The car in question was being driven under the Volkswagen Motorsport moniker by Frenchman Sébastien Ogier and his co-driver Julien Ingrassia. Ogier, of course, was already a household name on the rallying scene and - after impressing as Sébastien Loeb’s teammate at Citroën - had moved to Volkswagen Motorsport to be a team’s No. 1. In 2012, the team was entering FABIA S2000s while developing their soon-to-be all-conquering Polo WRC.
After a steady start to the rally, which saw him placed twelfth at the end of the opening two special stages, which constituted the first leg, it was on stage 5 where Ogier really started to catch the eye. He managed to set the fastest time overall on that stage, which is in itself an astonishing achievement in a field of more powerful cars. But there was more to it than that because Ogier brought his FABIA S2000 home a full seven seconds ahead of his nearest rival.
It was undoubtedly a shrewd observation from the driver but shouldn’t take away from what a remarkable performance from both himself and his car as well.
From that point on, Ogier continued to keep pace with his rivals behind the wheels of more powerful WRC cars, claimed two more fourth fastest time on the stages to end the second leg in fourth place overall.
The third leg again saw the FABIA S2000 mixing it with the big boys and more fast and competitive times saw Ogier end the day in fifth place overall. This was consolidated with another fourth fastest time on the penultimate stage of the rally, as Ogier brought the FABIA S2000 home in fifth place overall.
The final result saw him 4 minutes and 27 seconds behind the overall winner and a comfortable 54.7 seconds ahead of the sixth-placed car. To cap a great weekend for FABIA S2000 drivers, Andreas Mikkelsen / Ola Fløene in the other Volkswagen Motorsport’s FABIA S2000 brought their car home in seventh position overall.
The Volkswagen Motorsport Director Jost Capito was more forthright in his praise for Ogier’s driving.
The result remains the best overall finish a ŠKODA car has achieved at the Rally Italy during its time in Sardinia in the WRC era. And having two cars in the top 7 really was the ice on the cake.
At this year’s Rally Italia Sardegna, the FABIA R5 drivers will be focused on continuing the car’s winning run in the WRC2 championship. But there is no doubt Ogier’s achievement here five years ago, will inspire them to reach for the stars.