?koda to Goodwood for the first time

Škoda, the VW-owned Czech automaker, will make its first-ever official factory-backed trip to the Goodwood Festival of Speed this weekend.

The 300-hp First Motorsport Škoda Fabia WRC car will be on hand and piloted by First Motorsport's 2006 driver, François Duval. Duval will run the car up the hillclimb section and through the forest rally stage. The Fabia's appearance at Goodwood is also part of a larger effort to launch the Richard Burns Foundation, the charity named for the late rally champion who passed away due to cancer in 2005. He was only 34 years of age.

In addition to the modern race car, Skoda has entered a 1930s era
Škoda Popular Monte Carlo coupe in the festival's Cartier "Style et Luxe" competition, where it'll go up against the likes of the classic Lamborghini Miura. Fun fact about Style et Luxe: Star Wars creator and car aficionado George Lucas is one of the celebrity judges.

(Pics, press release after the jump)

[Source: Skoda]

Škoda Fabia WRC
Škoda Fabia WRCŠkoda Fabia WRCŠkoda Fabia WRCŠkoda Fabia WRCŠkoda Fabia WRC

Škoda Popular Monte Carlo
*A Monte Carlo coupe will be on display at Goodwood.
 Convertible photos are simply for your enjoyment.
Škoda Popular Monte Carlo Škoda Popular Monte Carlo
Škoda Popular Monte Carlo

Press Release:


• Fabia WRC to make its Goodwood debut

• Škoda Popular Monte Carlo competing in Cartier 'Style et Luxe'

• Rally entry helps to launch Richard Burns Foundation

For the first time in its history, Škoda Auto will be officially represented at the Goodwood Festival of Speed – one of the biggest and most entertaining events on the British motoring calendar.

The company's rich motorsport heritage will be celebrated with the appearance of a Škoda Fabia WRC car – the car in which British rally legend Colin McRae drove in last year's Rally of Great Britain. The 300bhp, four wheel drive machine is being bought to the UK by the Belgian First Motorsport team, which runs two factory-supported Fabia WRCs in the 2006 World Rally Championship.

Already confirmed to drive the car is Belgian rally ace François Duval. The 26-year old will join a host of rally legends past and present during what will be a spectacular event for all rally enthusiasts.

The Fabia WRC will compete on both the famous Goodwood hillclimb course and the newly-expanded rally stage which will give spectators unrivalled access to some of the most exotic competition cars ever made. This year, however, the fun also has a serious side. The Fabia WRC's first ever appearance at Goodwood is just part of a spectacular show staged to mark the launch of the Richard Burns Foundation. Set up in memory of the 2003 World Rally Champion who lost his fight against cancer last year aged just 34, the charity aims to raise resources and awareness to help people fight against adversity – supporting projects aimed at care, prevention, and giving quality of life to people living with brain cancer and other conditions that can have a severe impact on their lives.

Škoda's design history will also be celebrated at this year's event. Among the cars competing in the prestigious Cartier 'Style et Luxe' design competition will be a Škoda Popular Monte Carlo.

The classic 1930s coupe is regarded as one of Škoda's most elegant and beautiful designs and is bound to win over the celebrity judges who this year include film director George Lucas, David Linley, ballerina Deborah Bull and painter Rolf Harris. The prize is the coveted 'best of show' title.

The Goodwood Festival of Speed runs from the 7-9 July.

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