A year ago, one of the ŠKODA Customer Teams claimed victory in the WRC2 category at the Rally Guanajuato Mexico and this success triggered a run of ten FABIA R5 wins in the next eleven rallies of the 2016 season and saw the Rally Mexico winner Teemu Suninen finish the season in second place in the final classification of the WRC2 championship.
The 2017 WRC2 season has already seen two ŠKODA wins, but there are once again some FABIA R5 drivers who will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of Suninen and use success in Mexico as a catapult to enjoying a strong season.
This year, there will be one ŠKODA Motorsport car competing as Swedes Pontus Tidemand and Jonas Andersson look to keep the momentum going from their win in the last WRC2 round in Sweden.
Polish driver Hubert Ptaszek and his co-driver Maciej Szczepaniak return to the FABIA R5 for the first time in 2017. Ptaszek drove in six WRC rallies in a FABIA R5 last year. He also achieved his first podium finish in the WRC2 standings in Mexico last year, when he finished second but driving a different car. This year the Polish crew runs under the banner of renowned Polish Team Orlen.
Mexican driver Benito Guerra Jr will be at the wheel of a FABIA R5 prepared and run by Motorsport Italia team. Guerra Jr, who will be supported by Spanish co-driver Borja Rozada, knows the event very well having competed here many times before in both WRC and Group N cars.
This, however, will be his first appearance in the R5 class and his first time driving a ŠKODA FABIA R5. He is popular with the Mexican rally crowds, hundreds of thousands of whom are expected to attend this year’s event, especially the opening street stage in Mexico City.
The final FABIA R5 on the entry list was to have been the Toksport WRT car driven by Qatari Khalid Mohammad Al-Suwaidi and his British co-driver Marshall Clarke. However, they suffered a bad crash in the Qatar Rally, the opening round of the 2017 FIA Middle East Rally Championship, and have been unable to get their car ready for this event, meaning they will not be able to take part this year.
Everyone at ŠKODA Motorsport wishes our customer teams all the best for the Rally Guanajuato Mexico and we will be following their performances closely right here on the ŠKODA Motorsport website as well as on our social media channels.