› Lucie Bortová, Head of Customer Program at Škoda Motorsport, hands over jubilee Škoda Fabia RS Rally2 to Italian team Delta Rally
› Škoda Fabia in Rally2 version collected since 2015 hundreds of victories as well as dozens of national and international titles
› Škoda dominates Rally2 entries on most rounds of the FIA World Rally Championship and FIA European Rally Championship
Mladá Boleslav (CZE), 21 April 2023 – Created mainly for private teams, Rally2 represents the second highest car category of the FIA World Rally Championship and the top class of basically every other international series as well as countless national championships. Škoda Motorsport introduced a Rally2 variant of the Fabia in 2015, which soon became worldwide the most successful and bestselling model of its class. Today, the 500th Škoda Fabia in Rally2 specification left the company’s headquarters in Mladá Boleslav.
In 2013, the motorsport association FIA re-organized the pyramid of cars allowed in international rallying. In this new system Rally2 (formerly called R5) served as second highest league Rally2 regulations paid special attention to cost cutting. Base cars have to come from the B segment. They can be fitted with a turbo-charged engine derived from another series model of the brand or group, as long as the capacity doesn’t exceed 1,620 ccm. A 32 millimetres restrictor in the air intake limits the power to roughly 214kW (290 hp). The five-speed sequential gearbox and the purely mechanical four-wheel drive system have to be sourced from the market. And finally the FIA put a price cap on the ready-to-race car, in 2023 standing at 260.766 Euro excluding taxes.
Škoda Motorsport realized the potential of this new concept and kicked off development for a successor model of the Škoda Fabia S2000, since 2009 the brand’s car of choice for rally purposes. In early 2015, the Rally2 variant of the Škoda Fabia was ready. It soon not only became the most winning car of its category on the rally tracks worldwide. It also evolved into a commercial success. On most rounds of the FIA World Rally Championship and FIA European Rally Championship at least half of the Rally2 cars carry the Škoda badge.
Today, Škoda Motorsport delivered the record 500th car. Lucie Bortová, Head of Customer Program at Škoda Motorsport, handed over the jubilee Škoda Fabia RS Rally2 to Italian team Delta Rally. “To reach the mark of 500 units for the Škoda Fabia in Rally2 specification makes me incredible proud of everybody here at Škoda Motorsport. On the other hand, this achievement 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,” Bortová commented.
Škoda Fabia Rally2 (2015)
Škoda entered the Rally2 category in spring 2015 with the rally variant of the third generation Fabia road car. The Škoda Fabia Rally2took the rally scene by storm. Works drivers Esapekka Lappi (Finland/2016), Pontus Tidemand (Sweden/2017) and Jan Kopecký (Czech Republic/2018) won drivers’ titles in the WRC2 class of the World Rally Championship with the car. Škoda added WRC2 manufacturers’ titles to the list.
Škoda Fabia Rally2 evo (2019)
In 2019, Škoda Motorsport presented the further developed Rally2 evo version of the Fabia. And the success story continued. Factory driver Kalle Rovanperä (Finland) became WRC2 Pro champion that year while Pierre-Louis Loubet (France) won the WRC2 category reserved for private drivers. Again, Škoda Motorsport achieved the teams’ title. Chris Ingram (Great Britain) took the drivers‘ title of the FIA European Rally Championship. Two years later, Andreas Mikkelsen (Norway) scored a double – at the wheel of the Škoda Fabia Rally2 evo, he became WRC2 champion and FIA European Rally Champion. In 2022, Škoda driver Emil Lindholm (Finland) celebrated the WRC2 overall and Junior titles.
Added to this impressive list are victories in the FIA Championships in Africa (ARC), North and Central America (NACAM), South America (CODASUR), Asia-Pacific (APRC) and the Middle East Rally Championship (MERC). In total, Škoda Motorsport and its customer teams celebrated 16 world championship titles in driver and team categories with vehicles based on the third-generation Fabia road car. The Fabia Rally2 and Fabia Rally2 evo were more successful than their predecessor models, the Fabia S2000 and Fabia WRC.
In total, both models scored 2.000 overall and class victories worldwide.
Škoda Fabia RS Rally2 (2023)
In June 2022, the Škoda Fabia RS Rally2 officially broke cover. The all-new rally model from Mladá Boleslav is based on the fourth-generation Škoda Fabia road car. The Škoda Fabia RS Rally2 benefits from sophisticated aerodynamics and exceptionally stiff bodywork of the production model. The engineers also developed a new 1.6-litre turbocharged engine based on the 2.0 TSI powerplant, which is used in Škoda’s RS road car models, among others.
The Škoda Fabia RS Rally2 made its debut in the FIA World Rally Championship at the 2023 season opening Rallye Monte-Carlo. While it was already fastest Rally2 car on most of the legendary “Monte“ stages, first WRC2 victory was celebrated the following event: Oliver Solberg, 21 year-old son of former world champion Petter Solberg, won the category at Rally Sweden.
Private drivers at the wheel of the Škoda Fabia RS Rally2 also already collected wins on national level. The chances are good, that the Rally2 spec Škoda Fabia with the running number 500 will add to this tally: The car will be entered by team Delta Rally into the Italian Championship.