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Poland (Rajd Polski) - 29 Jun-2 Jul 17

Posted: June 30, 2017 7:48 AM - 2241 Hits

Round 8 - 2017 World Rally Championship

Live Results (Poland 2017) Also available at: ewrc-results.com & rally-base results
Radio: Rally Radio on WRC.COM
News: www.wrc.com
Event Website: Rally Poland (Rajd Polski)

First stage each day - Irish/UK Times
Shakedown Thu - 07:00 SS1 Thu - 18:08 (Superspecial)
SS2 Fri - 06:15
SS11 Sat - 07:08
SS20 Sun - 07:10

A FRESH START FOR THE CITROËN C3 WRCS

Posted: June 26, 2017 10:04 AM

The eighth round of the World Championship, Rally Poland is a popular event with all of the Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT drivers: Andreas Mikkelsen, Craig Breen and Stéphane Lefebvre cannot wait to drive on the ultra-fast roads of the Masurian region! The Citroën C3 WRC will be running significant upgrades in Mikolajki.

THE CHALLENGES: UPGRADES FOR THE C3 WRCS

After the end of Rally Italia Sardegna, the team's engineers and crews immediately headed for Poland, where they spent four days testing in the Mikolajki region. Andreas Mikkelsen/Anders Jæger, Craig Breen/Scott Martin and Stéphane Lefebvre/Gabin Moreau took turns behind the wheel as they adapted the set-up of the Citroën C3 WRC to the specific features of the Polish roads. Following this session, Citroën Racing submitted two upgrades to the FIA: homologation of a new rear differential rail and a mechanical ‘joker’ in order to modify the torque split between the axles. After a series of results that have fallen short of its targets, Citroën Racing has renewed its determination to get back to challenging for podiums.

Having won once and finished as runner-up twice in the last three years, Andreas Mikkelsen has good reason to feel confident of a strong result at Rally Poland. Due to a delay in sourcing the new components, his C3 WRC will be the only one to have the newly-homologated ‘joker’. If roads are dry, the Norwegian is also likely to benefit from a good road position on day one, giving him a chance to be well placed for the following legs.

Seventh at this rally in 2016, Craig Breen will also be returning to an event that he likes. With the fast, flowing roads suited to his driving style, the Irishman will be looking for a similar result to the fifth places he secured in Monte-Carlo, Sweden, Corsica and Portugal. Craig currently lies seventh in the Drivers’ World Championship.

After missing Rally Sardegna, Stéphane Lefebvre returns to action in the C3 WRC. Like his team-mates, the young Frenchman feels comfortable on the Polish roads. In 2016, he was running in a fine seventh place before getting caught out during the particularly muddy third leg. Stéphane will also have a good starting position on day one… provided the fine weather holds up!

RALLY POLAND: FAST FORWARD

Rally Poland is the world's second oldest rally, just behind Rallye de Monte-Carlo. Created in 1921, the event featured on the very first World Rally Championship calendar in 1973. A long wait then ensued until 2009, when Rajd Polski made its return to the world scene. Following another break until 2014, Rally Poland now seems firmly established on the WRC calendar. Much to the delight of the thousands of fans that flock from throughout Eastern Europe to witness the breathtaking spectacle of the World Rally Cars flying past a full speed.

The rally is based in Mikolajki, a small tourist town in the lakes region, near to the borders with Lithuania, Belarus and the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad. The route includes extremely fast gravel roads, which wind their way through the fields and forests of the surrounding countryside. The stages are predominantly narrow and the sandy road surface breaks up quite quickly: an additional challenge for the drivers, who have to cope with deep ruts on the second passes.

This year, the itinerary is balanced between roads that are very familiar to the crews and new sections. The rally is due to get underway on Thursday evening, with a run on the Mikolajki Arena super special stage, held right next to the service park. The toughest day looks likely to be on Saturday, during which crews will cover almost half of the event's total competitive distance. The new stages of Baranowo, Pozezdrze and Kruklanki are certain to play a key role in deciding which of the leading contenders prevails!

YVES MATTON, CITROËN RACING TEAM PRINCIPAL
"Our season moves into a new phase at Rally Poland. We needed to take a step back to note that some of the risks we had taken during development of the C3 WRC were not paying off. Our car is unquestionably fast, but the window in which it works efficiently was proving too narrow. We have therefore begun making some major changes to our organisation, our methods and our principles. The first of these was the arrival of Andreas Mikkelsen, who encouraged us to explore some new ideas. After his first proper test session in the C3 WRC, we have introduced some upgrades that supplement the work done over the last few months. With a more versatile car, our drivers will be able to aim for the kind of results that match Citroën's high expectations."

ANDREAS MIKKELSEN
"We had a very good test session last week. After spending two days in the car, on the kind of roads we'll encounter in the rally, I defined a set-up that matches my driving style. Obviously, there is still work to do, but I think Craig and Stéphane were also pleased with the changes. Poland is my favourite rally: I was runner-up in 2014 and 2015, and then won here in 2016. I feel confident on these roads where, as a driver, you really need to commit. After learning about the car at Rally Sardegna, I hope I can fight among the frontrunners this time out. Many factors – such as the weather, the dust and the running order – can affect the outcome of the race, but I'm hoping to go for a podium spot if everything goes well."

Number of WRC appearances at the event: 4
Best result: 1st (2016)

CRAIG BREEN
"After the rough, winding roads of Sardinia, pre-event testing gave me the chance to readjust to the fast, flowing roads in Poland. Andreas explored some new ideas during testing, which seem to be a move in the right direction. I'm pleased to be competing at a rally where I don't have to learn about everything. Last year, this event marked something of a turning point in my season. This is where I laid the foundations for my podium in Finland. I feel more confident coming into this event than I did before the last three rallies and I think I can up my pace here. Following a series of fifth places, I'd love to get a bit closer to the podium."

Number of WRC appearances at the event: 1
Best result: 7th (2016)

STÉPHANE LEFEBVRE
"Like Andreas and Craig, I think we made progress during testing. I really like Rally Poland. I have been quick here in the last three years, regardless of the category. Last year, I also had the pleasure of claiming my first proper stage win in the WRC, as the leaders were fighting for first place. I know how to drive on these roads and my confidence was boosted by the test sessions. The stages are quite similar to those in Finland, with narrower roads and looser surfaces. There are also long sections through the fields, which are very fast but with few landmarks. My goal is to make it to the finish and put an end to the poor run of results I've had recently."

Number of WRC appearances at the event: 3
Best result: 9th (2016)

M-Sport - PREPARED TO PUSH AT RALLY POLAND

Posted: June 26, 2017 5:38 AM

M-Sport’s fleet of Ecoboost-powered Ford Fiesta WRCs will be let loose at incredible speeds next week when the FIA World Rally Championship returns to Poland for what is one of the most action-packed and adrenaline-fuelled events on the calendar.

Sébastien Ogier, Ott Tänak and Elfyn Evans made their preparations for this fast-paced encounter in Estonia. Also famed for their high-speed gravel, the Estonian roads provided the perfect training ground for the team – allowing the crews to get accustomed to the pace whilst perfecting set-ups on roads representative of the Polish rally.

Testing in Estonia also allowed the team to take advantage of the country’s wide-reaching 4G coverage – activating two live streams from inside the test car. This first for M-Sport provided fans with an opportunity to ride live onboard the Fiesta and attracted more than 260,000 views.

With an impressive string of results so far this season, the Fiesta has secured 10 podiums and three victories from the opening seven rallies. Never failing to finish lower than second overall, the team feel prepared to continue their strong form on Polish soil.

RALLY POLAND HIGH-SPEED ACTION

Based in the beautiful Masurian Lake District, the Orlen 74th Rally Poland is one of the fastest events of the year and a highlight for teams, crews and spectators alike.

Contested on sandy roads that traverse the picturesque countryside, the crews will tackle 326.64 competitive kilometres over 23 incredibly fast speed tests.

Poland favours the brave, and those with the confidence to push are never far from the top step of the podium.

At these speeds, even the slightest of hesitations can cost valuable time – time that is hard to regain when the pace is as relentless as it will be next week.

A mistake free drive is a vital step to victory, but that is easier said than done. Tall grasses line a number of sections – limiting visibility on the approach to corners and making cutting a risky business.

A clean run combined with a fully committed drive is the key to success, and that is what the crews will be keen to deliver.

MALCOLM WILSON TEAM PRINCIPAL

Team Principal Malcolm Wilson is looking forward to seeing the Ford Fiesta WRCs let loose on Poland’s super-fast stages and hoping to continue M-Sport’s successful season.

Team Principal, Malcolm Wilson OBE, said:

“Rally Poland is an event that everyone looks forward to – it’s the first of two back-to-back high-speed events and is a firm favourite on the calendar.

“We’re in for a treat next week and, personally, I can’t wait to see these spectacular new cars let loose on Poland’s incredibly fast stages.

“We had a good test in Estonia and all three drivers came away happy so there is no reason why we shouldn’t be aiming high.

“As always, the podium is our objective and the whole team will be working to continue what has been a fantastic start to the season.”

OGIER AND INGRASSIA THE CHAMPIONSHIP LEADERS

Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia have good memories from Rally Poland having claimed victory there on two previous occasions; but last year saw the pairing hindered by road sweeping – something that the championship leaders will be keen to limit this time around.

Having secured a good test in Estonia, Ogier is ready to push and will be keen to improve on his sixth place finish from last year – as well as continuing his untarnished string of top-five finishes which is something no other competitor can match this season.

Previous starts: 4
Best result: 1st (2014 and 2015)

Sébastien Ogier said:
“Rally Poland is an event that every driver looks forward to. The pace is incredible and the fast roads give an amazing sense of adrenaline that will only be magnified by the new cars this year.

“I have good memories from Poland having won there twice before, but last year it was probably the worst event for me in terms of road cleaning.

“Leading the championship is exactly where we wanted to be at this point in the season, but if it’s dry that will provide something of a disadvantage on Friday and we’ll need to work hard to limit the time loss.

“It’s so hard to claw back time here, but let’s see what we can do. We had a good test in Estonia where we found a good feeling with the car – that bodes well and we’re ready to push and give it our all.

“Maintaining our lead in the championship is the top priority, and extending it would be a good weekend.”

TÄNAK AND JÄRVEOJA THIRD IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP

Fresh from victory at Rally Italia Sardegna, the pressure is off Ott Tänak as he travels to one of his favourite and most successful events of the year – Rally Poland.

The Estonian has a good track record at the event. Having secured the WRC2 victory on his debut there in 2014, Tänak went on to secure podium finishes at his next two encounters – third in 2015 and second in 2016.

On both occasions the victory was in his grasp and, following a positive test on home soil, he and co-driver Martin Järveoja will be hoping to fight for the top step once again next week.

Previous starts: 3
Best result: 2nd (2016)

Ott Tänak said:
“Everyone knows that Rally Poland is one of my favourite events. The stages are so fast and flowing, and that’s something that I really enjoy. I grew up on roads like this in Estonia, and this year will be even more of an adrenaline rush with the new cars – I can’t wait!

“This is a real drivers’ rally. The speeds are incredible and you have to be full of confidence. The pacenotes have to be perfect and the smallest of hesitations can cost you speed and time – something which is very hard to get back on these fast roads.

“I’m sure a lot of people will be looking at us as we’ve done very well here in the past, but let’s see what happens. We won’t have the best road position as the third car on the road, but we had a good test in Estonia and we’re feeling fairly positive.

“We’ve got a good feeling with the car and I’m sure that we’ll enjoy every second of this rally whatever the outcome. The podium always has to be our minimum goal, so bring it on!”

EVANS AND BARRITT SIXTH IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP

Elfyn Evans and Daniel Barritt will be looking for a strong result when the FIA World Rally Championship returns to Rally Poland next week.

Having completed a comprehensive test in Estonia, the Welshman took confidence from a number of different conditions that were representative of the rally and will be keen to deliver his best performance on Polish soil.

Previous starts: 3
Best result: 13th (2016)

Elfyn Evans said:
“I’m really looking forward to Rally Poland. It’s fair to say that Sardinia didn’t quite go to plan, but we’ve regrouped and can hopefully secure another good result next week.

“The stages in Poland are incredibly fast and confidence is everything. We tested in Estonia last week where we found a good set-up and that has been a big positive boost for the rally.

“The test road was really representative and we got a lot of kilometres under our belt in a lot of different conditions, so we’re feeling pretty well prepared.

“I’m looking forward to this one, as I’m sure a lot of drivers will be! It’s such an adrenaline rush and a real highlight on the calendar.”

MEET THE TEAM DAVID ARMSTRONG

David Armstrong heads up our Turbo department and took time out of his busy schedule to tell us a bit about his background as well as explaining exactly how a turbo works.

How long have you been with M-Sport and what made you join the company?
I have a degree in Business Studies and had a job elsewhere working on CAD drawings. I was basically doing a lot of admin in an engineering environment, but wanted to get involved in the more hands-on aspect of engineering.

Then twelve years ago I saw a job at M-Sport and went for it. I was very fortunate to get a week’s trial in the turbo department and was back there full-time the following Monday – since then, I’ve never looked back.

What does your role in the Turbo Department involve?
All of the engines are rebuilt downstairs in the engine shop, but there are various components that will be mated with the engine when it’s put into the car, and that’s what we look after. We basically look after everything around the engine.

The turbo is one of those components, and to control that we have the waste gate and a fresh air valve which in turn are controlled by the boost valves. They all get rebuilt here and we also clean, test and measure the flow rates of the fuel injectors.

How does a Turbo work?
Good question. My interest in hands-on technical work didn’t include motor cars before I came to M-Sport, so it was something that I had to get my head around pretty quickly!

In its simplest form, the turbo is essentially like a set of bellows for a fire. The compressor part of the turbo compresses the air into the engine – and the more air, the hotter and more powerful the combustion.

To drive the compressor, you have what is best described as being like a water wheel on an old mill – with the river being the exhaust gas. One side of the turbo is the driving force, using the exhaust gas, and the other is the compressor, squashing the air into the engine.

In theory, it’s quite simple and there’s only really one moving part as the compressor and turbine wheels are joined together by a single shaft. But controlling it and manufacturing the components to withstand their environment is incredibly difficult and incredibly expensive!

What differentiates our turbos from a normal road car is that we use an anti-lag system. This keeps the turbo spinning at full speed all the time. If you take your foot off the throttle in a road car, it will stop burning fuel and the turbo slows down. But we want to avoid that and instead retard the ignition when the driver takes his foot off the throttle.

This means that the engine keeps running – flowing gas through the engine and keeping the turbo spinning – but crucially not producing any power. When the driver goes back on the throttle, full boost is available and there is no delay in power.

What are your hopes for Rally Poland?
We’ve got an excellent car and three awesome drivers who have all won their fair share of stages this year. There’s no reason why we shouldn’t aim high and I wouldn’t be surprised if we got a clean-sweep of the podium at some point this year. Fingers crossed for Poland!

MEET THE PARTNER PERMASHINE

Permashine’s philosophy is to supply the best interior and exterior car protection on the market. They have been a supplier to the M-Sport team since 2009, and became a valued trade partner in 2014.

Their products make life easier for our hard-working technicians in each time-sensitive service. Thanks to Permashine, our fleet of Ford Fiesta WRCs are easily cleaned in an environment where every second counts – returning to the stages in sparkling condition.

A moment to remember from Permashine Managing Director, Trevor Hawkins:

It’s hard to narrow all of the amazing moments with M-Sport down to just one! Being a team partner has exposed us to so many great opportunities over the years, but one does stand out. That was having a passenger ride experience with Ott Tänak – a truly unforgettable, money can’t buy moment!

SUNINEN TAKES THE NEXT STEP WITH FORD FIESTA WRC AT RALLY POLAND

Posted: June 26, 2017 5:37 AM

Teemu Suninen is one of the sport’s most promising up-and-coming young talents and will take the next step in his career next week when he gets behind the wheel of M-Sport’s Ecoboost-powered Ford Fiesta WRC for the Orlen 74th Rally Poland.

Having progressed through the ranks, Suninen has natural talent and speed which M-Sport is proud to nurture as he battles head-to-head with some of the biggest names in rallying.

Having conducted a comprehensive two-day test at M-Sport’s private testing facility this week, the Finn has had an opportunity to get to grips with the top-specification Fiesta in both wet and dry conditions.

With experienced co-driver Mikko Markkula calling the notes, the stage is set for an encouraging debut at the sport’s highest level.

Using the fast Polish stages to acclimatise to the commitment required to excel at this level, Suninen will aim to gain experience before taking to the wheel of the Fiesta WRC once again – on home soil in Finland at the end of next month.

Teemu Suninen said:
"I’ll be taking the next step in my career next week, and it’s a big step – my world rally car debut! The challenge from WRC 2 has been multiplied and I can’t wait to get started. Rally Poland has always been kind to me, so it is great to start this part of my career there.

“Good preparation is really important. I don’t ever expect a debut in a world rally car to be easy, but we have completed a two-day test with M-Sport to get used to the car and find our feet.

“I’ve not had chance to test in Poland so I’ll need to take all of my high-speed kilometres from the rally itself.

"Shakedown will give us our first experience of these fast stages, and then the plan will be to drive smoothly to the finish – gaining maximum experience before my next outing on home soil.”

Malcolm Wilson said:
“I’m delighted to see Teemu behind the wheel of the Ford Fiesta WRC. He is an exceptional young talent with an incredibly bright future ahead of him and it’s fantastic to see him take this important step with the M-Sport team.

“Seeing how he and Mikko work, I have no doubt that they will make the most of next week’s Rally Poland. Teemu is eager to learn and I’m sure that his level of commitment and determination will hold him in good stead – both for the immediate future and beyond.

“I’ve been watching his development for a number of years now, and I’m looking forward to seeing what he can do at the next level – both in Poland and on home soil in Finland.”

Hyundai Motorsport in prime position for Polish podium

Posted: June 23, 2017 5:23 AM

Hyundai Motorsport will aim to continue its recent run of podium results as the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) moves to Poland for round eight of the 2017 season.

Having secured top-three finishes at every gravel event so far this year, including victories at Tour de Corse and Rally Argentina, hopes are high that the team can once again challenge at the front of the competitive WRC field.

The scene of two previous podiums, in 2014 for Thierry Neuville and in 2016 for Hayden Paddon, the team will be looking for another assured performance in this year’s event.

Despite claiming a podium last time out in Sardinia, and showing the rally-winning capabilities of the Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC, the team lost some ground to M-Sport in the close Championship battle. Efforts will therefore be refocused on securing a stronger combined team result.

Polished performance

Set against the backdrop of the picturesque Masurian Lake District region, the Hyundai Shell Mobis World Rally crews will need to be at their best to traverse the super-quick sandy roads of northern Poland.

Renowned for its rapid speeds and grassy sections, Rally Poland also sees plenty of rocky passages and stretches of limited visibility, meaning that crews will be put to the ultimate test.

First run in 1923, the Polish entry to the WRC Calendar is one of the oldest rallies in the world. It was included in the inaugural WRC Championship schedule in 1973, where only three entrants managed to cross the finish line. The crews will be hoping for a much higher success rate this time out.

More than one third of this year’s itinerary is new, meaning that accuracy of pace notes will be of paramount importance. The three Hyundai Motorsport crews of Hayden Paddon/Seb Marshall, Thierry Neuville/Nicolas Gilsoul and Dani Sordo/Marc Martí all tested in Lithuania this week in preparation for Rally Poland. With five different winners across the first seven events, it promises to be another competitive WRC weekend.

Team Principal Michel Nandan commented:
“From the hot coastal setting of Sardinia, we move onto the fastest rallies of the season – Poland and Finland – which will offer a brand new set of demands for our Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC. Poland is a rally at which we have always been quite competitive, with a podium in our debut season and again last year. We know our car is well suited to gravel but now will be the first true test at higher speeds. Our target is very much on the Championship battle, which is intensifying with each event. We need to ensure a strong team result at all rallies if we are to take the fight to M-Sport. That means we need to work with all three of our crews to help them to get the best out of their cars, and indeed themselves on each stage.”

Crew Notes: Paddon/Marshall (#4 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)

Paddon has demonstrated strong pace in recent gravel rallies, taking multiple stage wins in Portugal and leading in Sardinia for a large part of the event. Alongside co-driver Seb Marshall, the Kiwi will put his recent frustrations behind him and target his first podium of 2017 in Poland.

Paddon said:
“Our performance in Sardinia showed exactly what we are capable of achieving. It was a shame to lose the lead in the way that we did, but we have to bounce back. I am determined to focus on the positives, of which there were many in the recent rallies. I have spent some time back in New Zealand in between the events, which was good to help refocus. Poland is definitely one of my favourite rallies. It’s one of the fastest of the year, and of course I love going as quick as I can! I think the car will suit the roads quite well. We’re looking forward to it and as always we’ll be giving it 100%.”

Crew Notes: Neuville/Gilsoul (#5 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)

Neuville and co-driver Nicolas Gilsoul head to Poland, hoping to extend their run of five consecutive podiums, which dates back to Rally Mexico. Holding second in the Championship after seven rounds, the Belgian is just 18 points from leader Sébastien Ogier and knows that every rally will be crucial.

Neuville said: “I really enjoy Rally Poland as I like the flow of the stages. There are not as many dangerous corners and the stages are quite open. You can be a bit braver at this one and take a few more risks. It is a lot of fun because the speed is just amazing, but at the same time, we know that we have a job to do and we want to continue to press as hard as we can to stay in the Championship hunt. We are now into the latter stages of the season, so this is where every moment and every decision matters.”

Crew Notes: Sordo/Martí (#6 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)

Sordo and his compatriot Marc Martí will be aiming to continue in Poland where they left off on the final day of Sardinia where they scored a stage win and four Power Stage points. Poland will offer them a chance to fight for their third podium of the season.

Sordo said: “Given the speeds that can be reached in Poland, it is vitally important that our pace notes are accurate. This is particularly the case through some of the corners, where you can lose a lot of time if you make even the smallest mistake. There is no margin for error because it is a really, really fast rally. In general, the atmosphere is nice, with huge crowds present, so it is an enjoyable event. We finished very strongly in Sardinia, and will look to build on that in Poland!”

Rally Poland at a glance

Consisting of 23 stages run across 326.64km, Rally Poland will be the fifth gravel outing of the season.

Mikolajki, several hours north of the capital Warsaw, will serve as the rally’s base. It will host the start and finish, as well as a Super Special stage next to the service park that is run three times throughout the weekend.

After Thursday evening’s curtain raiser, Friday’s format is unchanged from last year. The action will comprise of two loops of four tests to the north-east, before a repeat of the Super Special stage duels – meaning a total of 116.16km of ground covered on the event’s second leg.

Saturday sees the action head north for four stages that are driven twice, before a final pass over the Mikolajki Super Special Stage.

Sunday will feature four final tests, amongst which will be the Paprotki Power Stage, a new addition to the 2017 schedule.

TOYOTA GAZOO Racing accelerates onto super-fast Polish stages

Posted: June 23, 2017 5:20 AM

The TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team will take on some of the fastest roads in the FIA World Rally Championship on Rally Poland from June 29 to July 2, when it will look to continue its strong momentum last time out in Sardinia. Now the team faces a brand-new challenge on rapid gravel stages that are very different from those of southern Europe, but with the possibility of more very hot weather.

Although it is the fourth consecutive round held on gravel, Rally Poland poses a very different challenge to the events held before it, with soft, sandy and flowing stages. The high speeds can be similar to those seen on Rally Finland, so it will provide a good opportunity for the team and three crews to develop the performance of the Yaris WRC in these demanding conditions ahead of the following round.

Rally Poland is based at the town of Mikolajki in the north-east of the country, where a super special stage hosts the opening stage on Thursday evening. It features again at the end of both Friday and Saturday’s action, when it follows two loops of four stages. The rally ends on Sunday with two stages ran twice, featuring the new 18.68-kilometre Paprotki test that serves as the event-closing Power Stage.

To prepare for next week’s rally, all three drivers took part in a test on gravel in Estonia, using similar roads to those that will be seen in Poland.

Quotes:

Tommi Mäkinen (Team Principal)
“Poland will be an interesting rally with a different challenge: a bit like Finland in some ways, but without the jumps and with a softer surface. It should be a good test for the aerodynamics of our car at high speed, which is an area where we have normally been working well. Poland should also be less hard on the car, after some of the rough rallies we have seen recently, but of course you can never tell for sure how it will be until you get there. I never drove in Poland myself, so I don’t really know what to expect. In terms of objectives, the drivers know what to do so I will just let them get on with it while doing everything I can to help them focus and stay concentrated.”

Jari-Matti Latvala (Driver car 10)
“We had a really good test for Poland, which featured some rain as well, and I think this will be very useful as there was also some rain on the final day in Poland last year, which often happens after you have many days of hot conditions as we expect next week. We made some steps forward with the dampers and I was particularly impressed by the stability of the car. With a lot of the car’s development having taken place on the rapid roads of Finland, I think the Yaris WRC should be well suited to the very fast roads in Poland too.”

Juho Hänninen (Driver car 11)
“I was happy with our progress in Sardinia and our preparations were able to build on that. I actually think that our car is better on the fast rallies compared to the slow rallies so this gives me a lot of confidence, as you do not have to worry so much about the set-up and you can just concentrate on the driving. On the test, I made some changes to the suspension and since then there has been even more development, so this is really positive. Road cleaning will not be as big a factor as it was in Sardinia but Friday could still be important.

Esapekka Lappi (Driver car 12)
“The test before Poland was a good step up for me: from the slow roads of Sardinia to the really fast and flat-out roads that we experienced in testing. I would say that the test was representative, although maybe in Poland we can expect roads that are slightly softer and sandier. Although I had a good result in Sardinia I have no particular expectations for Poland. Because it’s a really fast rally you need a lot of confidence and I’m not sure if I have that yet. I just want to have a clean run and reach the finish with no problems in order to learn as much as possible.”

Meeke not going to Poland..... CITROEN RACING - A REVISED LINE-UP FOR RALLY POLAND

Posted: June 12, 2017 4:10 AM

With Andreas Mikkelsen's eighth place ending up as the team's best result, the 2017 Rally Italia Sardegna fell short of the expectations of the Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT. Determined to pursue the approach begun this weekend, the team's driver line-up will feature Andreas once again at Rally Poland (29 June - 2 July). The Norwegian will be competing in Miko?ajki alongside Craig Breen and Stéphane Lefebvre.

"After a series of disappointing results, we have asked Kris Meeke to take a step back for this next rally," explained Yves Matton, Citroën Racing Team Principal. "Kris accepted that this would be in the best interests of the team and we'd like to thank him for his understanding. This break will give him the chance to recharge his batteries and release some of the pressure before preparing for Rally Finland. He won in Finland last year after producing a perfect performance, so we hope he'll come back stronger. At the same time, this change in line-up means we can keep working with Andreas. This first experience was more like a test session than a proper competitive outing. A second rally will give him the chance to use the things he has already learned to get closer to the leading guys. Moreover, he is particularly fond of Rally Poland since he won the event last year."

"We also remain committed to supporting our young drivers with Craig Breen and Stéphane Lefebvre, who will both be competing at the next round," continued Yves Matton. "They both took part in the 2016 Rally Poland, and recorded decent performances. They will therefore have a good opportunity to show what they can do. Having said that, their main target will remain to get to the finish without making any mistakes."

In order to prepare for round eight of the WRC, the team will spend four days testing in Poland. Andreas Mikkelsen, Craig Breen and Stéphane Lefebvre will take turns behind the wheel of the C3 WRC. Meanwhile, Kris Meeke and Paul Nagle will take part in recce for Rally Poland.

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Posted: June 7, 2017 9:40 AM

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Posted: March 9, 2017 6:18 AM






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