At the end of last week, Racing 21 team took over its brand-new Polo GTI R5 racing vehicle to be employed for domestic races during 2019 season. Afterwards, the team completed a three-day pre-season testing of its new racing machine under various surface conditions.
Racing 21 team started the season of 2019 with the challenging racing schedule by the takeover of Polo GTI R5 at the seat of Volkswagen Motorsport in Hannover. This special event was attended, among others, by Sven Smeets, Volkswagen Motorsport Director, and also a former successful driver at various motorsport events. Dieter Depping, the current test driver of Volkswagen Motorsport, was also present at the event. The serial number of Polo GTI R5's body is also a very symbolic one for Racing 21 team. “The Takeover of the new vehicle was an exceptional event for me, and it was so for a number of reasons. First, the event took place just one day before my birthday, which means that the new Polo GTI R5 has become the largest gift in my life, in terms of size. Besides that, it was very nice to find out that Racing 21 team obtained the racing car with the serial number of ‘021’, stamped on the safety frame of the new Polo. In a spirit of Albert Einstein’s quotation that ‘there are no random events, just miscomprehension of the chains of events’, I hope that this very unique body number will be a lucky one for us in this season and further. Generally, I have very positive impressions from our meeting with people from Volkswagen motorsports department”, commented Vojtěch Štajf on the takeover of his racing car in Germany.
Štajf and his whole team completed a challenging three-day test of the new car right from the start of this week in order to find the optimum co-ordination of the driver with his car and a good setup for the first event of the Czech Rally Championship, Valašská Rally ValMez. The first part of testing included the circuit of Adventure Land site in Bělá pod Bezdězem; Polo GTI R5 tuning followed on the next day near Mladá Boleslav on the track of a former Rally Bohemia’s speed test; tests were completed today near the city of Pilsen. “Even if the first test was nearly extreme due to snow, changing climate conditions and slippery road, I am enthusiastic about this week. On the second day we already completed a conventional rally stage and I started to feel better behind the wheel. Compared to Fabia, Polo behaves differently at some situations, and therefore I need to learn gradually to drive it. It will be difficult to try to find the limits of the new car, as I have discovered this week that the limit is very high. I am therefore happy that we managed to fine-tune, for example, the ground clearance and the corresponding chassis setup for typical Czech roads, but tests can never substitute for the actual race. Valašská Rally will therefore become yet another lesson while getting used to this excellent machine, both for me and the whole team”, concluded Vojtěch Štajf while assessing three-day tests of his new car.
Currently the whole Racing 21 team is getting ready for its first motorsport start in this year’s season: Azores Rally, the initial event of the European Rally Championship (ERC). The crew consisting of Vojtěch Štajf and Veronika Havelková will start on the 21st of March in Azores Islands (Portugal), driving their existing ŠKODA Fabia R5 car in the representation team registered under Autoklub ČR.
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