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Rally Poland - (NEW DATE) 14-15 Sep 13

Posted: January 30, 2014 12:21 PM - 3606 Hits

Round 11 - 2013 European Rally Championship (ERC)

Photo: ERC


Posted: January 30, 2014 12:21 PM

Kajetan Kajetanowicz has claimed the new-generation Ford Fiesta R5’s maiden victory in the FIA European Rally Championship with his third win on LOTOS 70 Rally Poland, which concluded live on Eurosport this evening (Sunday).

Kajetanowicz, who wrapped up his fourth Polish title on Saturday’s opening leg, had only completed 200 kilometres of running in the M-Sport-built car prior to the gravel event. Using Michelin tyres, he had little trouble adapting to his new surroundings by going fastest on four stages alongside co-driver and fellow Pole Jaros?aw Baran.

“It’s one of the best days of my life,” said the 34-year-old Kajetanowicz, who made sure of top spot by winning the final stage live on Eurosport. “We have the best team, car and co-driver. The Polish title didn’t really matter this weekend; it was this rally that I wanted to win. I now have a big smile on my face because I am very happy. I just hope we can do some more rallies in this car.”

And Kajetanowicz’s victory, which made him the fifth different winner in this year’s ERC to underline the serious competition ahead in the all-action championship, earned him the prestigious Colin McRae ERC Flat Out Trophy, which was being awarded on the sixth anniversary of the rallying legend’s passing.

Lithuanian champion Dominykas Butvilas clinched ERC Production Car Cup honours in his Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX R4 with Rados?aw Raczkowski (Citroën DS3 R3T) taking the spoils in the ERC 2WD Championship after rising star Stéphane Lefebvre dropped out of the class lead on the penultimate stage when he broke his Peugeot 208 R2’s suspension striking a rock.

Molly Taylor secured the ERC Ladies’ Trophy laurels for the fourth time this season despite completing the final stage with a cracked suspension beam. Ekaterina Stratieva battled back from the time loss she endured when she got stuck nearing the finish of Saturday’s final stage. Simone Tempestini top-scored for Napoca Rally Academy in the ERC Production Car Cup for Teams.

However, it might have been a different story for Kajetanowicz had Bryan Bouffier’s Peugeot 207 Super 2000 not suffered a broken right-rear suspension damper on Sunday’s first stage. With two more stages until service in Miko?ajki, Bouffier was unable to prevent Kajetanowicz from powering ahead. He settled for second, 23.3s behind Kajetanowicz, with ERC title leader Jan Kopecký completing the podium in his ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000 after overcoming a minor scare on Sunday morning when a propshaft bolt worked loose.

“I did my best and really tried to push but it was not enough to catch Kajto who really deserved to win this race,” said Bouffier, who was fastest on four stages. “Apart from a small technical problem it was a very nice race with very strong competition.”

Kopecký, meanwhile, conceded that running first on the road in the heavy mud and rain on day one had cost him time although he was more than satisfied with his seventh consecutive podium in this year’s ERC. “There was definitely more grip with the sand below for the drivers behind. Finishing third means more points for the championship and that’s the most important thing.”

Micha? Ko?ciuszko overcame early mechanical woes to snatch fourth from compatriot Micha? So?owow on the final stage when the latter suffered a puncture. Ko?ciuszko, in another Fiesta R5, had heroically driven the entire rally with a fractured vertebra. With Craig Breen also picking up a puncture on his Peugeot on the last run, Krzysztof Ho?owczyc jumped from seventh to fifth with So?owow taking sixth and Breen dropping to seventh.

It was a frustrating outing for Peugeot Rally Academy driver Breen. The four-time podium finisher in this year’s ERC admitted he was at a loss to explain why he wasn’t able to run closer to the front of the field alongside new co-driver Lara Vanneste. “This definitely was not the result I was looking but Lara has done a fantastic job so at least we’ve got some positives to take away,” he said.

There was also frustration for Martin Kangur, who dropped out of the top 10 on the final stage with broken powersteering and a puncture. The 20-year-old from Estonian had excelled with two fastest times in his Markko Märtin Motorsport-run Fiesta R5 to become one of the youngest stage winners in the European championship. He had to make do with 14th, one place behind Toshi Arai, who scored more ERC Production Car Cup points in his Yokohama-equipped Subaru Impreza R4 STI. Kangur’s misfortune handed Zbigniew Staniszewski eighth spot with young Russian Vasily Gryazin taking ninth and Maciej Oleksowicz tenth.

After completing Saturday’s final stage with the front-right wheel missing from his Citroën DS3 RRC following contact with a rock on a high-speed right-hander, Robert Kubica was unable to restart after it was discovered that his car’s turbocharged engine had ingested mud and had suffered terminal damage. The Formula One race winner was in second overall at the time of his moment. However, he once again underlined his blistering pace by setting two fastest stage times. LOTOS 70 Rally Poland marked the last of Kubica’s four planned runs in the ERC this season although a final appearance is still under consideration.


Posted: January 30, 2014 12:19 PM

1 Kajetan Kajetanowicz (POL)/Jaros?aw Baran (POL) Ford Fiesta R5 1h58m40.6s
2 Bryan Bouffier (FRA)/Xavier Panseri (FRA) Peugeot 207 S2000 +23.3s
3 Jan Kopecký (CZE)/Pavel Dresler (CZE) ŠKODA Fabia 2000 +1m28.4s
4 Micha? Ko?ciuszko (POL)/Maciej Szczepaniak (POL) Ford Fiesta R5 +2m14.1s
5 Krzysztof Ho?owczyc (POL)/?ukasz Kurzeja (POL) Ford Fiesta RRC +3m15.5s
6 Micha? So?owow (POL)/Sebastian Rozwadowski (POL) Ford Fiesta RRC +3m17.4s
7 Craig Breen (IRL)/Lara Vanneste (BEL) Peugeot 207 S2000 +3m33.5s
8 Zbigniew Staniszewski (POL)/Pawe? Drahan (POL) Ford Fiesta S2000 +3m48.2s
9 Vasily Gryazin (RUS)/Dmitry Chumak (RUS) Ford Fiesta S2000 +4m08.0s
10 Maciej Oleksowicz (POL)/Micha? Ku?nierz (POL) Ford Fiesta S2000 +4m13.5s

ERC Production Car Cup:
Dominykas Butvilas (LTU)/Renatas Vaitkevi?ius (LTU) Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX R4

ERC 2WD Championship:
Rados?aw Raczkowski (POL)/?ukasz Gwiazda (POL) Citroën DS3 R3T

ERC Ladies’ Trophy:
Molly Taylor (AUS) Citroën DS3 R3T

Colin McRae ERC Flat Out Trophy:
Kajetan Kajetanowicz (POL)

Difficult conditions lead to ERC Poland route changes

Posted: September 13, 2013 12:17 PM

There will be serious competition ahead on round nine of the FIA European Rally Championship – just over a shorter distance than originally planned.

Following heavy rain on Wednesday night and Thursday morning, sections of stages have been left damaged beyond immediate repair, prompting the organisers of LOTOS 70 Rally Poland to make a few modifications to the event itinerary.

On Saturday 14 September, special stage one and four, Ta?ty, is cut from 14.54 kilometres to 6.15 kilometres. Baranowo, which forms stages two and five of the gravel rally, is trimmed from 17.51 kilometres to 12.11 kilometres.
However, the length of Mr?gowo, which counts as stage three and seven and will be shown live on Eurosport, is unchanged.

The stages scheduled for Sunday 15 September are also unchanged, including the Mateuszek run, which will also be televised live on Eurosport.

The changes made to Saturday’s itinerary means that the total competitive distance of LOTOS 70 Rally Poland falls from 230.40 kilometres to 202.82 kilometres.


Posted: September 11, 2013 11:38 AM

There’s no rest in the FIA European Rally Championship. Less than a fortnight after title leader Jan Kopecký stormed to glory in the Czech Republic to signal the start of ERC Super September, there will be more serious competition ahead when Poland hosts round nine live on Eurosport.

Based in Miko?ajki in the northeast of the country from 13-15 September, LOTOS 70 Rally Poland is one of the oldest international rallies still in existence. And to mark the occasion – and the resurgence of the ERC – four stages will be shown live on television thanks to the efforts of ERC promoter Eurosport Events and rally sponsor Grupa LOTOS.

It’s fast and it’s live
One of the fastest rallies on the ERC calendar, four stages of LOTOS 70 Rally Poland will be produced for live broadcast by Eurosport Events and transmitted live on Eurosport: the two runs through Mr?gowo at 11:36hrs and 18:06hrs local time on Saturday 14 September and both passes of Mateuszek at 10:06hrs and 18:06hrs on Sunday 15 September. In addition to the stunning action images from a helicopter-mounted camera, 10 cars will be fitted with onboard cameras, while there will also be an enhanced split-timing package.

Homecoming for Kubica
Formula One race winner Robert Kubica is back on ERC duty for a rare appearance in his homeland. The 28-year-old, who hails from Kraków to the far south of Poland, has led all three ERC events he has contested this season, clocking the fastest stage time on 16 occasions in his turbocharged Citroën DS3 Regional Rally Car. Kubica has never competed on Rally Poland before so will be relying on the experience of his co-driver Maciej Baran, who has tackled the event on seven occasions since its relocation to Miko?ajki.

Serious competition ahead
With as many as eight drivers tipped as genuine contenders for victory, there will be serious competition ahead on LOTOS 70 Rally Poland. Of the bulging 85-car entry, 15 drivers will be in Super 2000 or Regional Rally Cars with four competing in new-generation R5 machines. The ERC Production Car Cup and ERC 2WD Championship both feature entries full of quality and quantity, while three drivers will chase success in the ERC Ladies’ Trophy including newcomer Joana Survilait? from Lithuania.

Polish champion steps up
Kajetan Kajetanowicz, who is on course to make it four Polish titles in succession this season, will not only be making his 60th start on a Polish championship rally and his second in this year’s ERC, he’ll be doing so in a new-generation Ford Fiesta R5, which he’s using in competition for the first time. Running under the LOTOS Rally Team banner, Kajetanowicz, a two-time Rally Poland winner, is better known for his exploits in a Subaru Impreza R4 STI. Countryman Micha? Ko?ciuszko will also be competing in a Fiesta R5 with LOTOS backing, despite nursing a broken vertebra (see Q&A).

Legend on parade
When it comes to embracing all things European, Krzysztof Ho?owczyc has done more than most. Not only is the 51-year-old legend a winner in the European Rally Championship, he’s also a former champion, taking the title in 1997. Furthermore, Ho?owczyc also held a seat in the European Parliament between 2007 and 2009. And further afield, the Olsztyn-born driver has contested 19 world championship rallies and taken part on the Dakar Rally on nine previous occasions although a crash on this year’s event left him with back and rib injuries. He will form part of the three-strong M-Sport team on LOTOS 70 Rally Poland in a Ford Fiesta RRC.

Peugeot Rally Academy returns
The Peugeot Rally Academy will field three rising talents on LOTOS 70 Rally Poland with Jérémi Ancian and Craig Breen in 207 Super 2000s and Stéphane Lefebvre in a 208 R2. The French Saintéloc Racing concern, which oversees the Peugeot Rally Academy cars, will enter a second 208 R2 for young Corsican driver Jean-Mathieu Leandri. Bryan Bouffier will also be relying on Peugeot power in Poland. The Frenchman spent several seasons competing in Poland and won the title with Peugeot in 2007 and 2008 before making it a hat-trick in 2009 in a Mitsubishi Lancer. Victory on Rally Poland has so far eluded him but he’s been rapid in this year’s ERC with podiums in Austria and Poland and victory on May’s Giru di Corsica-Tour de Corse.

High-speed challenge awaits
LOTOS 70 Rally Poland features six repeated stages plus a superspecial in host town Miko?ajki on the opening afternoon, which has capacity for 15,000 spectators. High speeds are achieved on the all-gravel tests in Poland’s stunning Masurian Lake District although this is no Rally Finland with few jumps and lots of wide open areas maximising viewing opportunities for fans. Tall grass lines sections of the route, which can limit visibility on the approach to corners. Corner cutting is best avoided due to hidden rocks. There are two new stages this year, Mr?gowo, one of two televised live on Eurosport, and Biskupiec. The action begins with the Qualifying Stage on the 2.50-kilometre Miko?ajki stage from 16:00hrs on Friday 13 September. The results will be used to help determine the starting order of the leading runners.

Teams aiming high in Poland
GPD Mit Metal Racing Team and Napoca Rally Academy will both be represented on LOTOS 70 Rally Poland. The former heads the European Rally Championship for Teams, while the latter is in front in the ERC Production Car Cup for Teams.

Polish talent on injury, competing at home on Eurosport’s live television coverage

How ready are you for Rally Poland and your first start in this year’s ERC?
“Not so much because I have a fracture of one vertebra following a heavy landing on Rallye Deutschland last month. It’s not so easy to drive but I have a special protective belt for my chest to keep my position upright more than usual. It’s not so comfortable but it makes driving possible.”

Did you fear you wouldn’t be able to take part?
“I’ve had many medical tests and the first reaction was I cannot compete, it’s a fracture and it’s not safe to do it. Then I made check after check after check and finally they decided it’s not dangerous, just painful and I have to live with that. But I really want to do this rally.”

So not competing was not an option, right?
“Exactly. I couldn’t imagine not being on the start. It’s a very beautiful rally sponsored by LOTOS, my main sponsor. I’ve put all my energy to be ready. I’ve had only 10 days to recover and normally the doctors say it’s six to eight weeks of recovery time. In testing the first feeling was terrible and I couldn’t find my rhythm. I felt really uncomfortable but after a few runs I get used to it.”

You’re driving a Ford Fiesta R5 for the first time. What are your impressions of the car?
“It’s a very good car, with a strong engine and five-speed gearbox. You drive it like a Group N car, not sliding as much and you approach the corners not at such high speed and more in a straight line. You then need to throw the car in the corners but you have the power to exit.”

Poland hosted the ERC’s first Qualifying Stage last season and it’s back for this year. How important is road position on this event?
“It’s very important but every driver has a point of view about what works better. It depends on the weather for sure but usually you don’t want to be far from the first place because the ruts will appear quite soon. I have experience of qualifying but this stage is not representative of the rally, it’s on a track with a hard gravel base and the set-up of the car will be different.”

How have you prepared for Rally Poland?
“I have two days of testing, then a short gravel rally on Saturday 100 kilometres from Miko?ajki. Then I have an additional day of testing then it’s the rally. We will be quite well prepared but I won’t be 100 per cent fit and I will need to check what my limits are when I am driving.”

What do you think of Eurosport showing four stages of the rally live?
“It’s amazing. We never had it on Rally Poland before. It’s really, really good and a great chance for the region and for the rally for the drivers to have an audience all around the world.”


  • The second oldest rally in the world, the first Rally Poland – or Rajd Polski – took place in 1921 with a route starting and finishing in the capital Warsaw
  • A mainstay of the ERC for many years, the event has also featured in the WRC on a handful of occasions, including in 1973 when FIA President Jean Todt co-drove Achim Warmbold to victory
  • In addition to sponsoring the event, oil company Grupa LOTOS is backing the cars of Kajetan Kajetanowicz, Micha? Ko?ciuszko and Robert Kubica. It is also supporting Eurosport’s live coverage of four stages
  • Frenchman Bryan Bouffier is a three-time Polish champion, while his co-driver Xavier Panseri lives in the country after meeting his partner during his time competing in Poland
  • Not only is Poland big on rallying – at least 200,000 fans are expected to line the route next week – it’s also big on heritage with 14 UNESCO World Heritage sites located within its borders

New Event and New co driver for Craig Breen in Poland

Posted: September 5, 2013 10:33 PM

After a two month mid-season break Peugeot Rally Academy's Craig Breen makes his return to the European Rally Championship next week as the ERC travels to Poland for round nine of the year.

Breen at the wheel of a Peugeot 207 S2000 has had a strong opening half to the campaign and currently holds second place in the championship standings.

For the Polish event Belgium co driver Lara Vanneste will deputise for Craig's regular co driver Paul Nagle, as Paul has linked up with Andreas Mikkelsen in the WRC.

Celebrating 70 years in 2013, ERC Rally Poland spectacular gravel event is not only a familiar fixture on the European Championship schedule it is also one of the oldest rallies in the world. This year’s anniversary edition, the final loose-surface round of the season, is set to be a big hit with fans with four stages shown live on Eurosport.

Running through Poland’s stunning Masurian Lake District, the event headquarters, service park and superspecial are housed in one part of host town Miko?ajki. The two day rally begins on Saturday 14th and includes the opening seven special stages. The event then concludes on Sunday 15th with the remaining six stages.

For the 2nd time this year after Açores, the Peugeot Rally Academy squad is full! Craig and Jérémi Ancian driving Peugeot 207 S2000’s and Stéphane Lefebvre in a 208R2

Craig’s comments as he looks ahead to the event;
“It has been a very busy schedule this year to date but over the past few weeks I've had the biggest mid-season break of my career. I know that this year is a learning season in both terms of new events for me and my test programme with the new 208T16. From the outset back in February I knew I would have this time off but when you’re programmed to compete it’s hard not to be involved. Sitting at home following Rally Romania and Zlin was tough. I'm currently in the middle of my prep work for Poland and I can't wait to be back in the thick of the action.”

“As well as Rally Poland being a new event for me, I’ll also have a new co driver for the event. Paul (Nagle) is on WRC duty in Australia so Lara will partner me in the ERC. Lara has both ERC and WRC knowledge having co driven for Kevin Abbring, Freddy Loix and Bryan Bouffier in the past and I’m looking forward to working with her in Poland.”


Posted: September 5, 2013 10:32 PM

There will be serious competition ahead when the FIA European Rally Championship resumes next week after it was confirmed that 85 crews will tackle the spectacular all-gravel LOTOS 70 Rally Poland, which will be shown live on Eurosport.

Fifteen crews will be competing in Super 2000/Regional Rally Car machinery with four drivers due to take part in new-generation Ford Fiesta R5s. Elsewhere, the ERC Production Car Cup has attracted some 20 participants, while more than 30 drivers will gun for glory in the ERC 2WD Championship. Three drivers will chase FIA ERC Ladies’ Trophy honours. In total 18 countries will be represented.

Of the many highlights among the packed entry, Formula One race winner Robert Kubica returns to ERC action in his Citroën DS3 RRC and will go up against European championship leader Jan Kopecký in a factory ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000. Peugeot 207 S2000 drivers Bryan Bouffier and Craig Breen will also be in contention for victory.

LOTOS 70 Rally Poland begins with Free Practice and the Qualifying Stage in host town Miko?ajki from 12:00hrs on Friday 13 September. The event itself features 13 all-gravel stages with Eurosport showing four stages of the event live: Mr?gowo at 11:36hrs and 18:06hrs local time on Saturday 14 September and Mateuszek at 10:06hrs and 18:06hrs on Sunday 15 September.

Seeded Entry List

Posted: September 5, 2013 10:26 PM

Live Eurosport coverage of ERC Rally Poland to thrill fans around the world

Posted: July 24, 2013 6:17 PM

Fans of the FIA European Rally Championship will be able to savour more exhilarating television coverage when Eurosport Events produces four stages of LOTOS 70th Rally Poland for live broadcast this autumn.

Tens of thousands of spectators are expected to flock to Poland’s stunning Masurian lake district to watch national hero and Formula One race winner Robert Kubica chase success in an international event on home soil for the first time since he was a 12-year-old racing go-karts.

Eurosport Events, the ERC promoter, with the support of Grupa LOTOS SA, the Polish oil company, will produce for live broadcast both runs through the 19.14-kilometre Mragowo stage on Saturday 14 September and the two passes of Mateuszek on Sunday 15 September. Measuring 23.77 kilometres in length, the second run through Mateuszek will mark the final stage of the 13-stage event, round nine of the 12-event FIA ERC season.

Kubica, who is contesting a selected programme of ERC events in 2013 with support from LOTOS, will be one of the star attractions on the gravel rally when he will come up against several of the championship’s other leading lights, plus all of Poland’s top international rally drivers.
François Ribeiro, the Motorsport Development Director of Eurosport Events, said:
“Confirmation of Eurosport’s live coverage of LOTOS 70th Rally Poland underlines the network’s continued commitment to the ERC. All the ingredients are in place for the event to be one of the toughest sporting battles in this year’s ERC. There will serious competition ahead, and passion from the Polish fans coming to see Robert Kubica rallying at home. Eurosport could not miss the opportunity to bring this action and emotion live on TV.”

Gilbert Roy, Director of Editorial, Eurosport Events, said: “We are very excited to have the opportunity to produce for live broadcast four stages from LOTOS 70th Rally Poland. Gravel rallies are always very spectacular and we can’t wait to show the viewers some beautiful pictures with the dust being kicked up by the cars and the striking light at sunset for the last stages of each day. We always consider the job we did with Rallye Monte-Carlo, when we showed pretty much every stage live for a three-year period, our flagship coverage but Rally Poland will be very close.”

Jean-Pierre Nicolas, the international rally-winning driver turned manager of the Peugeot WRC team is now the General Co-ordinator of the ERC. He joined Roy for a visit to the stages in Poland earlier this month and was very encouraged by what he saw.

“I was instantly impressed with the quality of the fast and flowing gravel stages although I’d heard very good reports before I arrived,” he said. “I am sure that all drivers will love them and I know the fans watching on television and online are in for a truly spectacular treat. The stages are pretty fast and flowing with some jumps and not too narrow. The scenery they pass through is also very picturesque. It’s going to be a very exciting and quality live TV show.”

Kubica has led all three ERC events he has started in his Citroën DS3 RRC. So far he has set 16 fastest stage times and will be in contention to add to that tally when the LOTOS 70th Rally Poland takes place in host town Miko?ajki from 13-15 September.

Rally Poland is the third round of this year’s ERC to enjoy live coverage on Eurosport following SATA Rallye Açores and Giru di Corsica-Tour de Corse earlier this season.

LOTOS 70th Rally Poland LIVE broadcast schedule*

    Saturday 14 September
    Mragowo 1 (19.14kms): 10:30hrs-11:30hrs (Eurosport) Mragowo 2 (19.14kms): 17:00hrs-18:00hrs (Eurosport)

    Sunday 15 September
    Mateuszek 1 (23.77kms): 09:00hrs-10:00hrs (Eurosport) Mateuszek 2 (23.77kms): 17:00hrs-18:00hrs (Eurosport)

    * All timings are Ireland/UK and subject to final confirmation.
Eurosport Events’ coverage of Rally Poland: the big numbers
  • Four: stages produced live by Eurosport Events
  • Ten: cars equipped with onboard cameras, including Robert Kubica’s Citroën DS3 RRC
  • One: helicopter equipped with a Cineflex camera to capture all the action from up above
  • Two: live split-timing sectors on each stage
  • Three: cameras at finish of each stage to capture the drama and record live interviews by Neil Cole immediately after the drivers reach the stop line
  • Seventy: personnel from Eurosport working on the ground in Poland

Website / Details

Posted: July 24, 2013 6:16 PM

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