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Skoda Fabia S2000. S2000 and one night

On the eve of the start of the Czech stage of the IRC series – the rally “Zlin” together with the Russian WRC pilot Yevgeny Novikov, we first got into the cockpit of the Skoda Fabia S2000. Zhenya – in order to get used to a new car for myself, I – in order to try to understand the difference between the cars of the two most prestigious rally series of the planet – WRC and IRC

Skoda Fabia Super 2000

IRC Debut – Monte Carlo Rally 2009
Built on the basis of Fabia 2nd generation.
Equipped with a 4-cylinder petrol engine 2.0, 6-speed sequential gearbox and all-wheel drive system with two differentials.
The ground for exploring the Fabia S2000 was a closed asphalt special section, courtesy of Skoda Motorsport for us in the vicinity of the Czech village of Luhakovice. While Novikov with his new navigator Stefan Prevost prescribes tomorrow’s rally circuit in Zlin, our first guide in the S2000 world is becoming one of the leaders of the IRC factory Skoda pilot Jan Kopecki.
The racing seat belt spider web entangles the body, pressing into the rigid plastic half-capsule of the navigator’s chair. A mechanic helps to connect the intercom headset, and Kopecki’s voice is heard in the headphones:

– Hello!
– Hi Yang! Well, can you prove to me that this car is not much inferior in the WRC car drive?
– Not sure, but you can try! Hold on tight!
– Go!

Whether in retaliation for my mockery, or really wanting to demonstrate the maximum of what the IRC is capable of, Kopecky is so tearing from his place that even seemingly stretched seat belts hang like sails with a dead calm. During acceleration, the overload is pressed into the seat, and during braking, the straps slam into the shoulders. The navigator chair is almost sunk into the floor, and in order to see the road at least somehow, you have to constantly stretch your neck. But the overloads are already large enough – on the asphalt, other ring sports cars can envy the clutch with the Fabia S2000 highway. Forest road motley serpentine winds through the thicket. Clearly prescribing asphalt trajectories, while earning a handbrake, Yang throws the rear axle into the slowest studs with sweeping movements. It is evident that the roads of Moravia him – home.

“Okay, jokes are jokes, but the S2000 is, of course, slower than a WRC car, to argue with this is meaningless,” the Czech confusedly smiles when we get out of the red-hot cockpit. Built on the basis of the serial 2.0 FSI, the 2 ‑ liter, naturally aspirated Fabia engine delivers “only” 265 liters. with. at 245 Nm, while the best WRC machines have motors up to 300 liters. with. with the moment of 550 Nm. But we must not forget how much the “stables” of the World Championships cost this superiority in power. S2000 cars are several times cheaper than WRC. “All this is true,” Zhenya Novikov agrees with the Czech pilot in absentia, “but the moment, in comparison with the WRC, they still lack. In the same, with regard to differences in controllability, it is better to listen to Jan. I find it difficult to compare them, because the WRC on asphalt I have never piloted. ” “Just in terms of handling and behavior on the road, the difference is not so great,” Kopecki continues. – The laws of physics are the same for everyone, technical equipment is also quite similar, so there are no global differences in piloting techniques. And you shouldn’t pay special attention to trivia, because anyway, and differences in the behavior of cars lie not only in different series, but even within the class of one championship. Believe me, the pleasure of piloting the Skoda Fabia S2000 delivers no less than the cars WRC. Is it just a little … “Yang confusedly apologizes:” There was only one night left before the race, and we cannot afford the luxury of losing it in our native land. In addition, this stage can be a key in the championship. I need to go, I’m sorry … ”

P.S. Kopecky not in vain in a hurry. The Skoda factory team was well prepared for the main start of the season. Two days later, Kopecky won the Rally Zlin. Zhenya Novikov also looked good, but did not make it to the finish line: she let the electrician down.

This year you confidently and successfully compete in the World Rally Championship. Why suddenly, for the first time after last year’s rally “Russia”, decided to also come to the Czech stage of the IRC?

Not at all. This race was planned by me at the beginning of the season as a key stage of preparation for the Catalan WRC race. The problem is that in Spain we are waiting for asphalt, and on this surface all my racing experience is exhausted by two or three Russian starts. In Europe, I never drove on asphalt. So for me this race is a kind of combat training and a good opportunity to work together with the new navigator Stefan Prevost.
With your former navigator, Dale Moscatt, you immediately said goodbye to the field of the unsuccessful Finnish WRC for you. What is the reason for such a fast break? Do you have any specific complaints about Dale?

In fact, this situation has matured for a long time, the claims accumulated like a snowball. We have had problems with dictation before.

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