The next ŠKODA Motorsport customer team will take us to Latvia. Sports Racing Technologies started their career on the circuits, but over the course of time they decided to enter the world of rallying, where they are certainly no newcomers. In the following interview they told us, among other things, what is important on the road to becoming a successful team and their experience with the ŠKODA FABIA Rally2 evo.
Can you tell us how the SRT team was formed?
The beginning of the team's activity can be traced back to 2002 when it all started with a circuit racing. The initial goal was to create the best circuit racing team in the Baltics. From 2002 to 2009 the team actively started in both Baltic and NEZ (FIA North European Zone) competitions and achieved unbeatable track records and won champion titles both individually and in team competitions. The 2009 was a year of change: this year, the team began working towards a new goal – to become the best team in the Baltics in the rally discipline. Already in 2010 the team was ready to provide drivers with the necessary equipment and knowledge to compete in rallies. Since then Sports Racing Technologies has grown into a team that supports multiple drivers on their way to the podium. With confidence we can say that we have achieved the initial goal - to be the best team in Baltics. New goals are set each season and the team is now a yearly contender in ERC, WRC and other events every year.
You started with the circuit racing. Is there a huge difference for the team between the circuit racing and rallying?
Our main goals have remained the same - do our best for the driver. No matter what the race is. But of course now we are far more capable and experienced than we were in our circuit days. We also expect more from ourselves now and we are thinking in a wider sense than at the start - sometimes overlooking the business aspect and focusing more on the sportsmanship, development and creativity.
Is there a recipe for becoming a successful team that provides drivers with rally cars? What do you think is the most important thing in this way?
We can say with absolute certainty that no team is complete without passionate and eager people who want to go over and beyond. Spend more hours in the car than most of the others, and if you can't, find a way to do it. People with passion and vision and ability to work hard will make any team a successful one.
What is the most important thing about a rally car?
There are a lot of possible answers here. For some drivers it would be the latest model with the latest technologies, for others lowest mileage price. For our team the most important things are reliability, solid and continuous development, safe construction and incredible speed.
You have 9 ŠKODA FABIA Rally2 cars. It looks like you and your customers really like this car. What is the best thing about this car?
Actually, everything we mentioned in the previous question. ŠKODA FABIA Rally2 has proven itself to be a very reliable car and our team has become familiar with it extremely well over the years - so with our confidence, experience and ŠKODA‘s quality it makes for an interesting car for drivers to want to rent for World, European and even Middle East championships.
How could drivers help you with the inner development of the team? What is the most valuable thing for you?
Their input on suspension is very important, because we are working hard on developing the best setups to reach the best results. It's such a joy to work with drivers who are able to share valuable experience. The first place in Rally Estonia (WRC3 category) this year was a big win for the team and also for our Suspension Laboratory, because we tried something new and it was very well received by the drivers. Any opinion, critique and suggestion are very welcomed, because it helps us to grow and become better specialists.
Miko Marczyk shared his experience with the Sports Racing Technologies team:
"Driving ŠKODA FABIA Rally2 evo is a pleasure because I know that performance of the car and reliability is on the top level. I can only improve myself as a driver and our setup decisions which are combined with my rally team - Sport Racing Technologies. Our cooperation is good, I really appreciate the experience and knowledge of the team built on cooperation with such drivers like Nikolay Gryazin, Vaidotas Zala or Łukasz Habaj.
The success of every brand is made by people. I work together with Marcis Kenavs, our engineer and guys who are responsible for our car - Janis Kuplis, Valerijs Veibers and Arvo Himičs.
I know that our victory in ERC junior category - Michelin Talent Factory is not a coincidence. We have worked for it and I'm also happy that we won a title in the Polish National Rally Championship and that we achieved third place overall in the FIA European Rally Championship."