Racing 21 team presents its racing schedule for 2019 season. Similarly to last year, the schedule is focused on two important championships.
Besides the complete Czech Rally Championship, Racing 21 team will defend national colours under the title of Autoklub ČR (ACCR) as part of the European Rally Championship (ERC). The team will start in both series with the same crew – Vojtěch Štajf and Veronika Havelková – that completed the last season with a very valuable overall win at Manateq International Rally of Qatar, the last event of the Middle East Rally Championship 2018. “The last season was a very challenging one for the whole team, for example because of frequent co-driver changes. That is why I am very glad that we have an agreement with Veronika to accompany me for the whole season of 2019. It was just the last winning race last year in Qatar that proved our perfect cooperation in the car from the very first metres, and that is why we are both very much looking forward to this year’s season”, confirmed the crew Vojtěch Štajf, driver and co-owner of Racing 21 team.
For the whole Czech Rally Championship, the ream will employ its brand-new Volkswagen Polo GTI R5, already tested by Vojtěch Štajf as part of the last-year’s Prague Rallysprint. And while Racing 21 started for the first time with a borrowed machine, it will enter this year’s season with its own Polo GTI R5 vehicle. The team is going to take over the new car at the seat of Volkswagen Motorsport in Hannover at the end of the first week of March. “After three successful years with ŠKODA Fabia R5 we took up yet another big challenge with the aim to boost general awareness of Racing 21 team in its role of a top-notch European racing-car preparer. From the beginning of last year’s season, we negotiated with Volkswagen Motorsport regarding the procurement of Polo GTI R5. Racing 21 will always strive for the best machinery available, and that is why we opted for a brand-new car (in terms of design) made by the same group of companies as our existing Fabia R5. I think that our experience from the Prague Rallysprint also proves the rightness of our choice. Quite important was also our fruitful negotiation with our major sponsors, the dealer Autosalon Klokočka, and newly also with the company Porsche Czech Republic, the division of Volkswagen passenger vehicles. The start of our Polo GTI R5 will be an interesting animation of the local field. We are already going to take over the car at the end of next week and the whole of our team is waiting impatiently for the first tests prior to Valašská Rally”, commented Vojtěch Štajf on the procurement of their new racing machine.
In addition, Racing 21 team decided to take part in two championships during this season, similarly to last year. In 2019 it will be registered under the national team of Autoklub ČR, representing the Czech Republic within the European Rally Championship (ERC), at least at six events of this prestigious series. Because of logistics, the team will have to employ its second racing car for ERC events in the first half of the year. “After our success in FIA MERC last year we applied successfully to become a part of the representation team for this year’s European Championship. I appreciate the trust bestowed upon us, allowing us to represent our nation during the whole ERC series, where I became European Vice-Champion in series-production category in 2015, also under Czech national colours. However, because of the clashing schedule of domestic and foreign events we need to employ our second racing car for European events. That is why we will start with our existing Fabia R5, at least during the first half of this year”, explained Štajf, adding: “Although the demand for vehicles from Hannover is tremendous, exceeding manufacturer’s capacity by large numbers, I am happy to confirm officially that our order for the second Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 has been accepted, with an expected delivery at the very end of summer holidays. Afterwards we will consider its employment in racing events, being also open to collaboration with those interested in hiring this vehicle. I regard our participation in the European Championship as an opportunity to compare our abilities with a broad field of high-quality drivers; after the last-year’s successful start in MERC it will also serve as a further publicity of our Racing 21 team abroad.”
Racing 21 team with its crew Vojtěch Štajf – Veronika Havelková will start for the first time on 21-23 March 2019 as part of the initial ERC round at Azores Islands (Portugal). A week later it will take part in Kowax Valašská Rally ValMez 2019 in the Czech premiere of Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 within The Czech Rally Championship.
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