The Skoda that was born for Group B of the World Rally and raced in the Dakar

It is the Skoda 130 LR that was one of the protagonists of the first edition of the Dakar Classic last January.

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One of the great attractions of the 2021 edition of the rally Dakar Rally It was the debut of Dakar Classic, a specific category for certain XNUMXth century racing vehicles. Among them there was a Skoda 130LR, a model that was originally manufactured by the Czech company in the '80s to run in the Group B of World Rally. Precisely, this was what allowed it to be measured against the Mitsubishi montero evo, the buggies Sun Hill y Porsche 911 sc on terrain as tough and exhausting as the race itself Saudi Arabia.

Skoda 130LRObviously the Skoda 130 LR you drove Ondrej Klymciw suffered certain variations. It was fitted with a box of Modified shifting with a limited-slip differential and competition-friendly gears. The air filtration system was modified and the mechanics raised their ground clearance as much as they could. The geometry of the front axle was also worked on. As the original diagrams and calculations were available it was possible to accurately calculate the driving position and the kinematics of the axles.

Another issue was preparing the car for the high desert temperatures: there was a risk of the gearbox overheating during special tests covering two hundred kilometers or more, so a separate refrigeration circuit was installed. The water cooling system was modified by doubling the capacity of the front radiator and mounting two fans controlled by a thermostat or manually by the pilot.

Skoda 130LRThe car was powered by the original 1.4-liter engine with aluminum heads and powered by two Weber carburettors. The crankshaft was stronger, the propeller received dry sump lubrication, and the fuel system was replaced by a carbon fiber design.

Tire selection was a big deal. In order to maintain the authenticity of the car and not turn it into a buggy, it was not possible to use wheels larger than 620 millimeters in diameter. Any tire that was bigger would not fit the fenders. Neither would the special off-road wheels, which reduce tire pressure to help the car get out of the deep sand. Therefore, tires designed for stone roads had to be used.

Skoda 130LRThe rest of the kit included two spare tires, a fuel tank with a size increased to 85 liters, a pair of ramps for the wheels, shovels and spare parts. Consequently, the car ended up weighing more than a ton, compared to the original rally car's weight of just seven hundred kilograms.

Although the Skoda 130 LR was far from the fight (Klymciw finished 19th) it performed much better than expected overcoming incredible challenges, despite never having been in the desert and even less in a Dakar rally known for its toughness.

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autoworld is the blog about news from the automotive industry, motorsport and the culture of the region. Director: Diego Durruti.

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