Skoda satisified with season

Skoda has declared itself happy with the progress towards the front of the WRC pack, having now completed its programme for 2004. The Czech manufacturer has only run a part season after deciding to spend the first half of the year developing its Fabia WRC

Skoda satisified with season

It did however confirm its intention to run a full championship campaign in 2005 back in September and has since been encouraged by recent performances, particularly in the Rally Deutschland, where Armin Schwarz took a stage win and Toni Gardemeister finished seventh.

"The high point of this season was proving that the work we did while we were away had been in the right direction and that the Fabia is now much more competitive," said Schwarz. "We were able to secure a full programme for 2005 and I am feeling very positive about that. My personal high point was winning a stage on my home rally."

Head of Skoda Motorsport Martin Muehlmeier confirmed that he believed the company had made great strides in 2004 with its Fabia hatchback: "Although we only entered a limited number of events this season we have still worked incredibly hard but I am pleased that we achieved our objective to improve the performance of the Fabia.

"We have seen a better overall performance that has moved us much closer to the leading teams and we have shown on several occasions just what it is possible to achieve if we can get better consistency with our results. There is now a lot of work to do before January and the Monte Carlo Rally when we will begin our full WRC programme once again."

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