky for the crews. We are very much looking forward to using the new car on the stages of both the WRC and ERC events and the Italian Rally Championship."