Lefebvre excluded from Rally Finland
Frenchman's DS 3 used illegal ECU software
As wrc.com revealed last week, he will drive a Fabia R5 on the first pure asphalt event of the FIA World Rally Championship season in a bid to boost his WRC 2 title challenge.
Consecutive victories in Poland and Finland in a Fabia R5 promoted Esapekka Lappi to the top of the standings and Al-Attiyah hopes his switch will enable him to reduce the 10-point gap in Germany.
“I've been thinking about trying an R5 car in the World Rally Championship for some time and I’m really looking forward to driving the Skoda Fabia in Germany,” said Al Attiyah, who considered but then rejected the idea of driving a Ford Fiesta R5 in Poland last month.
“The car showed from its first few events that it has speed and reliability. R5 cars seem to be faster on smooth gravel roads as well on proper Tarmac, the combination that we have on many European rallies.
“They also have some advantages in FIA regulations over RRCs and look to be the future in WRC 2, so we needed to try one as soon as possible,” said the reigning WRC 2 champion, who has piloted a Fiesta RRC this season.
“I’m looking to move forward so I’m not afraid of changing the car. We showed last year in clinching the WRC 2 crown that we’re very fast, and now we’re ready to adapt quickly to the Skoda Fabia.
“We’ll see what the future will bring. Maybe by choosing the Skoda Fabia we can attract the attention of the manufacturer. First, we need to start the rally and show from the beginning that we can win in this car,” added Al-Attiyah, who will test the car on Monday 17 August.