ŠKODA New Zealand and the Giltrap Group are excited to announce our new partnership with Auckland-based rally driver, Ben Hunt who will be racing the ŠKODA FABIA R5 rally car at the 2022 WRC.
Ben Hunt has been in the New Zealand rally scene since 2008. At his side, is his long-term co-driver, Tony Rawstorn. Collectively the pair won the 2015 Gold Star NZ Rally championship and the National 2WD Champions in 2011 and 2012. This year, as a team they will take the FABIA R5 to the track, competing in 6 rounds of the NZRC including the 2022 World Rally Championship (WRC) at the end of September / early October.
General Manager of ŠKODA NZ, Rodney Gillard says, “With the long history of ŠKODAs involvement in Global Rally Motorsport, ŠKODA NZ are pleased to announce our support of Ben Hunts drive to win the New Zealand Rally Championship in a ŠKODA FABIA R5 WRC rally car. This comes at a great time as ŠKODA Auto recently launched the all-new 2022 FABIA.”
“Today I can officially say we are the ŠKODA New Zealand Rally team”
“I’m excited to announce the new partnership between ŠKODA NZ and the Giltrap Group.” Ben says.
“Over the last couple of months, it’s become the best worst kept secret in the New Zealand’s rallying and motorsport community, but today that all changes and I can officially say we are the ŠKODA New Zealand Rally team.
Motorsport is part of Giltrap Group DNA. They are passionate supporters of Kiwi drivers and it’s amazing to see the line-up of helmets at head office. Maybe ours can be there one day.”
ŠKODA has a long, eventful history in motorsport that has carried the same sporting spirit for over 120 years, making this new partnership even more special. Since 1901, ŠKODA has won titles all around the world in a range of vehicles. Starting with the Paris Berlin race in 1901 and by the end of 2021, more than 150 racing teams from all over the world had taken delivery of over 440 units of the ŠKODA FABIA in R5, Rally2 and Rally2 evo variants.
The World Championship Winning ŠKODA FABIA R5
The ŠKODA FABIA R5 was introduced as a new vehicle class for global rallying in 2012 which overtime has become the most successful in its category. It made its world championship debut in Portugal in 2015 and ŠKODA Motorsport drivers won the WRC2 and WRC2 Pro categories of the FIA World Rally Championship in 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019.
Based on the FABIA, ŠKODA Motorsport developed a completely new rally car, which over time became the most successful in the category. In the R5, you’ll find a near standard 1.6-litre turbo powerplant, producing around 214 kW (290 hp) with a maximum torque of 425 newton metres. Like its competitors, most of the components of the all-wheel drive are common. The drivetrain features a gearbox with five forward gears and no centre differential with the shift gearbox specifically developed for racing.