Skoda Motorsport has confirmed that it is 'highly unlikely' to make the trip to Brazil for the Curitiba International Rally next month, round two in the 2009 Intercontinental Rally Challenge.
The Czech Republic-based squad, which came close to winning the recent Rallye Monte Carlo, the first event for the new Fabia Super 2000, is contesting a selected number of rallies this season and the Sata Rally Acores, which runs from May 7-9, is likely to be the next event on the manufacturer's schedule.
That event, which is actually the fourth round in this year's IRC, takes place on gravel and factory Skoda pilot Juho Hanninen is looking forward to seeing just what the Fabia S2000 can do on the loose.
"I feel a bit more confident on gravel, so I was very surprised at how quick we could be in Monte," said the Finn. "To be honest I really wasn't expecting that.
“So I'm very excited to go onto gravel now to see what we can do. If we have a good feeling straight away, then I think we are in a strong position.
"The car is already very good, but I've seen already how tricky it will be this year on the IRC. There are a lot of good drivers and the competition is very close. As a driver that is a lot of fun, but of course it makes it very hard.
“But the level of preparation of the Skoda is extremely impressive and the team works well."