It has been revealed that tests of the Skoda Fabia Super 2000 prototype are progressing well enough for the car to make its debut at this year’s Barum Rally Zlin.
Head of Skoda Motor sport Michal Hrabanek sees participation in this event as another step on the road to picking up honours in international competition.
He said: "Besides co-operating with our importers, we are also planning to offer the vehicle to private teams."
Since the test team began its work in February, approximately five thousand kilometres of speed trials have been clocked up using three prototypes.
Not just any old test drivers have been employed through the project.
The experience of two-times world champion and rally icon Carlos Sainz has been tapped extensively.
The 46-year-old Spaniard won the world rally championship with Toyota in 1990 and 1992, after beginning his rallying career in 1980.
Other Skoda test drivers include leading Czech racer Jan Kopecky, the Austrian rally champion Raimund Baumschlager and Sebastian Lindholm, the ex-champion from Finland.