Skoda Motorsport’s upgraded Fabia R5 will make its WRC debut at next month’s Vodafone Rally de Portugal (30 May - 2 June).
Both reigning WRC 2 champion Jan Kopecký and Kalle Rovanperä will premiere the car in WRC 2 Pro at the opening European dirt road encounter of the season – subject to a successful maiden appearance in the Czech Championship two weeks earlier.
Kopecký will drive the newly-homologated car at Rally Český Krumlov (17 - 18 May) ahead of Portugal, and Skoda boss Michal Hrabánek wants to deliver the first batch of cars to customers in the second half of the year.
“The entire project ran according to the originally planned time schedule. The successful homologation occurred following and respecting the new FIA safety standards,” said Hrabánek.
“Now we are concentrated on the launch of the new car and at the same time starting the building of the first customer cars.”
The new Fabia boasts increased power from its 1.6-litre turbo engine, which is also equipped with a new oil pump, an electric water pump and an upgraded cooling system. New engine electronics are included while the bodyshell has been strengthened.