Former WRC driver Jan Kopecky has been helping develop the new Skoda Fabia R 5 ahead of its anticipated return to the rallying scene.

The Czech driver has been testing the rally car on a variety of surfaces over the past two months, with the development expected to be shifted forward in the next couple of weeks. He says he's delighted to be working with the team during the production stages of the new car.

"At ?koda, a lot of engineers from a wide range of different countries are working perfectly together in a very good team. I am confident that our guys will produce another top-class rally car," Kopecky said. "My experience of the new Fabia R 5 is definitely very positive so far."

Related Articles

The 33-year-old claimed a momentous double in Skoda's Fabia Super 2000 with victory in 2013 in the FIA European Rally Championship and the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship in the following year.

In compliance with FIA regulations, the new racing car is equipped with a 1.6-litre turbo engine and Kopecky is impressed by the car's acceleration.

"It is great fun to drive this completely new car, with its powerful turbo engine," Kopecky said. "You obviously have to adapt your driving style, because it is quite a switch from the two-litre induction engine in the Fabia Super 2000. The new Fabia R 5 has everything it needs to continue the success story of ?KODA in motorsport."

Skoda plans to complete its development of the Fabia R 5 with Kopecky by mid-2015 in time for its homologation by the FIA.