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The hard 2018 season - competing in two championships
15.3.2018

One of the hardest seasons in the 20-year racing career of the driver Vojtěch Štajf
Concurrent participation of the team on the domestic tracks of the MČR and attractive environment of Middle Eastern countries (FIA MERC)
The team is once again relying on two racing vehicles ŠKODA Fabia R5, prepared to a top level
The demanding programme means strengthening the team in terms of backup, logistics and communication
The first event will be the 37th KOWAX Valašská Rally ValMez 2018, and participation in MERC beings at the Rally Jordan in April
New team video from the scriptwriter and actor Petr Čtvrtníček.


This year will be one of the most demanding for the Racing 21- Klokočka ŠKODA team in its three year history from several aspects. The driver Vojtěch Štajf will be celebrating his 20th season behind the wheel of a racing car with a very extensive all-year programme of races.

In addition to the traditional participation in domestic car racing championships, following last year's positive results in the events Shiraz Rally (Iran), Al Dhaid Rally and Fujairah Rally (both United Arab Emirates), the team management has decided on participation in the complete championship FIA Middle East Rally Championship (MERC). This attractive championship is held under the aegis of the FIA international automobile federation in six countries of this region - Jordan, Cyprus, Lebanon, Iran, Kuwait and Qatar.

"For me the Czech rally championship is an emotional matter because of the thousands of motor sport fans who support us on social networks and the rally routes. And in the same way I really liked the slightly different atmosphere at the races in the Middle East and the Emirates. And during the speed trials I had a chance to meet drivers like Nasser Al-Attiyah, the Qatar competitor of many years in the Dakar event. Competing with him just seconds apart was highly motivational, and I even managed to beat him in several speed trials. And it was at this time that the notion of returning the Middle East competition on a larger scale started to develop. We are really looking forward to this demanding adventure in 2018 with Markéta and the entire team," said Vojtěch Štajf, explaining participation in both championships.

2018 will also be the first complete season in the colours of the Racing 21 team for the navigator Markéta Skácelová. "I'm really pleased that midway through last year I got the opportunity to sit side by side with Vojta in a rally car, and to tell the truth it took a while for us to get used to each other. But events in exotic countries like Iran and the Emirates helped me greatly to gain experience, both as a co-driver and in the running of the team. This year has been a real challenge for me, but also a dream come true," said Markéta Skácelová, confirming this year's motivation.

But participation in both championships represents a massive challenged for Racing 21 - Klokočka ŠKODA team in the area of logistic and preparation of the rally equipment for the individual events. "In 2018 we are once again betting on the top quality of our ŠKODA Fabia R5 rally cars. This year the logistics of the team requires the use and preparation of both cars at virtually the same time, and for this reason we do not yet have the capacity for any renting out of one of them," said Vojtěch Štajf, confirming the team's intention, and he went on to say: "Moreover, one car will be set up for a gravel surface for the events in the Middle East.

The co-owner of Racing 21 - Klokočka ŠKODA, Karel Janeček, also commented on the aims of the team in the 2018 season: "After last year's season we looked at the overall situation in detail with Vojta. We considered several variants, and in the end we went for the relatively the demanding decision to participate in domestic and foreign competitions. I think that it's quite natural to expect last year's goals to shift up a gear, which on the specific level means the position of our team in the first five in the Czech championships and competition for the top rankings in the FIA MERC series. I believe that the entire team will do all it can to achieve these goals in the context of the joint project Racing 21."

The team has already completed the first pre-season trials near Mladá Boleslav with positive impressions. "It had been a long time since I was last in the car, and I'm very satisfied with the adjustments to our Fabia R5's chassis settings that we had performed during the winter break, and I would like to thank our technicians for this. But now we have to carefully prepare our competition cars for their participation in both championships," said Vojtěch Štajf, evaluating his first time behind the wheel of the Fabia R5 this year, and who has also adapted physical preparation in the winter period to the demanding programme in the 2018 season.

This year's first "real" racing event for the Racing 21 - Klokočka ŠKODA team will be the 37th KOWAX Valašská Rally ValMez 2018, which will be held from the 23rd to 25th March in the Valašské Meziříčí area. The crew Štajf - Skácelová will be competing in the FIA MERC 2018 series in a ŠKODA Fabia R5 car as part of initial event of the Jordan Rally on the territory of Jordan between the dates 26th to 28th April 2018.

The demanding programme for the 2018 season also required a strengthening of the team's support facilities and certain activities. In order to improve the logistics and environment for the mechanics' work during a competition, the team has bought a new servicing vehicle with corresponding technical equipment. There has also been a change in the team's PR manager. "This year we have concluded a contract with the agency VIZUS Communication of Tomáš Vanek, who will prepare the complete media service for our team. We have been friends with Tomáš for many years now, and I am really pleased that we are utilising his professional experience from more than fifteen years as press spokesman for leading global car manufacturers," said Vojtěch Štajf

In addition to crew's performance on the road, loyal fans of the Racing 21 – Klokočka ŠKODA team have often appreciated the sense of fun and overstatement in the team's association with motor sport. In the past many unique and amusing videos were shot about the team's preparation for each event in a rally, and a video featuring the duo Štajf - Čtvrtníček buying a ŠKODA Fabia R5 car enjoyed record viewing figures. And this year the Racing 21 team shot a video directed by the scriptwriter and actor Petr Čtvrtníček which references an important event from public life in 2017 in an overstated manner. A crew of more than fifty worked on its production, which was far more demanding than last year's. The video will be available on the Racing 21 YouTube channel from 15.3. 2018

In addition to its demanding programme, the Racing 21 - Klokočka ŠKODA team is also participating in the June automobile celebrations LEGENDS and is participating in the Prague Rally Sprint in December.

Information about crew of Racing 21 – Klokočka ŠKODA team:

VOJTĚCH ŠTAJF 
Date of birth: 9.3. 1974 
Home town: Prague 
Marital status: married, 3 daughters 
Studied journalism and international territorial studies at School of Social Sciences Charles University. Is a motoring journalist. 
Interests: Motor sport, golf, skiing, travel, motorcycles 
First event: Rally Šumava 1995 (co-driver), Prague Rallysprint 1998 (driver) 
Greatest successes: Runner-up in FIA European rally trophy 2017, Second runner-up MČR  rally 2016, Runner-up Europe ERC-2 2015, second runner-up of European Rally Trophy 2014, international champion of Czech Republic in production cars 2013, absolute champion of Czech Republic 2006. 

MARKÉTA SKÁCELOVÁ
Date of birth: 20.11. 1990
Home town: Zlín 
Marital status: single
Works in the field of psychological-legal activity and project management associated with automobile industry
Interests: sport, travel, good food, reading
First event: 2014
Greatest successes: Runner-up in FIA European rally trophy 2017, 2nd place in Shiraz Rally 2017, 3rd place in Rally Casinos to Algarve 2017

Autosalon Klokočka Centrum
The company Autosalon Klokočka is one of the largest dealers and servicing centres for the makes Volkswagen, Audi, SEAT, ŠKODA, Volkswagen vans and Kia in the Czech Republic. It is also one of the largest dealers of used vehicles in the programmes ŠKODA Plus and Das Welt Auto with its own showroom for nearly new vehicles. For more than 25 year it has provided a high standard of services and individual approach to each customer More information at www.klokocka.cz

More information:
Tomáš Vaněk
PR manager, RACING 21
E-mail: tomas.vanek@vizus.com
Mobile: +420 734 313 315

The hard 2018 season - competing in two championshipsThe hard 2018 season - competing in two championshipsThe hard 2018 season - competing in two championshipsThe hard 2018 season - competing in two championships

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