Roughly 280 first generation ŠKODA FABIA R5 have been sold after the homologation on 1 April 2015. The new ŠKODA FABIA R5 evo follows in the footsteps of its predecessor, which is the most successful rally car in its category so far. Toni Gardemeister, former works driver for ŠKODA Motorsport and team owner of TGS Worldwide, received the very first ŠKODA FABIA R5 evo delivered to a customer team.
The new ŠKODA FABIA R5 evo already had a successful competition debut in the hands of factory teams Kalle Rovanperä/Jonne Halttunen and Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler. ŠKODA Motorsport scored double victories in the WRC 2 Pro category at the 2019 FIA World Rally Championship rounds in Portugal and Sardinia. Now the new rally car from Mladá Boleslav is ready to be delivered to the customers of ŠKODA Motorsport, too.
ŠKODA Motorsport boss Michal Hrabánek emphasizes: “The improved ŠKODA FABIA R5 evo is a follow-up of our successful R5 project. After an extended test program under challenging conditions we had a successful and promising start. During the first rallies, we encountered no technical issues at all and achieved two double victories in the WRC 2 Pro category of the World Rally Championship. Now we start to deliver the very reliable and competitive rally car to our customers.” Hrabánek adds: “We are now working hard to manage the high demand of the new ŠKODA FABIA R5 evo and to build as many cars as possible for our customers. Before we delivered the first customer cars, we made sure to establish a sustainable supply chain for the necessary spare parts.”
The updated ŠKODA FABIA R5 adopts key design elements of the 2019 ŠKODA FABIA road car such as the headlights and a shaped vehicle front, at the same time getting important technical improvements. The optimization has touched technical key components. The rally car features improved engine performance and reliability in comparison with the current version. The 1.6-litre turbo charged engine was upgraded improving power output and engine response.
First ŠKODA FABIA R5 evo delivered to Team Toni Gardemeister Services (TGS)
Team Toni Gardemeister Services (TGS) was the first customer team to receive a ŠKODA FABIA R5 evo from Šárka Králová (responsible for customer program at ŠKODA Motorsport) in Mladá Boleslav. Toni Gardemeister is looking forward to the first event with the new car: “I had successful rallies with the ŠKODA FABIA S2000 and the ŠKODA FABIA R5, I am happy about the good cooperation with ŠKODA Motorsport and proud to be the first customer team to receive the new ŠKODA FABIA R5 evo!”
Toni Gardemeister, TGS Worldwide and ŠKODA have been a successful combination already in the past. From 2002 to 2004, Gardemeister was competing as a factory driver for ŠKODA Motorsport in the FIA World Rally Championship with ŠKODA OCTAVIA WRC and ŠKODA FABIA WRC, respectively. In 2011, he drove a ŠKODA FABIA S2000, operated by his own team, Toni Gardemeister Services (TGS), in the Intercontinental Rally Challenge (IRC). With a ŠKODA FABIA R5 from TGS, current ŠKODA works driver Kalle Rovanperä achieved his first successes in 2017.
The car will be competing with promising Finn Eerik Pietarinen at the wheel at the upcoming Rally Finland (01/08/–04/08/2019), where he is nominated to score points in the WRC 2 Pro category by the SKODA Motorsport team.