Winning this year’s IRC gave Skoda the confidence to try their luck in World Rally Championship as well. So they acted quickly and teamed up with Red Bull and the private team BRR to form a team for 2011 S-WRC. This team sees the IRC champions Juho Hänninen & the Finn Mikko Markkula along with Germany’s Hermann Gassner jr. & Katharina Wüstenhagen as drivers.
The Red Bull Škoda team is a result of joint efforts by Škoda Motorsport (factory team), Baumschlager Rally Racing (BRR) (private team) and Red Bull.
ead of Škoda Motorsport Michal Hrabánek says: “We are really pleased that we can contribute to further growth of the Fabia Super 2000 project as part of Red Bull and BRR. Red Bull is one of the strongest possible partners on today’s sports scene. The BRR team led by Raimund Baumschlager, a nine-times Austrian Rally Champion and the buyer of the first Fabia Super 2000 vehicle we sold, is a guarantee of a highly professional approach and top-class background.“Raimund Baumschlager has many years’ experience in rallying. He is one of Austria’s rallying icons. Under his leadership, the Red Bull Rally team has been using a Fabia Super 2000 in world-class competitions over the past two years and has made some great achievements with this car, including, in particular, several 2010/2011-season wins by Patrik Sandell who was supported by the Swedish importer of Škoda. Juho Hänninen, one of the new members of the squad, has great memories of Baumschlager’s team, too – driving Baumschlager’s Fabia Super 2000, he convincingly won last year’s Finnish Rally in the S-WRC category.
Raimund Baumschlager is sure that the team with Hänninen has a great future: “First of all, I wish to thank Škoda Motorsport and also Red Bull, our partner, for their support. We have only the best experience of cooperating with them, and they are both leaders in what they do. Juho has been one of the top drivers over the last few years, I remember him when he used to appear in PWRC – he was our toughest competitor in the battle for the championship title. At the same time, I know him as an excellent test driver and a great chap, too. I am sure that with him around we can think of the highest ranks. Hermann Gassner has a great opportunity to grow beside Juho and learn from him, in both tests and races. We are planning to appear in about seven Championships events.”