Current FIA European Rally Championship leader Esapekka Lappi demoed a Skoda R5 'prototype' on Rally Bohemia this weekend.

Lappi, who heads the ERC standings by 33 points following standout wins in Latvia and Northern Ireland this season and who is one of the favourites for victory on round seven of the ERC in Estonia this coming week, drove a Fabia Super 2000 fitted with a 1.6-litre turbocharged engine in accordance with FIA R5 rules.

Although he only did selected parts of the tarmac route and did not set any times, the outing marked the first public appearance of Skoda's R5 'prototype' and the first time it has been run in 'race' conditions.

"It is a great honour for us to be able to test the engine for the R5 for the first time at a rally, and at Skoda's home rally. We are thrilled," said Lappi.

Speaking prior to the event, Skoda motorsport director Michal Hrabanek added: "The development of the Fabia R5 is progressing nicely - we are on schedule.

"The first test under competitive conditions is a big step towards achieving homologation by mid-2015."

Once homologated for competition use, Skoda's R5 contender is set for action in the ERC in addition to other international championships.

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