Yes, there are Porsches, Aston Martins and Ferraris at the Oldtimer GP. But we at Goodwood Road & Racing are very often drawn to the unusual and unsung, and when we saw the Skoda 130 RS on the entry list for the Historic Marathon we knew we’d have to seek it out for a closer look. Skoda may be best known for rallying but, in the 1970s and ’80s, the company also went circuit racing in the European Touring Car Championship. Its best result was in 1981, when it took outright class victory.
The car here was built by Skoda Tradition a few years ago and is a close replica of the ETCC car. Yesterday was its first outing at the Oldtimer GP and it was driven here by Andreas Leue, Jens Herkommer and Herbert Gartenschlager, the latter two having their very first experience of the Nordschleife in race conditions in heavy rain. Nothing like going in at the deep end! Only Andreas, who is head of communication at Skoda Tradition, has raced here before, having entered the 24-hour race on no fewer than five occasions.
We can only imagine how much fun it is to drive: 780kg, 134bhp from the twin Weber-fed 1400cc four-cylinder engine and, of course, like a Porsche 911 rear-engined and rear-wheel drive. The junior 911 feel is even continued with the ‘RS’ moniker. No wonder Andreas looks happy when we got his photo as he waited on the grid for the start of the race.
Skoda Tradition also had on display a 110 rally car which is campaigned by seven-time German rally champion Matthias Kahle. Whisper this, as there are no promises yet, but there is a suggestion that the car may make an appearance at next year’s Festival of Speed.
Photography: Jochen Van Cauwenberge at Frozenspeed