During the annual motorsport press conference in Prague ŠKODA Motorsport reflected on the most successful year in its 118 years of history. Kalle Rovanperä and Jonne Halttunen won the WRC 2 Pro drivers’ and co-drivers’ title of the FIA World Rally Championship 2019. They also substantially supported ŠKODA Motorsport to win the WRC 2 Pro manufacturers’ title together with last year champion Jan Kopecký and his co-drivers Pavel Dresler and Jan Hloušek. ŠKODA customer teams were also extremely successful in the 2019, having conquered five FIA championships and taking additional 23 national titles around the world.
A customer crew of Pierre-Louis Loubet and Vincent Landais (both from France) triumphed in the WRC 2 category for private teams. Driving another ŠKODA FABIA R5, British crew Chris Ingram and Ross Whittock won FIA European Rally Championship. Filip Mareš and Jan Hloušek took the FIA European Rally Championship Junior title. Manvir Singh Baryan and Drew Sturrock won the FIA African Rally Championship, while Ricardo Triviño and Marc Martí won the FIA North American and Central American Rally Championship.
The successful campaign of the factory team in international rallying also acts as a catalyst for customer interest in ŠKODA FABIA R5 and its improved evo version, introduced this spring. To date, more than 320 cars have been sold to privateer teams and ŠKODA importers around the world. “This impressive number of sales means a big responsibility towards our customers,” emphasizes ŠKODA Motorsport Director Michal Hrabánek.
After a successful 2019, Christian Strube, Head of Technical Development ŠKODA AUTO, gave an outlook to the future and emphasized: “An even bigger focus will be on our customers – and we will support young drivers, as we have already successfully done in the past. With our fast and reliable ŠKODA FABIA R5 evo, we have the right car to compete on a top level on the rally tracks worldwide and to make the 119th year in our motorsport history together with our great team successful again!”
ŠKODA Motorsport Director Michal Hrabánek bid farewell to Kalle Rovanperä and Jonne Halttunen, who are not competing with ŠKODA any more: “We had two successful seasons with Kalle and Jonne; it was a pleasure to have them in our team. We wish them all the best for their future. Now we are fully concentrated on preparing the next rally season properly.”