When Peter Solberg was racing around the world rally tracks, the Fabia WRC was his rival. At the time, his son Oliver was only four years old. Now the rally driver, who is currently racing a Fabia RS Rally2, has finally had a taste of the former Škoda Motorsport special. And it was a dream come true for him.

Rally racing has changed a lot in the last 20 years. At first glance, it may seem that the WRC specials of that time are very close to the current Rally2 competition cars. They have turbocharged engines and all-wheel drive, but there are still differences. Accompanied by his father Peter, Oliver Solberg has now tried it out when he sat behind the wheel of an ex-factory Fabia WRC at the Sosnová Classic.

"I remember that 2005 car with Colin McRae at the wheel," recalls 2003 World Rally Champion Peter Solberg. "Colin was fighting with the Fabia for second place in Australia," he says, reminding his son of 2005. For Oliver, this car from the era when his father was at the peak of his career (he finished second in the championship in 2002, 2004 and 2005) is his most favourite car in Škoda Motorsport's history.

"A big rear wing, wide fenders, a two-litre engine," says Oliver, listing what he likes so much about the low-spec asphalt Fabia WRC. "Treat it with respect," Peter reminds him as they squeeze into the cab of the car and get ready to take it for a spin. "Amazing, amazing!" gushes Oliver after a few kilometres behind the wheel of the special. "Lots of torque, lots of power, paddle shifters, active differentials," says the rally hopeful, listing the things that appealed to him while driving. "I have such a blissful feeling about it," he comments on his experience of being able to try what he called "old-school rally driving".

And he himself points out that without the Fabia WRC, today's successful series of Rally2 cars might not have existed. "Škoda Motorsport has gained experience with the car in the World Championship and has learned a lot from the development of the cars. Then began the successful S2000 series, which continues with Rally2 cars to this day," says Oliver Solberg.

Fabia WRC

The Škoda Fabia WRC was introduced in 2003 and the manufacturer entered it in the FIA World Rally Championship in the top WRC category in 2004 and 2005. Stars such as the aforementioned Colin McRae, as well as Didier Auriol, Toni Gardemeister, Armin Schwarz and Czech drivers Jan Kopecký and Roman Kresta have all sat behind the wheel. The Fabia WRC completed a total of 57 events at the highest level.

The car had a turbocharged two-litre engine with about 300 hp. A six-speed sequential gearbox sent power to all four wheels with the help of active differentials.