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Škoda Motorsport

Škoda Motorsport is the division of Czech car manufacturer Škoda Auto responsible for motorsport activities. Škoda competed as a manufacturer in the World Rally Championship between 1999 and 2005, and today competes in the European Rally Championship.
Full name
Škoda Motorsport
Base
Czech Republic Mladá Boleslav, Czech Republic
Team principal(s)
Michal Hrabánek
Technical director
Aleš Rada
Drivers
Czech Republic Jan Kopecký
Finland Juho Hänninen
Belgium Freddy Loix
Co-drivers
Czech Republic Petr Starý
Finland Mikko Markkula
Belgium Frederic Miclotte
Chassis
Škoda Fabia S2000, Škoda Fabia WRC, Škoda Octavia WRC
Tyres
Michelin
World Rally Championship career
Debut
1999
Constructors’ Championships
0
Driver’s Championships
0
Rally wins
0

History

1960-1998

Škoda began rallying in the 1960s with the Octavia and 1000MB models, before progressing on to the 110, 120 and 130 series. Most of these were fairly lightly modified versions of the production cars, and with their small engines they competed in the lower power classes. On two occasions Škoda produced more specialised rally cars, the 130RS model in the 1970s, and then the 130LR in 1985-6. This latter car took advantage of the greater freedom allowed by the Group B regulations to run with considerably more power and lighter bodywork, among several other improvements on the standard cars.
Škoda 130 RS
Škoda Motorsport, a small outfit by works rally team standards, was at the time run as a department of the main Škoda factory. Among the staff there, working on the rally team was regarded as a highly desirable job, and even many of the drivers were selected from among company staff, although foreign professionals did drive for the team as well. Most notable among these was the Norwegian John Haugland, who appeared for the team on European and World Rallies in the 1970s and 1980s.
Alongside western cars in the same classes, the Škodas were increasingly dated in technological terms. However, they were very reliable, the team was experienced and many of the works drivers were very talented. Consequently, Škoda Motorsport was very successful, especially on long rallies where reliability mattered. Škodas frequently won their classes on world events, and were notably successful on the RAC Rally in Great Britain, in which they took the under-1300cc trophy for seventeen years running. They also scored some high placings overall, among them eighth on the Acropolis Rally in 1973 and 1979, and sixth in San Remo, in 1986. On European Championship events they frequently finished in the top ten, and on events behind the Iron Curtain they were often contenders for outright victory, although against relatively limited opposition.
The rear-engined cars were finally pensioned off in 1989, in favour of the new, front-drive Favorit model, which the team used until 1994. Like its predecessors it was sturdy but, with its 1300cc, 110 bhp engine, fairly slow. It continued the team's record of class and category wins, and the introduction for the ‘Formula 2’ category to world rallying in 1993 gave it a chance to chase bigger prizes. Škoda won the Formula 2 World Championship outright in 1994. Škoda was the only works team to contest the entire championship, but equally, on most events it was up against far more advanced and faster cars with a degree of works support, such as the Opel Astra and Nissan Sunny. Drivers Pavel Sibera and Emil Triner finished ninth and tenth overall on that year's Acropolis Rally.
Škoda Felicia Kit Car and Škoda Favorit in Škoda Museum in Mladá Boleslav
The introduction of the ‘Kit Car’ rules in 1995 gave Škoda the opportunity to produce a more specialist car, which was based on the then-new Felicia model. It was a considerable advance on the Favorit and continued to win its class regularly, but in the overall Formula 2 stakes its 1500cc, and later 1600cc, engines did not give it power enough to beat the 2000cc cars it competed directly against. It did, however, score a remarkable result on the 1996 RAC Rally, coming third overall in the hands of veteran driver Stig Blomqvist, a reflection of how well the little car handled in that year's icy conditions.
The Felicia was replaced in 1998 by a Formula 2 version of the Octavia, with a two-litre engine and front-wheel-drive. However, by then the team was preparing the full, four-wheel-drive WRC version of the Octavia and the F2 version contested only a few events.

Since 1998

Armin Schwarz driving for Škoda on the 2001 Rally Finland
Škoda entered the World Rally Championship at the top level for the first time in 1999, with the Škoda Octavia WRC, competing on seven of the 14 events. Armin Schwarz drove one car and the second car was shared by Czech drivers Pavel Sibera and Emil Triner for most of the season, with Bruno Thiry driving the second car on the final event of the season, Rally GB, where he finished fourth, the team's first points finish.
For 2000, the team competed in eight of the 14 rallies, with Schwarz being joined in the team by Spaniard Luís Climent. Schwarz scored the team's only points finish of the year with a fifth on the Acropolis Rally. An Evo2 version of the Octavia WRC was introduced in Cyprus. For 2001, Thiry joined the team full-time in place of Climent, as the team took on 12 of the year's 14 rallies. Schwarz scored points on three occasions, including a third-place finish on the Safari Rally, the team's best result to date. The team also entered a third car for Stig Blomqvist in Finland and for Roman Kresta in San Remo and Rally GB.
For 2002, where the team would compete on every event, Schwarz left the team for fellow-strugglers HyundaiKenneth Eriksson moved in the other direction to replace him, while Toni Gardemeister replaced Thiry. A third car was entered for Kresta on most events, with Blomqvist, Gabriel Pozzo andMatthias Kahle also driving the car. Gardemeister finished fifth in Argentina, with Eriksson in sixth, while Gardemeister also finished sixth in Australia. The Octavia WRC Evo3 was introduced mid-season. Škoda brought in former World Champion Didier Auriol to drive alongside Gardemeister in 2003. Both drivers scored points in the first-half of the season, when the Fabia WRC was introduced.
Jani Paasonen driving for Škoda on 2004 Rally Finland
Škoda used 2004 as a development year, and hence only entered seven rallies. Schwarz returned to the team to partner Gardemeister, with Jani Paasonen driving a third car in Finland and Great Britain, Kresta in Germany and Jan Kopecky in Spain. Paasonen finished sixth in Finland, the team's best result of the year.
For 2005, Škoda used a wide range of drivers. Schwarz drove one car on all but one event, with touring car driver Mattias Ekstrom driving it in Sweden. The second car was shared by Alexandre Bengué (on tarmac events), Janne Tuohino, Paasonen, Colin McRae and Mikko Hirvonen. A third car was entered on six rounds and shared by Tuohino, Paasonen and Kopecky. A new version of the Fabia, the WRC05, was introduced at the third round in Mexico. Once again, the team would only score points on a handful of occasions, although McRae showed promise in his two events, running third in Australia when mechanical failure hit.
Škoda withdrew from the WRC at the end of 2005. For 2006, a privateer Škoda team would be run by Baumschlager Rallye & Racing under the nameRed Bull Škoda. Kopecky also continued to score strong results in a privately entered car run by Czech Rally Team Kopecky. François Duval raced in season 2005 with Škoda Fabia WRC for First Motorsport Škoda.
In Rally Norway 2009, Per-Gunnar Andersson entered Škoda Fabia WRC, won 2 Special Stages but retired after problems with clutch.
It was announced that 2010 IRC champion Juho Hänninen and Herrman Gassner Jr. are going to race in SWRC 2011 in semi-factory team run again by Baumschlager Rallye & Racing with support of Red Bull. Name of the team is Red Bull Škoda. They are going to appear in 7 selected WRC events.

Intercontinental Rally Challenge

Jan Kopecký driving for Škoda on the 2008 Barum Rally Zlín
Škoda Motorsport returned to rallying in 2008 with a new Super 2000 version of the Fabia, to be entered in the Intercontinental Rally Challenge Jan Kopecký showed Fabia at Barum Rally Zlín 2008 for the first time when he was driving it as pre-racer. Jan Kopecký and Juho Hänninen were signed as drivers for season 2009. Hänninen took the car's first win on Rally Russia, with Kopecky winning in the Czech Republic and Spain on his way to second in the standings.
In the 2010 season, Škoda Motorsport achieved seven wins, nine 2nd and 3rd places, taking the manufacturers championship after the Barum Rally Zlín. Juho Hänninen achieved the drivers title and also won Rally ArgentinaRally Sardegna and Rally Scotland.
Jan Kopecký driving for Škoda on the 2009 Rally Bohemia
Freddy Loix driving for Škoda on the 2011 Rally Bohemia
For 2011 season opening rally, famous Rallye Monte Carlo Škoda entered 5 cars. Jan KopeckýJuho HänninenFreddy Loix and Nicolas Vouilloz were entered for Škoda Motorsport and Andreas Mikkelsen for Škoda UK. Mikkelsen crashed into wall at 1st special stage and had to retire at 2nd special stage because of suspension problems after crash. Vouilloz had a puncture at 1st special stage and lost some time. Hänninen was leading after first leg 44.5s before Freddy Loix, Kopecký was 6th and Vouilloz 12th. Second leg of the rally was unlucky for Škoda because drivers had chosen wrong tyres at the service before stages 7 and 8 so they lost a lot of time and Hänninen lost lead and was 6th 2:35.7s after new leader Bryan Bouffier. Freddy Loix dropped from 2nd place to 3rd, 1:05.5s after Bouffier, Vouilloz finished 8th and Kopecký 9th. At the end of the rally Loix achieved 2nd place, Hänninen 6 th, Vouilloz 7th and Kopecký 8th. It was disappointing rally for Škoda because Hänninen was fast enough to win and only wrong tyre choice for 2 special stages cost him win, at least he won Colin McRae IRC Trophy.

IRC Results

Škoda Motorsport

Year
Car
Driver
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
WDC
Pts
WMC
Pts
2009
Škoda Fabia S2000
Czech Republic Jan Kopecký
MON
4
BRA
KEN
POR
2
BEL
2
RUS
2
POR
CZE
1
ESP
1
ITA
Ret
SCO
2nd
49
2nd
82
Finland Juho Hänninen
MON
Ret
BRA
KEN
POR
Ret
BEL
5
RUS
1
POR
CZE
3
ESP
ITA
8
SCO
6th
21
2010
Škoda Fabia S2000
Czech Republic Jan Kopecký
MON
5
BRA
4
ARG
3
CAN
1
ITA
3
BEL
2
AZO
Ret
MAD
2
CZE
Ret
ITA
6
SCO
CYP
2nd
47
1st
120
Finland Juho Hänninen
MON
2
BRA
3
ARG
1
CAN
2
ITA
1
BEL
Ret
AZO
3
MAD
3
CZE
2
ITA
2
SCO
1
CYP
1st
62
France Nicolas Vouilloz
MON
3
BRA
ARG
CAN
ITA
BEL
AZO
MAD
CZE
ITA
SCO
CYP
13th
6
2011
Škoda Fabia S2000
Czech Republic Jan Kopecký
MON
8
CAN
2
FRA
2
UKR
3
BEL
DNS
AZO
3
CZE
1
HUN
1
ITA
4
SCO
5
CYP
1st*
131*
1st*
316,5*
Finland Juho Hänninen
MON
6
CAN
1
FRA
UKR
1
BEL
AZO
1
CZE
3
HUN
ITA
SCO
2
CYP
2nd*
125*
Belgium Freddy Loix
MON
2
CAN
4
FRA
3
UKR
BEL
1
AZO
CZE
2
HUN
3
ITA
Ret
SCO
CYP
6th*
103*
France Nicolas Vouilloz
MON
7
CAN
FRA
UKR
BEL
AZO
CZE
HUN
ITA
SCO
CYP
23rd*
6*

Škoda UK

Year
Car
Driver
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
WDC
Pts
2009
Škoda Fabia S2000
United Kingdom Guy Wilks
MON
BRA
KEN
POR
BEL
RUS
POR
CZE
ESP
ITA
SCO
1
7th*
15*
2010
Škoda Fabia S2000
United Kingdom Guy Wilks
MON
6
BRA
2
ARG
2
CAN
3
ITA
Ret
BEL
AZO
MAD
CZE
7
ITA
Ret
SCO
Ret
CYP
6th
27
2011
Škoda Fabia S2000
Norway Andreas Mikkelsen
MON
Ret
CAN
6
FRA
6
UKR
4
BEL
Ret
AZO
2
CZE
5
HUN
Ret
ITA
2
SCO
1
CYP
4th*
111,5*
  • Including 5 points that Wilks scored with Proton Satria Neo S2000 at Rally Russia.

IRC Victories

No.
Event
Season
Driver
Co-driver
Car
1
Russia 2009 Rally Russia
2009
Finland Juho Hänninen
Finland Mikko Markkula
Škoda Fabia S2000
2
Czech Republic 39. Barum Czech Rally Zlín 2009
2009
Czech Republic Jan Kopecký
Czech Republic Petr Starý
Škoda Fabia S2000
3
Spain 46. Rallye Príncipe de Asturias 2009
2009
Czech Republic Jan Kopecký
Czech Republic Petr Starý
Škoda Fabia S2000
4
Scotland RAC MSA Rally of Scotland 2009
2009
United Kingdom Guy Wilks
United Kingdom Phil Pugh
Škoda Fabia S2000
5
Argentina 30. Rally Argentina 2010
2010
Finland Juho Hänninen
Finland Mikko Markkula
Škoda Fabia S2000
6
Spain 34. Rally Islas Canarias – El Corte Inglés 2010
2010
Czech Republic Jan Kopecký
Czech Republic Petr Starý
Škoda Fabia S2000
7
Italy Rally d'Italia Sardinia 2010
2010
Finland Juho Hänninen
Finland Mikko Markkula
Škoda Fabia S2000
8
Belgium 46. Belgium Geko Ypres Rally 2010
2010
Belgium Freddy Loix
Belgium Frederic Miclotte
Škoda Fabia S2000
9
Portugal 51. Rali Vinho da Madeira 2010
2010
Belgium Freddy Loix
Belgium Frederic Miclotte
Škoda Fabia S2000
10
Czech Republic 40. Barum Czech Rally Zlín 2010
2010
Belgium Freddy Loix
Belgium Frederic Miclotte
Škoda Fabia S2000
11
Scotland RAC MSA Rally of Scotland 2010
2010
Finland Juho Hänninen
Finland Mikko Markkula
Škoda Fabia S2000
12
Spain 35. Rally Islas Canarias – El Corte Inglés 2011
2011
Finland Juho Hänninen
Finland Mikko Markkula
Škoda Fabia S2000
13
Ukraine 2011 Prime Yalta Rally
2011
Finland Juho Hänninen
Finland Mikko Markkula
Škoda Fabia S2000
14
Belgium 47. Belgium Geko Ypres Rally 2011
2011
Belgium Freddy Loix
Belgium Frederic Miclotte
Škoda Fabia S2000
15
Portugal 2011 Rally Azores
2011
Finland Juho Hänninen
Finland Mikko Markkula
Škoda Fabia S2000
16
Czech Republic 41. Barum Czech Rally Zlín 2011
2011
Czech Republic Jan Kopecký
Czech Republic Petr Starý
Škoda Fabia S2000
17
Hungary 45. Canon Mecsek Rallye 2011
2011
Czech Republic Jan Kopecký
Czech Republic Petr Starý
Škoda Fabia S2000
18
Scotland RACMSA Rally of Scotland 2011
2011
Norway Andreas Mikkelsen
Norway Ola Floene
Škoda Fabia S2000
19
Cyprus Cyprus Rally 2011
2011
Norway Andreas Mikkelsen
Norway Ola Floene
Škoda Fabia S2000

WRC results

Main article: Škoda Motorsport WRC results

PWRC Victories

No.
Event
Season
Driver
Co-driver
Car
1
Norway 3rd Rally Norway
2009
Sweden Patrik Sandell
Sweden Emil Axelsson
Škoda Fabia S2000
2
Cyprus 2009 Cyprus Rally
2009
Sweden Patrik Sandell
Sweden Emil Axelsson
Škoda Fabia S2000
3
Greece 2009 Acropolis Rally
2009
Greece Lambros Athanassoulas
Greece Nikolaos Zakheos
Škoda Fabia S2000

SWRC Victories

No.
Event
Season
Driver
Co-driver
Car
1
Sweden 58th Rally Sweden
2010
Sweden Per-Gunnar Andersson
Sweden Anders Fredriksson
Škoda Fabia S2000
2
Finland 60th Rally Finland
2010
Finland Juho Hänninen
Finland Mikko Markkula
Škoda Fabia S2000
3
Germany 2010 Rallye Deutschland
2010
Sweden Patrik Sandell
Sweden Emil Axelsson
Škoda Fabia S2000
4
France 2010 Rallye de France
2010
Sweden Patrik Sandell
Sweden Emil Axelsson
Škoda Fabia S2000
5
United Kingdom 2010 Wales Rally GB
2010
Norway Andreas Mikkelsen
Norway Ola Floene
Škoda Fabia S2000
6
Greece 2011 Acropolis Rally
2011
Finland Juho Hänninen
Finland Mikko Markkula
Škoda Fabia S2000
7
Finland 2011 Rally Finland
2011
Finland Juho Hänninen
Finland Mikko Markkula
Škoda Fabia S2000
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Last updated on 20 August 2013 at 19:01.

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