In August 2018 information about the plans of the Lithuanian ES Motorsport team appeared! The team of Ernestas Staponkus announced participation in the full season of World RX 2019 at the wheel of Skoda Fabia WRX SuperCar! This would be the first start of the Skoda brand vehicle in the full cycle of the World Rallycross Championship!
Another Lithuanian, Nerijus Naujokaitis, had planned to race in World RX at the close of 2017 and into ’18 with an R5-based Fabia Supercar, but has not entered any events since a brief appearance at last year’s Latvian round. It was a Supercar with a Skoda Fabia R5 body. The drive has been powered by a four-cylinder, two-liter turbo engine with 600 hp. The transmission system was based on the Sadev 6-speed gearbox. The suspension used Reiger shock absorbers.
The Ernestas Staponkus team develops a SuperCar based on the Skoda Fabia R5 rally and the Oreca latest generation engine specially designed for rallycross. Global engine, designed specifically for racing, and not converted from a standard engine. The car is built using the chassis of the Fabia S2000, which according to the constructor, is ideal for this type of race. The same chassis design with minor improvements is currently used by the Audi Sport factory team, which races in 2016.
Simple thing like a roll cage team created independently. They are much lighter and have a much lower center of gravity compared to standard rally cars used by the Škoda factory.
“Our roll cage, designed by our constructors, have been approved by the FIA, their safety is verified and approved by the German TUV organization” says Staponkus.
The car will also be equipped with the latest generation sequential gearbox produced by the French company Sadev – newer, lighter, more compact and modern. The vehicle will be equipped with Dutch Reiger shock absorbers specially designed for the Lithuanian team car. Interestingly, one of the best suspension specialists in the rallycross world – the most experienced Reiger engineer Sander Haverkamp who has worked with Peter Solberg for the last few years – will oversee the work of shock absorbers and tests. Radiators are specifically designed for the ESmotorsport team in Australia. Radiators were tested in the Formula 1 air tunnel. The car is very similar to the Naujokaitis project, right? We hope it isn’t the same car…
The official driver information for the next season still has not appeared. Nassar Al-Attiyah participated in the first tests and everything indicates that he will become the official driver in World RX 2019. Nevertheless, in the last tests Mads Østberg participated. Andreas Bakkerud participated in the tests as an observer, he didn’t have the opportunity to check the car’s capabilities on the track.
ESmotorsport-BRGroup team offers the driver up to half million euros for the TOP 3 result in the next years WRX championship.