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The Škoda Fabia WRC has successfully passed its vital FIA homologation inspection and will make its WRC debut at Rallye Deutschland, round 8 of the 2003 World Rally Championship, on July 24-27.
The Škoda Motorsport driver line-up for that event will be the current pairing of Didier Auriol/Denis Giraudet and Toni Gardemeister/Paavo Lukander.
Homologation is the process by which the FIA (motorsport’s governing body) checks that any car complies with the technical regulations for the World Rally Championship. Without the FIA homologation, no car is able to take part in international rallies.
The Škoda Fabia WRC was launched at the Geneva Motor Show in March this year and is based on the new Fabia RS model that was also unveiled at the same time. The FIA inspectors visited the Škoda Motorsport Team headquarters in Mladá Boleslav last week. They confirmed that the Fabia’s transformation from road car to World Rally Car had been completed correctly.
The inspectors were satisfied with what they had seen and the Fabia WRC is expected to receive its formal homologation papers within the next few days.
Škoda Auto Director of Motorsport Petr Kohoutek said today: “This is the next step for the Škoda Fabia WRC. FIA homologation means we are able to compete with the car on the World Rally Championship, starting at the Rallye Deutschland.”
Škoda Fabia World Rally Car
Basic Technical Data
Engine – Four-cylinder, 2xOHC, 20 valves turbocharged, water cooled
Bore/stroke (mm) – 82.5/93.5
Displacement – 1999cc
Maximum Output (kW/rpm) – 220 @ 5500 rpm
Maximum Torque (Nm/rpm) – 600 @ 3500 rpm
Transmission – Six-gear sequential semi-automatic gearing
Clutch – Carbon, triple-plate
Four-Wheel Drive – Permanent with three active differentials
Suspension – McPherson, front and rear
Shock Absorbers – Gas-hydraulic, individually adjustable
Wheels – Speedline 8.0 J x 18” (asphalt), 7.0 J x 15” (gravel), 5.5 J x 16”(snow)
Tires – Michelin
Front Brakes – Disc brakes, internally cooled
Rear Brakes – Disc brakes, internally cooled
Length (mm) – 4002
Width (mm) – 1770
Wheelbase (mm) – 2462
Weight (kg) – 1230
Homologation Rules in Brief
•To have a rally car homologated for the World Rally Championship is a complex process. At least 25,000 production cars of the basic model range, with a minimum length of 3750 mm, and at least 2,500 cars of the model from which the rally car has been derived, with a minimum length of 4000 mm and a wheelbase of 2440 mm, must be produced. With the Fabia WRC, this condition will be met by the production of the Škoda Fabia RS that was presented for the first time at the 2003 Geneva Motor Show.
•The actual World Rally Car is then made from the basic model by carrying out extensive modifications to almost all sections. These modifications are precisely specified in the FIA regulations that are binding for all car manufacturers who enter the Championship.
•The skeleton of the Fabia WRC’s self-supporting monocoque body and its outer parts are derived from the production Fabia RS. However, they have been modified to accommodate wider tyres and to extend the wheel track of both axles, so that the car has the maximum admissible width of 1770 mm. Also, the floor pan has been modified to enable the installation of the four-wheel drive system. Its large central tunnel has the maximum admissible dimensions and, in addition to a connecting drive shaft, it contains a heat-insulated exhaust pipe. Fuel tanks are installed under the car in the same position as in standard cars but, compared to the standard Fabia, they have double the volume (90 litres).
•At the time of the FIA inspection 826,652 cars of Škoda Fabia model range (hatchback, combi, saloon) had been built.
•The basic engine used in competition must come from the same model range of cars. Turbochargers may be obtained from outside the company and fitted even if the manufacturer’s model range does not have a turbocharged engine.
•A World Rally Car must weigh a minimum of 1230kgs without the driver and co-driver on board.
•Once a manufacturer homologates a new car it can not at any point return to the old car, even though its homologation may still be valid. The Octavia WRC can still compete at WRC events in the hands of private drivers while the Škoda Motorsport Team must only use the Fabia WRC.
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