The Skoda Motorsport World Rally team has today revealed its driver line-up for the 2005 FIA World Rally Championship, one that will see Armin Schwarz lead the team, alongside Finnish stars Janne Tuohino and Jani Paasonen and Frenchman Alex Bengue, who will share the second car.

The aim according to Skoda is to "blend experience with youth and future talent".

"Our driver line-up for 2005 is a mix of youth and experience," stated team boss, Martin Muehlmeier. "This is a policy that has worked well for rally teams in the past and one that we hope will work well for us next season.

"Armin will use his many years of experience to further develop the Fabia WRC and also bring important stability to the team while we introduce three young drivers in the second car. Janne, Jani and Alex are determined competitors, hungry for success, and we hope to bring out the best in them as the season unfolds."

Schwarz will start his second consecutive season with Skoda, bringing stability to a line-up that will include three young drivers hungry for success.

In 2004 Schwarz finished eighth in Corsica, brought the Skoda Fabia WRC its first stage victory during Rallye Deutschland and its first outright rally victory at the Saarland Rally.

During 2005 Skoda will utilise three different drivers in the second car, selected for their respective experience on specific events and surfaces. The gravel events will be shared between Tuohino and Paasonen while the asphalt events will be contested by Bengue.

Paasonen is no stranger to the team having finished sixth on this year's Rally Finland on his debut with the Fabia WRC, a performance that brought him the Inmarsat Star of the Rally Award while Tuohino and Bengue are newcomers to Skoda.

In 2004 Tuohino finished fourth in Sweden, fifth in Finland, sixth in Cyprus and seventh in both Greece and Turkey. Bengue finished tenth in Germany as part of the Equipe de France FFSA squad and impressed the team at a recent test session in the Czech Republic.

During the coming season a third Skoda Fabia WRC will be entered on selected key events.

The 2005 World Rally Championship begins with the Monte Carlo Rally [January 21-23] where Schwarz and Bengue will be the Skoda's nominated drivers for championship points.


Loading Comments...