Skoda Motorsport Champions Given Heroes' Welcome On Visit To Plant In Mlada Boleslav

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MLADA BOLESLAV, CZECH REPUBLIC – Dec 17, 2013: At the end of a magnificent year of competition, champions Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler (CZ/CZ), Gaurav Gill/Glenn Macneall (IND/NZ) and Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (FIN/FIN) were given a heroes’ welcome when they visited the ŠKODA lead plant in Mladá Boleslav. As well as the drivers and their trophies, the spotlight was also on their winning car – the ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000. 2013 was one of the most successful years in ŠKODA’s 112-year motorsport history.

“We are proud of the success achieved by our motorsport teams. It is the result of teamwork, passion and ŠKODA engineering,” said Chairman of the Board of Directors at ŠKODA, Prof. Dr. h. c. Winfried Vahland. Ten days after they were officially honoured by the International Automobile Federation (FIA) in Paris, European Champions Kopecký/Dresler, Asia-Pacific title-holders Gaurav Gill/Glenn Macneall and APRC runners-up Lappi/Ferm joined the ŠKODA board and employees for a winners’ photo.

“The Fabia Super 2000 is an extraordinary rally car – quick, reliable and successful,” said European Champion Jan Kopecký. The 270-hp four wheel-drive powerhouse was responsible for a total of three continental and six national titles around the world in 2013. ŠKODA works drivers Kopecký/Dresler won the Drivers’ and Co-Drivers’ Championship in the FIA European Rally Championship (ERC). Gill/Macneall pulled off the same feat in the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC), ending the season ahead of team-mates Lappi/Ferm. The same quartet also won the Manufacturers’ Championship in the APRC for ŠKODA.

The six drivers and co-drivers were greeted with warm applause by the ŠKODA employees, and were only too happy to show off their trophies and answer questions. “It was our hearts’ desire to personally thank the ŠKODA employees on behalf of all the drivers. Without them, all our success would simply not be possible,” said APRC Champion Gaurav Gill.

The past year also produced a host of other triumphs with the Fabia Super 2000: Gustavo Saba/Victor Aguilera (PY/PY) won the 2013 FIA Codasur South American Rally Championship and the championship in their native Paraguay. ŠKODA drivers also picked up a further five national titles in Austria (Raimund Baumschlager), Italy (Scandola), Bulgaria (Dimitar Iliev), Jordan (Marouf Abu Samra) and Portugal (Ricardo Moura). Another highlight of one of the most successful years in the iconic manufacturer’s 112-year motorsport history was the triumph of ŠKODA AUTO Germany duo Sepp Wiegand/Frank Christian (D/D) at the Rally Monte Carlo (WRC-2). The special edition Fabia Monte Carlo, now rolling off the assembly line in Mladá Boleslav, is named after this legendary rally.

ŠKODA will once again send its works drivers and the Fabia Super 2000 into action in the ERC and APRC in 2014. There will also be a successor to the successful ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000 motorsport project when development begins on the ŠKODA Fabia R5 in Mladá Boleslav next year. In line with FIA regulations, the new R5 rally car will be equipped with a 1.6-litre turbo engine. After the visit, Prof. Dr. Vahland said: “I would once again like to pay a big compliment to everyone in the ŠKODA team for this extremely successful year. We can approach the Fabia R 5 project full of anticipation, optimism and with all our energy.”

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