Following its strong showing in Rally Finland, Skoda should benefit from recent technical modifications to its 2003-specification Fabia at this weekend’s Rally Sardinia.

Following its strong showing in Rally Finland, Skoda should benefit from recent technical modifications to its 2003-specification Fabia at this weekend’s Rally Sardinia.


As Skoda has not registered for the World Championship, it would not normally be permitted to make major changes to the Fabia. However, with the agreement of rival manufacturers, the FIA has granted permission for a two-stage homologation.


In Sardinia, the Fabia will have a modified exhaust (re-positioned from the left- to the right-hand side of the car), rear chassis (giving more clearance round the rear driveshafts) and an updated water injection system, which will boost the engine’s performance.


The team tested on the Mediterranean island in September, and is hopeful of a strong weekend to follow on from its performances in Finland and Germany. The FIA concession also raised hopes that Skoda would register for the WRC once more in 2005.


Driver Toni Gardemeister believes that the changes will make a significant difference: “From what we saw in testing I think that we can be as close to the leading cars as we saw in Finland.


“I have been to Sardinia once before, but the Costa Smeralda Rally was run further west than this new event. I’m probably not the best person to ask for advice because I spun twice and rolled the car in the first seven kilometres,” he said.