Mercedes ace joins Kopecký, Tidemand for WRC debut

Sportscar star Maro Engel to enter Monza Rally in one of Toksport's Škoda Fabias


Factory Mercedes sportscar driver Maro Engel will make his rallying debut on the World Rally Championship’s Monza Rally season finale in December, driving a Škoda Fabia Rally2 evo for Toksport.

Despite Citroën’s protestations that Toksport has entered its maximum number of allowed WRC2 rounds this year, the firm will enter three Fabias in Monza, with Engel joined by the team’s WRC2 regular Pontus Tidemand and 2018 WRC2 champion Jan Kopecký.

Engel, who competes for Toksport in the ADAC GT Masters series, will be paired with the highly experienced Ilka Minor in the co-driver’s seat. Minor has co-driven in the WRC since 1997, sitting alongside Manfred Stohl, Henning Solberg, Evgeny Novikov and most recently Eyvind Brynildsen.

Tidemand heads to Monza with an 18-point advantage over Mads Østberg in the WRC2 title race, though will either need to drop points or compete while ineligible for points, depending on ultimate clarification regarding the WRC2 points-scoring rules from the FIA.

Monza will mark a somewhat unexpected return to WRC2 for Kopecký, who had focused on scoring his fifth Czech national title in a row this year before ultimately losing the title race to Václav Pech.

Kopecký had been a regular for the factory Škoda team in WRC’s R5 support categories since 2015 but was left without an international program for 2020.

Engel undertook a testing day with a Toksport Fabia at the Nürburgring on Saturday, receiving tutoring from reigning European Rally Champion Chris Ingram, another driver in the Toksport fold.


The promotional picture Toksport released to announce its Monza line-up