Poles among top contenders

(20.08.2019) Nearly hundred entries received for ORLEN Baja Poland 2019 – Polish round of FIA World Cup for Cross Country Bajas. There are two previous winners on the entry list – Krzysztof Holowczyc and Jakub Przygonski. It is expected that experienced Poles will be hard to beat on home soil.

A pre-event press conference was held today in Warsaw, with Michal Sikora – the president of Polish ASN, Julita Maluszynska – co-driver, Polish Cross Country Championship runner-up and two drivers – Krzysztof Holowczyc and Jakub Przygonski. Both of them have Baja Poland and FIA World Cup victories under their belts.

In 2019 ORLEN Baja Poland is not only the round of World Cup. Szczecin-based event count towards FIA CEZ Championship, Polish Cross Country Championship, Czech Cross Country Championship, Dacia Duster Elf Cup and Polish Cross Country Cup. Moreover, there are motorcycle and quad drivers on the entry list, as ORLEN Baja Poland is a round both of FIM European Championship in Baja Rallies and Polish Cup in Baja Rallies. All in all, organisers expect as many as 72 crews in cars, one truck crew, 7 bikers and 15 quad drivers. Entrants represent 16 different nations.

- ORLEN Baja Poland is a huge challenge and very important event for us. I am glad that once again it is an important part of FIA World Cup calendar. This rally is well known thanks to long and demanding special stages. Thanks to our partners – PKN ORLEN, Columna Medica, City of Szczecin and Wysoka Grzeda we can organise a top-level competition. I am very happy because once again Poles are among top contenders for the victory. I mean not only Przygonski and Holowczyc, but our bikers too. Maciej Giemza and Adam Tomiczek proved their excellent pace during their last outing in Hungarian Baja – said Michal Sikora, president of Polish Motorcycle and Automobile Association.

However, not only Holowczyc and Przygonski are capable of winning in Poland. Argentinian driver Orlando Terranova, as well as Russian Vladimir Vasilyev have all the skills and speed needed to score maximum points in ORLEN Baja Poland. Polish World Cup counter attracted female competitors too. One of them is Julita Maluszynska, who co-drives her husband Michal Maluszynski. The crew who came second in 2017 Polish Cross Country Championship will use MINI John Cooper Works Rally – a top machinery from X-Raid – the same as Holowczyc, Terranova and Przygonski. – ORLEN Baja Poland is extremely demanding, but it is huge pleasure at the same time. I am excited, because we can compete with world class crews. The adrenaline level will be very high, but this is what helps us to stay focused and go as fast as we only can – said Maluszynska.

Krzysztof Holowczyc, who quit his full-time rallying career, once again will chase his sixth ORLEN Baja Poland victory. – Every year this is my only one cross country outing. However, there is one thing I don’t forget – to keep pedal to the metal approach. There is no other way to fight for the victory when you have such a competitive rivals – said Holowczyc. – Kuba Przygonski did a number of events this season, so he will be hard to beat. It will be very important to have a good rhythm from the very beginning of Drawsko test. This stage is where the rally is won or lost. You need to be fast, precise and careful at the same time, because there are lot of treacherous places – he added.

For Przygonski ORLEN Baja Poland is a chance to catch up with his competitors in FIA World Cup for Cross Country Bajas. – This is an important event, not only in terms of season standings. I will compete on home soil, in front of Polish fans. The route is spectacular. There are many fast straights, jumps, crests, which we cover flat out. The surface let us push very hard without being too careful about tyre wear. However, we need to avoid punctures, as they may cost us dearly. This will be my first outing in Baja Poland with Timo Gottschalk. I think he will be surprised how fast we can go here. Krzysztof Holowczyc is always very competitive here, Orlando Terranova flies high in World Cup, so we can expect some serious, tough competition – said Jakub Przygonski, Orlen Team driver.

Orlando Terranova leads the series standings before Polish World Cup Counter, having scored as many as 90 points in three previous rounds. Vladimir Vasilyev is second (80 pts), followed by Martin Prokop (65 pts) and Jakub Przygonski (58 pts).

ORLEN Baja Poland will be held from 28 August to 1 September 2019. The organisers prepared seven special stages, with total length of 515 kms. Event-opening, 7-kilometre long superspecial will run on Friday afternoon in Szczecin. Saturday is a crucial day in event’s itinerary, with crews heading to a military range in Drawsko Pomorskie to tackle two runs of 225-kilometre test. On Sunday two stages will be held, both of them run twice. First is the Krzekowo stage (18,39 km) and Lubieszyn (10,5 km) located in Dobra Municipality.




Szczecin     Dobra Szczecińska     Drawsko Pomorskie


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