Rally Service Racing is the first customer team to take over the ŠKODA FABIA Rally2 evo from the limited edition Edition 120. Read more about the team's history and current plans in an interview with owner Julien Perroux.
What’s the History of the RSR Team and How Does the Team Work Now?
We started renting rally cars in 2011. Until then, we only had a garage for road cars in Ciblize (Rhône departement). Since September 2016, we’ve moved to Neulise in the Loire departement, 45 minutes from Lyon and 35 minutes from Saint-Etienne. The core of the team consists of 4 mechanics, 2 workers in the body shop, my wife Aurélia, our son Tom, and I. Of course, several more people help us out on rally weekends.
Throughout history, we’ve had a number of cars – Citroëns, the C2R2 Max and Saxo T4; Renaults, the Clio R3 Max and Mégane Kit Car; Peugeots, the 207 S2000, 208 R2 and 306 Maxi; and Ford Fiesta R5 Mk2s. We started using ŠKODA cars in the autumn of 2016, when we bought our first used FABIA Rally2. In 2017, Mathieu Arzeno took it to the victory in the French rally championship in Marseille and our cooperation with ŠKODA took off at full speed.
The new FABIA Rally2 evo Edition 120 is our eighth ŠKODA car already, seven of which were bought brand new. Our current fleet enables us to take part in up to 100 rallies per year.
Besides our own cars, we service several other FABIA Rally2s and one FABIA S2000. We also do bodywork on race cars, rebuilds, engine tuning and transmission, and other services connected to motorsport.
It seems that the French have a strong connection with rallying. What do you think is the reason? Is it that you have lots of narrow, winding roads, or is it because of the big names in history?
Yes, it is true that there is a lot of rallying going on in France. Or at least it was until the unfortunate stop brought about by Covid-19 in the 2020 season. French roads, which are very varied region from region, certainly help in this matter. It’s also because of the beautiful and famous rallies we have here. There is, for example, the Rallye Monte Carlo, with traditions spanning decades, and many other regional and national championships. The variety is huge. It is not unusual for 5 or 6 different rallies to take place in France over one weekend.
Why did you go into customer rallying?
At the end of 2010, we bought a Citroën C2R2. One of our friends asked to rent it for Rallye Monte Carlo 2011, and this was how our customer rallying started. Since then, the number of cars and clients has increased, as I’ve already mentioned at the beginning of the interview.
What are your fondest memories of the team’s big successes?
We like to remember all our successes, but there’s a special place for our very first victories with the Renault Clio S1600 and the Mégane Kit Car - and, of course, those with ŠKODA cars. Our victory with Mathieu Arzeno from 2017 is a beautiful, vivid memory even today. Since then, we’ve experienced many a great and successful moment with our customers. We could spend forever talking about those.
What do your customers like about the ŠKODA FABIA Rally2 and Rally2 evo?
Basically everything. The car is fantastically equipped, the build quality is first-rate, as is the reliability and durability in the harsh conditions of rallying. There’s no doubting the performance, either. All you need is to look at all the successes this car has achieved. At the same time, the car is always moving forward. The customers like the looks of the new FABIA. Simply said, we really trust the car and the customers can see that.
What are your plans for the first car you received from the Edition 120?
We’ve already taken it on two tarmac rallies – Rally Sanremo and Rally Croatia. We’re waiting to see how the situation about the epidemic will play out, but it’s likely that it won’t stay in the garage for very long.
How would you rate the cooperation with ŠKODA Motorsport from the technical standpoint?
ŠKODA Motorsport is a great team, both from the business and the technical point of view. We value their willingness to listen and solve our problems, however unusual they may be. The availability of spare parts is great, as is the response time, which is important for us. The car is very reliable, and it is built in such a way that it’s easy to work on and fine-tune for various rallies. We would like to thank Norbert (ŠKODA Motorsport salesman - author's note) - and the whole ŠKODA Motorsport team - for their reliable and professional support.
Foto credit: Nicolas Millet