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The construction of the ŠKODA 1100 OHC racing car entered its final phase at the end of 1957. Designated within the company as 968, the vehicle was originally intended for long circuit races. Initially, two open-bodied vehicles were built, followed by two coupés in 1959. The open-top, red-painted racing car is now part of the collection at the ŠKODA Museum in Mladá Boleslav.

In addition to the full selection of images accompanying this press release, the 32-page brochure and a comprehensive collection of articles and features on various topics from 120 years of ŠKODA Motorsport can be found on the ŠKODA Storyboard.

Development of the two-seater sports car began in the spring of 1956 with one clear objective – the racer was to take up where the first and only ŠKODA works car had left off in the prestigious 24-hour race at Le Mans (1950). The model was based on a lattice frame made of thin-walled steel tubes welded together. This distinguished it from its predecessors, the ŠKODA SPORT and SUPERSPORT, which used a modified version of the robust chassis from the ŠKODA 1101 production model. To achieve the best possible handling, the load was optimally distributed over both axles. The clutch, five-speed gearbox and transfer case were installed in the rear, where they formed a cohesive assembly unit.

The drivetrain of the ŠKODA 1100 OHC was a longitudinally-mounted four-cylinder in-line engine with double ignition and two camshafts located in the cylinder head. From a displacement of 1,089 cm3, it generated an impressive output for the time of 68 kW (92 hp) at 7,700 rpm (maximum speed was at 8,500 rpm), which corresponded to a litre capacity of just under 63 kW (85 hp). Originally, the engine ran on high-octane aviation fuel, which was fed into two twin carburettors made by the Czechoslovakian brand Jikov and later by the Italian manufacturer WEBER.

The independent wheel suspension also played an important role; while a trapezoidal wishbone axle was fitted at the front, the rear wheels, spaced 2,200 mm apart, were mounted on a swing axle with trailing arms. The steering, which was as precise as it was direct, was controlled by a three-spoke steering wheel that could be removed to make it easier to get into the car. Another progressive element for the late 1950s was the torsion bar suspension of the 15-inch spoke wheels manufactured by Borrani.

Thanks to the use of glass fibre-reinforced plastic (GRP), the 3,880 mm long, 1,430 mm wide and 964 mm tall racing car weighed just 583 kilograms. This enabled the ŠKODA 1100 OHC to achieve competitive acceleration rates and a top speed of between 190 and 200 km/h, depending on the gear ratio. The low air resistance of the body created by designer Jaroslav Kindl was also a contributing factor.

The combination of practicality and elegance was reflected in the first model variant’s two flip-up headlights, which soon had to be replaced by a more practical solution suitable for racing; the second model featured two fixed headlights mounted under aerodynamic glass covers.

The ŠKODA 1100 OHC clinched an immediate victory at its public premiere; on the municipal circuit in Mladá Boleslav, the experienced works driver Miroslav Fousek won the race at the end of June 1958. Racing drivers Václav Bobek Sen., Václav Čížkovský, Josef Vidner and Jaroslav Bobek also sat behind the wheel in subsequent years. In addition to motorsport events at home, ŠKODA drivers also chalked up successes abroad despite the ŠKODA 1100 OHC only being able to compete in Communist countries due to the difficult political situation at the end of the 1950s and 60s. The plans to take part in the 24 Hours of Le Mans did not come to fruition.

The two vehicles with open GRP bodies, which had been produced at the end of 1957 and the beginning of 1958, were followed in 1959 by two more spacious coupé variants with closed bodies made of sheet aluminium. Nevertheless, the engineers managed to keep the coupés’ weight to only 555 kilograms while maintaining the same top speed.

Both closed ŠKODA 1100 OHCs were destroyed in accidents during private use. However, experts from the ŠKODA Museum’s restoration workshop are currently working on rebuilding one ŠKODA 1100 OHC coupé using surviving components including the frame, chassis and engine.

The open-top versions of the racing car are still intact. The model from the ŠKODA Museum regularly takes part in classic car events at home and abroad. The second vehicle is owned by ŠKODA UK and is used for promotional purposes, primarily in the UK.

Article source: www.skoda-storyboard.com

ŠKODA AUTO has published its Sustainability Report for the 2019/2020 period. The report provides a detailed overview of the progress the company has made in environmental protection while also containing information on the brand´s extensive social responsibility efforts. To this end, the latest Report also describes in detail the Company´s corporate governance and corporate culture policies and integrity tools such as programmes focused on volunteering, as well as efforts made towards effective supervision of compliance with Company-wide rules. As part of its recently presented corporate strategy, NEXT LEVEL – ŠKODA STRATEGY 2030, the car manufacturer is further tightening its ambitious sustainability targets and placing even more emphasis on diversity.

As the largest private company in the Czech Republic, ŠKODA AUTO is committed to providing stakeholders with evidence of new benchmarks set in the areas of sustainable development, social responsibility and a wide range of Corporate Governance activities.

CO2-neutral energy to be used in vehicle and component production at Czech plants by end of decade
The car manufacturer defines its ambitious sustainability goals within the framework of the ‘Green Future’ strategy. This is based on the three pillars of ‘Green Factory’, ‘Green Product’ and ‘Green Retail’ and aims to minimise the ecological footprint of the company’s activities. Since the beginning of 2020, ŠKODA AUTO has recycled or thermally processed all disposable waste generated during the production process. In addition, the car manufacturer is adopting measures to switch completely to CO2-neutral energy in vehicle and component production at its Czech sites over the course of the decade: The high-tech Vrchlabí site has been leading the way in this regard since the end of 2020. The company will also have transitioned from natural gas to CO2-neutral methane produced at biogas plants by the end of 2021. To efficiently reduce its environmental impact along the entire value chain, ŠKODA AUTO uses industry 4.0 technologies: the AI app OPTIKON, for example, determines the optimal placement of pallets in freight containers, which made it possible to save 505 transport containers and around 180 tonnes of CO2 emissions in 2020 alone.

Long-term social responsibility and wide-ranging initiatives for lasting change
For ŠKODA AUTO, embracing social responsibility is a fundamental part of its sustainability strategy. The car manufacturer promotes numerous measures for long-term and sustainable regional development in the areas surrounding its production sites, primarily in the areas of welfare, healthcare and environmental protection. Its main focus in terms of social responsibility is on four key areas: road safety, technical education, barrier-free mobility and care for disadvantaged children.

Comprehensive support for relief services and medical personnel during the COVID-19 pandemic
In the company’s home country, the Czech Republic, the focus of its social engagement last year was on providing rapid and unbureaucratic help in combating the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, the car manufacturer provided more than 200 vehicles on its ‘HoppyGo’ car-sharing platform and 150 electric scooters for employees of aid organisations and medical staff via the ‘BeRider’ eScooter sharing service. In addition, as the largest mobility partner of social services and institutions in the Czech health system, ŠKODA AUTO donated 100 ŠKODA OCTAVIAs worth 85 million Czech crowns to various aid organisations. The company also supported the development and implementation of a 3D printing process for producing FFP3 respirators. Additionally, ŠKODA AUTO provided financial assistance and supported the purchase of laptops with an Internet connection for children from disadvantaged families to help them participate in distance learning. 

CSR initiative ‘One Tree for Every Car’ has been supporting restoring forests in Czech Republic since 2007
The long-term campaign ‘One Tree for Every Car’ demonstrates the versatility of the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) projects ŠKODA AUTO supports; it promotes restoring forests in the Czech Republic. The company has been planting one tree for each vehicle it delivers in the country since 2007. By the end of 2020, these trees covered an area of 210 hectares or almost 295 football pitches.

Top rankings and awards for social engagement
ŠKODA AUTO recently received top ratings for its commitment to CSR: In the CSR & Reputation Research Study conducted by the market research company IPSOS, the car manufacturer achieved first place in both 2019 and 2020. In addition, the car manufacturer became the first company ever to receive the ‘Responsible Foreign Investor Award’ in 2019. The award is given to companies that have foreign capital and make a significant contribution to the development of the Czech economy through their investments.

Sustainability report complies with international standard of the Global Reporting Initiative
ŠKODA AUTO has been regularly reporting on its activities in Good Corporate Governance biennially since 2005. The company has now published its eighth sustainability report. It complies with the GRI Standard Core Option of the Global Reporting Initiative and thus fulfils the international guidelines for transparent reporting.

Article source: www.skoda-storyboard.com

Among all the sports models and special vehicles in ŠKODA’s history, the ŠKODA Sport enjoys a unique position – to this day, it is the last Czech car to have taken part with a Czech crew in the famous 24 Hours of Le Mans.

In addition to the full selection of images accompanying this press release, a comprehensive collection of articles and features on various topics from 120 years of ŠKODA Motorsport can be found on the ŠKODA Storyboard.

To mark the 120th anniversary of its involvement in motorsport, ŠKODA is this year presenting eighteen special racing vehicles with which the car manufacturer has celebrated great successes on national and international racetracks.

In the 1950s, motorsport did not seem to have much of a future in Czechoslovakia, motorbikes were the most popular means of transport. However, the first international races were being held at this time. In 1949, for example, the famous 24-hour race in Le Mans was staged again for the first time after the Second World War, and a year later the newly founded Formula 1 series was launched.

ŠKODA Sport based on the ŠKODA 1101 ‘Tudor’
Czechoslovakia also wanted to face the international competition with a locally built vehicle so that the durability of series-produced parts could be tested and ŠKODA vehicles could be promoted abroad. The decision was therefore made to build the ŠKODA Sport, a sporty derivative based on the ŠKODA 1101 ‘Tudor’ presented in 1946. The racing car had a weight-optimised chassis from the ŠKODA 1101. Due to the vehicle’s low height, the powertrain was repositioned, and the central tube was shortened by 400 mm, while the fork of the skeleton frame was lengthened at the front. The designers also adjusted the placement of the steering and the pedals. The car was given a low, open body that was made by hand from sheet aluminium. The fuel tank was placed behind the two seats and the fuel was supplied by an electric pump. The radiator grille had five ribs and the front headlights were set into the front section. Mostly standard parts from the ‘Tudor’ were used to construct the ŠKODA Sport, including the 12-volt onboard electrical system from the PAL company and Barum tyres. Two blue-painted cars with 1.1-litre engines were built. One of these racing cars was to compete in the class up to 1500 cm³ and delivered 56 hp with an extra Roots supercharger, while the car intended for the class up to 1100 cm³ had 42 hp without a supercharger.

From Brno to Le Mans
Both cars competed for the first time on 25 September 1949 in the Brno City Prize, the last Czechoslovakian Grand Prix for monopostos. Jaroslav Netušil drove to victory in the class up to 1100 cm³ in the car without a supercharger, while Václav Bobek took second place in the class up to 1500 cm³ in the ŠKODA Sport with a supercharger.

For the competition at Le Mans, it was decided to use the vehicle without a supercharger and to further optimise the ŠKODA Sport. In line with French regulations and the experience gained so far, the wheelbase was extended by 180 mm and two additional headlights were fitted to the sides of the radiator grille. The car, now painted in the national colours, was also fitted with a windscreen in front of the passenger seat and drove on Michelin tyres for its race at the Sarthe. With a full tank of fuel and tools and spare parts, which were the only ones allowed for essential repairs during the race, the car weighed in at just 700 kilograms. Under the bonnet was the tried and tested, water-cooled four-cylinder engine with a displacement of 1089 cm3 that delivered 50 hp (37 kW) at 5200 rpm thanks to a compression ratio of 8.6:1, a Solex 40 UAIP carburettor and other technical modifications. With the racing fuel common at the time – a mixture of petrol, ethanol and acetone – the ŠKODA Sport reached a top speed of 140 km/h with a consumption of just 12 litres per 100 km. It was possible to drive for four hours straight on a full tank – a clear advantage for Václav Bobek and Jaroslav Netušil, who were able to cover longer distances without stopping for fuel than their rivals.

ŠKODA Sport in the 24 Hours of Le Mans 1950
The race began on 24 June 1950 at 16:00 with the classic Le Mans start – the cars were lined up on one side of the track, the drivers on the other. With the starting gun, they sprinted to their race cars and jumped behind the wheel. The organisers allowed 60 participants out of 112 interested parties. Václav Bobek and Jaroslav Netušil successfully held their own against the competition for a long time and soon held a promising position. Thirteen hours into the race, however, the car lost power on the 121st lap forcing the team to retire. The cause was a broken piston pin fuse – a minor technical defect. However, only parts carried in the car could be used for the repair and a replacement fuse was not on board.

Until they pulled out, Václav Bobek and Jaroslav Netušil had fought their way to second place in the class up to 1100 cm3 at an average speed of 126 km/h. Their fifth place in the power coefficient special classification, which was common at the time, was also impressive. With this outstanding performance, it was little consolation that none of their rivals in the up to 1100 cm³ class finished, either.

For political reasons, ŠKODA did not enter any vehicles in the following run of the Le Mans race. Although the ŠKODA Sport did not return to the Sarthe, it successfully took part in a further 80 races in Central and Eastern Europe over the next twelve years, with teams from other countries of the Eastern Bloc competing.

Over time, the ŠKODA Sport was equipped with increasingly powerful engines, most recently in the carburettor version with 120 hp and an engine with two superchargers that generated 190 hp. After some aerodynamic modifications, the Le Mans car set the Czechoslovak speed record in the class up to 1100 cm3 in 1953 at 160.1 km/h. After being dropped from ŠKODA’s racing team, the special cars went to private drivers who raced with them until 1963.

In 2020, the fully restored ŠKODA Sport should have taken part in the Le Mans Classic commemorative race to mark the 70th anniversary of its appearance at the Sarthe, but the organisers were forced to cancel the event due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Article source: www.skoda-storyboard.com

The history of ŠKODA Motorsport begins on Thursday, 27 June 1901, at 6:58 in the morning. At the so-called Paris-Berlin Marathon, the most challenging road race of its time, the two riders Topf and Podsedníček each started on a Laurin & Klement single-cylinder Type B. Laurin & Klement used the experience they had gained in international racing to quickly rack up numerous victories, including the world championship title in 1905.

In addition to the full selection of images accompanying this press release, a comprehensive collection of articles and features on various topics from 120 years of ŠKODA Motorsport can be found on the ŠKODA Storyboard.

The foundation stone for the Mladá Boleslav-based company was laid at the end of 1895 by the technician Václav Laurin and the visionary Václav Klement. In addition to their lifelong friendship and connection to the region, they were also united by their passion for cycling. In a modest workshop, they began by repairing bicycles, soon expanding their offer to include proprietary bicycles, which they marketed under the brand name SLAVIA. These were made of high-quality materials and were characterised by an attractive price-performance ratio as well as innovative technical ideas.

As early as spring 1899, the company had added a petrol auxiliary motor of its own design to the wide range of bicycles and tricycles and finally presented two technologically advanced L&K motorbike models in Prague on 18 November 1899. They had a four-stroke single-cylinder engine mounted in the lower part of the frame, where it was better protected from damage. Deliberately shifting the centre of gravity improved the handling of the motorbike. At that time there was no clutch or gearbox; the engine was connected to the driven rear wheel by a long leather belt. To start the engine, the machine had to be pushed. Then, the rider jumped into the saddle and placed their feet on the pedals. To tackle steep climbs, they could assist the motor by pedalling.

The modern machines from Mladá Boleslav quickly became a success. At the end of 1899, Václav Klement returned from a business trip to Germany with orders for 35 of these motorbikes. Moreover, in the spring of 1900, he was able to arrange the delivery of 150 motorbikes to Great Britain. The superior quality of the models from Mladá Boleslav compared to strong international competitors is also documented in numerous awards, such as first prizes in the respective categories at exhibitions in Frankfurt am Main (1900) and Vienna and Hamburg (1901).

The manufacturer’s successful engagement in motorsport also began 120 years ago. The brand from Mladá Boleslav made its international racing debut on the 1,196-kilometre route Paris – Aachen, Aachen – Hanover, Hanover – Berlin that was completed in three stages. In addition to 110 cars, which competed in three different categories depending on their weight (up to 400 kg, 400 to 650 kg, over 650 kg), ten motorbikes and three-wheelers also raced in a combined category. The cars in the main category set off at two-minute intervals from half-past three in the morning on Monday, 27 June 1901. The motorbikes from Laurin & Klement, which were also offered on some markets under the name ‘Republic’, were represented in Paris with two type B machines: At 6:58, racer number 168 set off, followed two minutes later by Narcis Podsedníček.

Podsedníček, who was born in 1866 in Mysločovice, Moravia, joined the company as one of the first sales representatives of SLAVIA bicycles in Holešov as early as 1897. At the age of 33, ‘Podseda’, as he was known to friends and acquaintances, started working for Laurin & Klement on 3 February 1900. Thanks to his dedication and foresight, he quickly rose to the position of senior foreman for bicycle and motorbike production. His experience as a technician and rider made him the ideal choice for the Paris to Berlin competition.

The most demanding race of its time put both the technology and the riders’ skills to the test, firstly due to its length and secondly because of the road surface, as the route included unpaved roads and cobblestones. The riders, who were left to their own devices, had to deal with punctures caused by countless nails, metal and glass shards and abrasive gravel along the way. Narcis Podsedníček mastered the challenge and was one of the few riders to reach the finish line in Berlin on 29 June 1901. However, as he arrived in the German capital at night and his finish time was not documented correctly, four French tricycles from De Dion – Bouton were ultimately named the winners in the motorbike and tricycle category.

Article source: www.skoda-storyboard.com

ŠKODA AUTO is supporting the Tour de France for the 18th time this year (26 June – 18 July 2021). With 250 vehicles in total, the car manufacturer is providing mobility to the organisers of the cycling classic as well as to numerous teams. The fleet includes the ŠKODA ENYAQ iV, ŠKODA OCTAVIA and OCTAVIA iV models as well as the ŠKODA SUPERB iV. The Czech car manufacturer’s all-electric SUV will again serve as the command vehicle and mobile control centre (‘Red Car’) for Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme this year. In addition, ŠKODA AUTO is sponsoring the Green Jersey for the leader in the points classification and, as a partner of the official Tour de France app, will be keeping fans up to date on the latest race developments.

Martin Jahn, ŠKODA AUTO Board Member for Sales and Marketing, emphasises: “Our company’s long history is inextricably linked with cycling. For this reason, ŠKODA AUTO is committed to being a strong long-term partner of international elite and amateur cycling. Supporting the Tour de France has been one of the cornerstones of our activities in sports sponsorship since 2004. It offers us the opportunity to visibly and sustainably position our brand and products in an appropriate setting, as well as to share our enthusiasm for this great sport with the international cycling community. I am particularly pleased that the ENYAQ iV, our first all-electric SUV, will be used as the lead vehicle in the Tour de France.”

The 108th Tour de France begins on 26 June with the Grand Départ in Brest. The Tour de France covers 21 stages over a total distance of more than 3,300 kilometres, including six mountain stages. The peloton will reach the finish line on the Champs-Élysées, Paris, on 18 July.

This year, ŠKODA AUTO is the official main and vehicle partner of the world’s largest cycling event for the 18th time. The company is deploying around 250 vehicles. The fleet, comprising the ŠKODA ENYAQ iV, ŠKODA OCTAVIA and OCTAVIA iV models, as well as the ŠKODA SUPERB iV, will be providing mobility to the organisers and race management and will be out along the route as service vehicles. ŠKODA AUTO will also be providing VIP transport to the annual competition winners, who will again have the opportunity to experience the Tour de France up close.

This year, the peloton will once again be led by a ŠKODA ENYAQ iV: The director of the Tour de France, Christian Prudhomme, will be using the all-electric SUV as a mobile command centre. He waves the yellow flag through the sunroof at the start of each stage and then directs the race from the vehicle with the aid of sophisticated communication technology. For example, he can give safety instructions wherever necessary. On some stages, Christian Prudhomme will also be using the ŠKODA SUPERB iV with a plug-in hybrid drivetrain as the ‘Red Car’.

During the race, the ŠKODA AUTO logo will be featured on the Green Jersey for the leader of the points classification, which the car manufacturer has been sponsoring since 2015. The winner of the world’s largest cycling race will be raising a crystal trophy on the Avenue des Champs-Élysées for the eleventh time; ŠKODA Design and Peter Olah, Head of Interior Design at ŠKODA AUTO, are once again responsible for creating the winner’s trophy.

ŠKODA AUTO campaign ‘The beautiful circus: You have to love it. We do.’
To coincide with the Tour de France, ŠKODA is launching the campaign ‘The beautiful circus: You have to love it. We do’. It emphasises the fact that it takes passion to compete in such a demanding race. ŠKODA is promoting the campaign in television commercials, on its social media channels and on the company’s dedicated website https://www.welovecycling.com/. On this site, cycling enthusiasts will find interesting information about the world’s most famous bike race and a competition with exclusive prizes.

As the partner of the official Tour de France app, ŠKODA ensures that cycling fans can keep an eye on what is happening along the route. In addition to the current rankings and a live ticker, the app also offers real-time GPS tracking, rider profiles and much more. The app is free to download and is available for Android and iOS.

ŠKODA’s corporate history began with the bicycle
ŠKODA’s passion for cycling is rooted in the very beginning of the company’s history: in 1895, Václav Laurin and Václav Klement founded a bicycle workshop in Mladá Boleslav, Bohemia, laying the foundation for today’s ŠKODA AUTO.

As the ‘engine of cycling’, the car manufacturer promotes cycling at various levels. In addition to the Tour de France and the Tour of Spain (‘Vuelta’), ŠKODA AUTO sponsors numerous other international cycling races as well as national and international grassroots sports events. Bikes and cycling accessories are an integral part of the brand’s extended product range.

Article source: www.skoda-storyboard.com

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