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From WRC.com:

Following its decision not to register for the 2004 World Rally Championship, Skoda has announced that it will not appear in the series until the sixth round, the Acropolis Rally in Greece in June.

The team will use the year to extensively test and develop the Fabia WRC in the wake of its uncompetitive showing during 2003.

In addition to its decision to participate in selected rounds, the team has made significant changes to its management and driver line-up.

Long-time boss Pavel Janeba will leave Skoda at the end of this year. Janeba been at Skoda since 1990 and was responsible for introducing the Octavia and Fabia machines to the WRC. Janeba will continue to collaborate with Skoda on a consultancy basis.

?I feel a great deal of personal responsibility about the introduction of the Fabia WRC car and we have not yet reached the expected results. It is my decision to leave. I wish the team many successes and all the best in the continuing work,? Janeba said.

Star driver Didier Auriol, one of the WRC?s biggest names, will be replaced in the driver line-up. Toni Gardemeister will be retained to carry out the development work planned for the Fabia. A team mate for the young Finn will be announced soon.

Harald Ludanek will take over the responsibility for Skoda?s WRC effort. Ludanek insisted that the decision to replace Auriol had been entirely amicable.

?Bearing in mind our new priorities for 2004 we reached a gentleman?s agreement with Didier,? he said. ?His acquisition last year was extremely valuable and our relationship remains very friendly,? he added.
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