PZM Rally Poland ERC event preview

PZM Rally Poland ERC event preview

14.09.2018: PZM RALLY POLAND FIA European Rally Championship round 7/8 FIA ERC Junior Under 28 Championship round 5/6 FIA ERC Junior Under 27 Championship round 5/6

PZM RALLY POLAND
 


FIA European Rally Championship round 7/8

FIA ERC Junior Under 28 Championship round 5/6

FIA ERC Junior Under 27 Championship round 5/6




 
The second oldest rally in the world turns 75 next week – and it’s back in the FIA European Rally Championship after five years.





 Run for the first time in 1921, the event is the penultimate round of the all-action 2018 ERC season with titles aplenty up for grabs as rising stars prove their talent against established aces and national champions on spectacular gravel roads in Poland’s stunning Masurian lake district.




While Alexey Lukyanuk has inched ever closer to his maiden European crown, the ERC Junior Under 27 and Under 28 championship battles remain finely balanced and eagerly anticipated.





The action begins on Friday 21 September when drivers go head-to-head on the purpose-built Mikołajki Arena stage, one of the 15 on the itinerary covering a competitive distance of 214.92 kilometres.
 







PZM RALLY POLAND IN NUMBERS:



75: Run for the first time in 1921 from the capital Warsaw, PZM Rally Poland is turning 75 this season, making it the second oldest rally in the world behind Rallye Monte-Carlo.




3: Kajetan Kajetanowicz’s third Rally Poland victory in 2013 was also the first in the ERC by an R5 car. By 2017 he’d claimed the coveted European title a record-breaking three years in succession.



1: Esapekka Lappi won Rally Poland in 2012. He became ERC champion two seasons later and is now an established factory driver in the world championship.




3: Polish national hero Krzysztof Hołowczyc is a three-time Rally Poland winner but there will be no chance of a fourth win in 2018: the 1997 ERC champion’s role is restricted to course car-driving duties only.



2: Two former Polish champions will chase Rally Poland success: Grzegorz Grzyb and Łukasz Habaj.
 







FAST FACTS:



*A founding round of the world championship in 1973 when current FIA President Jean Todt co-drove Achim Warmbold to victory on what was then a Tarmac event, Rally Poland’s ERC links date back to 1960 when German pair Walter Schock-Moll and Rolf Moll triumphed in a Mercedes-Benz 220 SE.



*Mikołajki in the picturesque Masurian lake district has been Rally Poland’s base since 2005, which marked the event’s switch from asphalt to gravel stages.



*A three-hour drive north of Warsaw, Mikołajki is home to the gigantic Hotel Gołębiewski, which doubles as event HQ and has grounds large enough to accommodate the rally’s service park and superspecial.



*With the exception of the Mikołajki Arena stage, only the 19.60-kilometre Świętajno test, complete with the famous Rosochackie jump, is unaltered from 2017. Meanwhile, the Pozedrze stage is all-new for 2018.



*Pole Sobiesław Zasada, who became outright ERC champion in 1971 after taking two category titles in the 1960s, is the most successful driver in Rally Poland history with four wins.
 





And in other news…





*Popular Brazilian Paulo Nobre will make his Rally Poland debut for Motorsport Italia keen to add to the points he scored on gravel in Greece earlier this season.



*Having been an ever-present in the ERC since embarking on his full-time rallying career in 2017, Albert von Thurn und Taxis has elected to skip Rally Poland due to back trouble but plans to return to action on the season-closing Rally Liepāja.



*Jarosław Kołtun makes his first ERC start since he crashed into retirement on the Azores Airlines Rallye in March. His compatriot Dariusz Poloński was a regular in ERC3 last year but now drives a Ford Fiesta R5 in the top-level ERC1 category. Szymon Ruta has 16 ERC starts to his name, while his co-driver Kamil Heller guided Filip Nivette to last season’s Polish crown.
*Romanian Simone Tempestini will try out his Fiat 124 Abarth RGT on gravel for the first time. He was in action on the last Rally Poland to count for ERC points in 2013.




*American co-driver Alex Kihurani will be back in the ERC – albeit not registered for points – having competed regularly in ERC Junior in 2014. He will partner Sean Johnston in an Opel ADAM R2.



*Jakub Brzeziński tops the national rally entry in a ŠKODA Fabia R5 as he bids to win his first outright Polish championship.









 
Watch and listen





Highlights from both legs will be shown on Eurosport and available on Eurosport Player. ERC Radio will broadcast live from stage finishes and selected service park visits.
 



ERC statistics




ERC rally wins in 2018
: Lukyanuk 3, Galatariotis, Kopecký and Magalhães 1




ERC stage wins in 2018:
Lukyanuk 29; Magalhães 8; Al-Attiyah 7; Gryazin 4; Basso, Campedelli, Jakeš and Nordgren 3; Botka, Herczig and Kreim 2; Åhlin, Avcioǧlu, Brynildsen, Ingram, Mareš, Moura, Pellier, Ptaszek and Tsouloftas 1






Richard Rodgers, photos FIA ERC
      

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/pzm-rally-poland-erc-event---180535.html

14.09.2018 / MaP

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