Saturday, 7 January 2012

NEWS - Škoda hope for IRC hat-trick in 2012

The ŠKODA Motorsport team will continue the Fabia Super 2000 car into the 2012 Intercontinental Rally Challenge (IRC). The team will be hoping to win the Manufacturer’s title for the third year running.

2011 was the most successful year in the brand's long history of motorsport efforts. The participation in the IRC with the Fabia Super 2000, where ŠKODA has won the titles in both the Drivers and Manufacturers categories for two consecutive years, remains the brand's top priority. Juho Hänninen and Jan Kopecký remain the brand's factory drivers for 2012, the first event of which will be the Jänner Rally; taking place in Austria over the first weekend of January.

Commenting on the team's agenda in 2012 Michal Hrabánek, Head of the ŠKODA Motorsport team said: “ŠKODA's top priority will be to defend the IRC titles we have won in the past two years. Three drivers in factory-prepared Fabia Super 2000s are going to fight for points in the Manufacturers category – Jan Kopecký and Juho Hänninen of ŠKODA Motorsport (factory team) and Andreas Mikkelsen of ŠKODA UK Motorsport. With future prospects in mind, we want to gain experience in selected events of the European Championship where we will be represented by Juho Hänninen and Mikko Markkula, one of our factory crews. Intending to become even more visible in the home market, the other factory crew, Jan Kopecký and Pavel Dresler, will appear on Czech tracks as part of the Czech Championship. Pavel Dressler has replaced Petr Starý who, unfortunately, has a long-standing health problem – in this connection, the whole team wishes Petr a fast recovery.”

2011 saw the Mladá Boleslav-based car manufacturer celebrate 110 years of motorsport efforts in a year which was its most successful so far. ŠKODA has comfortably repeated last year's victory in the Manufacturers category of the IRC championship, Fabia Super 2000 drivers have won the first three places in the Drivers category of the IRC (Mikkelsen 1st, Kopecký 2nd, Hänninen 3rd) and Juho Hänninen and Mikko Markkula have won the first-ever SWRC title for ŠKODA. At the end of the year, ŠKODA Motorsport and its Fabia Super 2000s made their debut in the Race of Champions, a prestigious multi-discipline event with a history of more than 20 years.

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