Roughly 280 ŠKODA FABIA R5 cars have been sold since the homologation on April 1, 2015. The new ŠKODA FABIA R5 evo follows in the footsteps of its predecessor, which is the most successful rally car in its category so far. Toni Gardemeister, former works driver for ŠKODA Motorsport and owner of the team TGS Worldwide, received the very first ŠKODA FABIA R5 evo delivered to a customer team.
The new ŠKODA FABIA R5 evo already had a successful competition debut in the hands of factory crews Kalle Rovanperä/Jonne Halttunen and Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler. ŠKODA Motorsport scored double victories in the WRC 2 Pro category at Rally de Portugal and Rally Italia Sardegna. Now the updated rally car from Mladá Boleslav is ready to be delivered to the customers of ŠKODA Motorsport, too.
The first customer car will be competing with promising Finn Eerik Pietarinen at the wheel at the upcoming Rally Finland. Pietarinen won in Finland last year and this year he will collect points in the WRC 2 Pro category for ŠKODA Motorsport.
Toni Gardemeister, TGS Worldwide and ŠKODA have been a successful combination already in the past. From 2002 to 2004, Gardemeister was competing as a factory driver for ŠKODA Motorsport in the FIA World Rally Championship with ŠKODA OCTAVIA WRC and ŠKODA FABIA WRC, respectively. In 2011, he drove a ŠKODA FABIA S2000, operated by his own team, Toni Gardemeister Services (TGS), in the Intercontinental Rally Challenge (IRC). With a ŠKODA FABIA R5 from TGS, current ŠKODA works driver Kalle Rovanperä achieved his first successes in 2017.
Toni Gardemeister is looking forward to the first event with the new car: “I had successful rallies with the ŠKODA FABIA S2000 and the ŠKODA FABIA R5, I am happy about the good cooperation with ŠKODA Motorsport and proud to be the first customer team to receive the new ŠKODA FABIA R5 evo!”