As the world premiere of the new generation ŠKODA FABIA Rally2 is approaching, we are bringing you an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the ŠKODA Motorsport team's demanding test programme. See the best photos from various surfaces on which the engineers and test drivers developed the new rally special.
There's asphalt and then there´s asphalt, so the FABIA got a taste of not only Czech asphalt, but also Croatian, Corsican and Italian asphalt during the tests. Narrow roads with a rough and not very good quality surface are typical for the south of the Czech Republic and several competitions are held on them. The asphalt in Croatia is very slippery. The test tracks in Corsica and around San Remo are typical in their ruggedness and seemingly endless number of corners. The most photogenic, however, is the smooth and fast Catalan asphalt. Its characteristics are similar to those of a racing circuit, and so is its speed.
Gravel 100 times different
The same is true of gravel. The FABIA was driven through the fine Spanish dust and the rain-slicked tracks of the Catalan Terra Alta region. It showed its speed on the open roads of central Finland. But it was in the French foothills of the Pyrenees that it did its best work. Around the ancient town of Carcassonne, the tracks are renowned for their difficulty, which surpasses even the extremely challenging conditions in Turkey. Here, the FABIA proved to be at least as resilient as its predecessor.
Queen of the air
Jumping was also an important part of the testing. The tracks in Finland in particular are traditionally full of them. Take a look at how gracefully the FABIA performed. We've also included a few jumps from the demanding testing in France, which shows that a rally car is not always a cat that lands on all four legs.
A winter fairy tale
And here is Finland for the third time. Where else to test a car in the right winter conditions than on the border of the Arctic Circle in northern Scandinavia. Temperatures well below freezing, and ice at the base of the stages was just what the team needed. And the FABIA in camouflaged livery looked fabulous in the snowy Finnish forests.