Double World Rally champion Carlos Sainz tested the new Skoda Fabia Super 2000 car recently in Austria.

The Spaniard, who won the Central European Rally with a Race Touareg this year in April, was joined by regular testers Jan Kopecky and Raimund Baumschlager, boss of the Red Bull Rally Team.

The asphalt test was not Sainz's first experience of driving a Skoda, as he won the Shalymar Rally near Madrid with a Fabia in the autumn of last year.

"I have got to know the Skoda Fabia really well, and I can see a huge step forward as far as the development of the competition version is concerned," said Sainz, who was authorised to take part in this test by Volkswagen Motor Sport department director Kris Nissen.

A number of big names meanwhile attended the test of the new Skoda Fabia Super 2000 in order to check the projects progress, including Hans-Joachim Stuck of the Volkswagen Motor Sport Department.

"The involvement of experienced competitors such as Carlos Sainz and Hans-Joachim Stuck highlights the importance the Volkswagen Group attributes to Skoda's motor sport initiatives," added Dr. Eckhard Scholz, Skoda Auto BOD Member responsible for technological development. "And it gives valuable stimuli to the development of the new Skoda Fabia Super 2000."

Skoda is expected to enter the new Skoda Fabia S2000 in the Intercontinental Rally Challenge in the not too distant future, with Kopecky the favourite to drive the machine.