New evolutionary steps, the Fabia tests in Portugal

test skoda fabia rally2 evo

Once homologated by the FIA, only a few parts of a Rally2 car can be modified. To introduce a modification, the manufacturer needs to request a homologation extension. There are restrictions on the number of extensions allowed, some of which are intended for error corrections or evolutions of the base car in series production.

“Škoda Motorsport continues to evolve its Fabia RS Rally2, and the goal is very simple: to make it even more competitive and reliable for its customers. As is well known in the world of motorsport, stopping means going backwards. Even with the strict homologation rules of the Rally2 category, Škoda Motorsport engineers continue to develop the Fabia RS Rally2: ‘We are constantly evolving the car for our customers. However, due to regulations, after the car is homologated, we cannot freely change technical components,’ begins Aleš Rada, technical director of Škoda Motorsport.

Once homologated by the FIA, only a few parts of a Rally2 car can be modified. To introduce a modification, the manufacturer needs to request a homologation extension. There are restrictions on the number of extensions allowed, some of which are intended for error corrections or evolutions of the base car in series production. Major modifications that result in a technical evolution of the car need to be homologated as a Joker, which are limited in number by regulation. ‘During the first two years of the car’s homologation period, we can only use three Jokers and two more only for safety or reliability adaptations,’ describes Aleš Rada. The Škoda Fabia RS Rally2 was homologated on September 1, 2022, and is still within this two-year period. Therefore, Škoda Motorsport has some Jokers up their sleeve. During the winter, one of the goals of the Škoda Motorsport engineering team was to make the Fabia RS Rally2 even more competitive for fast rallies on gravel roads. A development point in this regard was the gear ratio of the car’s five-speed gearbox. ‘So far, we have only homologated one set of gear ratios. But we are entitled to a second set,’ explains Rada.

Oliver Solberg, who recently won the WRC2 category at Rally Sweden, tested the Škoda Fabia RS Rally2 on icy roads in Scandinavia to try out new aerodynamic solutions and longer gearbox ratios. ‘Our second consecutive victory in high-speed specials in Sweden proved that the Škoda Fabia RS Rally2 is already very fast. But, especially for customer teams, it is also important that the car is easy to drive and performs perfectly in a wide range of road conditions,’ says Solberg. Erik Cais took the wheel of the Škoda Fabia RS Rally2 on dirt roads in Portugal, testing new shock absorbers. ‘The effort that Škoda Motorsport dedicates to testing and development is incredible. Especially the dirt shock absorbers show a significant improvement compared to last year and provide a lot of grip and, consequently, much more confidence to the driver,’ concludes Cais.”