A rally car requires constant development. This is exactly how the Škoda Motorsport team approaches the Škoda Fabia RS Rally2. Even in the second season of its full competitive deployment, the team is continuously improving its individual parts to ensure its speed and durability are at the best possible level. Test drivers Oliver Solberg and Erik Cais have just completed modifications to the car's shock absorbers, gearbox and aerodynamics in Scandinavia and Portugal.

Even more than a year and a half after the homologation of the Škoda Fabia RS Rally2, when the basic units of the car remained frozen, the Škoda Motorsport development team is working on further partial improvements to the car so that customers can get an even more competitive and reliable car.

"We are constantly improving the car for our customers. However, due to the regulations, we cannot arbitrarily change the technical components after the car has been homologated," explains Aleš Rada, Technical Director of Škoda Motorsport. Once homologation is completed, only some parts of the Rally2 car can be modified. In order to implement the modifications, it is necessary to submit an application for extension of homologation. There are several types of these extensions.

Major modifications that result in a more extensive evolution of the car must be homologated as an "Erratum Joker", or „joker“ for short. The number of jokers is limited by regulations. "During the first two years of the car's homologation period, we are only allowed to use three jokers and two more only for safety or reliability reasons," says Aleš Rada. The Škoda Fabia RS Rally2 is still within this two-year period. Therefore, Škoda Motorsport still has several jokers up its sleeve.

The aim of the development team was to make the Fabia even more competitive for fast gravel rallies during the WRC winter break. "We carried out several development measurements in the wind tunnel of our colleagues from the Volkswagen Group in Ingolstadt," reveals Aleš Rada. The next point in development was the gearbox. "So far, we have only homologated one set of gear ratios. However, we have also been approved for a second set," Aleš Rada explains the work on longer gear ratios.

Oliver Solberg, who recently won the WRC2 category at the Rally Sweden, tested the Škoda Fabia RS Rally2 on the frozen Scandinavian tracks to test new aerodynamic solutions and longer gear ratios. "Our second victory in a row in Sweden has shown that the Škoda Fabia RS Rally2 is already very fast. But it's also important, especially for our customer teams, that the car is easy to drive and works perfectly in a wide variety of conditions," says Oliver Solberg.

Around 4,000 kilometres to the south, Erik Cais got behind the wheel of a Škoda Fabia RS Rally2 on Portuguese gravel roads to test the new shock absorbers. "The effort that the Škoda Motorsport team puts into testing and the continuous development of the car is incredible. The gravel shock absorbers in particular show a great improvement compared to last year. They provide a lot of grip and the driver has a lot more confidence behind the wheel," concluded Erik Cais.

The second round of the 2024 FIA World Rally Championship has already taken place. After the icy tarmac roads of the Rallye Monte-Carlo and the winter forest tracks of Sweden, the next event on the calendar is the rough gravel Safari Rally Kenya. National championships around the world have also begun. The work of Oliver Solberg, Erik Cais and the entire Škoda Motorsport team ensures that the customer teams and their cars remain at the top of their game.