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IRC: Skoda keen to do more events in 2010

Skoda is again planning to take in selected events in the Intercontinental Rally Challenge next season – although 'the number of appearances is supposed to be higher' than in 2009.
Skoda has confirmed that the priority will again be the Intercontinental Rally Challenge next year - and the Czech manufacturer is hoping to step up its commitment and take in more rounds.

Skoda made its competitive debut in the IRC with the Fabia Super 2000 at the Monte Carlo Rally back in January and immediately impressed.

Juho Hanninen then gave the squad its first win on the Rally Russia in July - a result made all the sweeter as Jan Kopecky came home second in the sister car. Kopecky also went on to win in the Czech Republic and Spain, and finished the season second in the IRC drivers' championship, a result Skoda mirrored by taking the runners-up spot in the manufacturers' competition.

Reflecting on 2009, as Skoda won't officially take in the IRC finale - the RAC MSA Rally of Scotland later this month, head of Škoda Motorsport Michal Hrabánek added that they will definitely be in action on the Monte in January.

"This year's rallying agenda is now over," he stated. "The priority for the next season is IRC - just like this year, we are planning to take part in selected events, but this time the number of our appearances is supposed to be higher.

"I can say with certainty that we are going to appear at the Monte Carlo Rally in January which thanks to the already announced scope of Eurosport TV coverage, will be a big milestone in the worldwide history of rallying.

"I wish to thank both our crews for working really hard and we are not talking just about all the kilometres they've done. Their approach is highly professional in all aspects and they indeed are indispensable part of our achievements.

"I also wish to say a big thank you to the entire Škoda Motorsport team that puts in loads of hard work, too."

Asked about the year overall in more detail, Hrabánek noted that he couldn't have been more pleased, especially as the Fabia S2000 also went well in the World Rally Championship, with Patrik Sandell, for example, taking the Production WRC honours in Norway and Cyprus.

"We were starting this project with a clear vision based on three key lines. (1) rallying, where the undisputed priority was to appear in selected IRC events, (2) the customer line, where the goal was to sell 10-15 vehicles to private customers and cooperation with our importers, and (3) on further development of the vehicle which in fact is a never-ending process. These three lines are complementary and we are indeed satisfied with our results in 2009 when we look at them as a whole," Hrabánek continued.




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Jan Kopecky / Petr Stary. Skoda Fabia S2000. Belgium Ypres Rally. June 2009 [Pic credit: Skoda]
Juha Hanninen / Mikko Markkula. Skoda Fabia S2000. Belgium Ypres Rally. June 2009 [Pic credit: Skoda]
Juho Hanninen / Mikko Markkula. Skoda Fabia S2000. Rally Russia. July 09 [Pic credit: IRC]
Podium, Juho Hanninen (FIN) Mikko Markkula (FIN) Skoda Fabia S2000, Skoda Motorsport
Jan Kopecky / Petr Stary. Skoda Fabia S2000. Barum Czech Rally Zlin. [Pic credit: IRC]
Juho Hanninen / Mikko Markkula. Skoda Fabia S2000. Rally Russia. July 09 [Pic credit: IRC]
Juho Hanninen / Mikko Markkula. Skoda Fabia S2000. Rally Russia. July 09 [Pic credit: IRC]

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