Poles set to challenge for victory on home soil

(30.08.2019) Support for the FIA World Cup for Cross Country Bajas is likely to reach fever point when it heads to Baja Poland (29 August-01 September), where two of the country’s most popular and successful rally drivers will take the start of the sixth round of the series.

Held in the Szczecin, Drawsko Pomorskie and Dobra municipalities, the 11th Baja Poland will be longer than ever, mixing familiar and new roads on the long military range sections on Saturday with shorter sprint stages closer to the city of Szczecin on Sunday’s concluding day of competition.

Eyes will be on the fight for the title as top-scoring finishes now become ever-more crucial, but for the locals the loudest cheers are sure to be for the home grown talent of Jakub Przygoński and Krzysztof Hołowczyc, both competing in X-Raid-run Mini John Cooper Works Rally machinery. Przygoński, co-driven by Germany’s Timo Gottschalk, is currently fourth in the series standings and the reigning FIA World Cup champion would dearly love to repeat last year’s Baja Poland victory as he continues his battle for a second title.

Hołowczyc has a wealth of experience and success both at home and abroad. A three-time winner of the Polish Rally Championship, as well as his home Rally Poland, the former member of the European Parliament won Baja Poland five times between 2010 and 2015 and has finished the grueling Dakar Rally on six occasions, his last outing in 2015 reaping a podium position. He is back in action on his first World Cup Baja this year with Łukasz Kurzeja in the navigator’s seat.

But, competition will be as stiff as ever with just three of the eight rounds of the FIA World Cup for Cross Country Bajas remaining. Argentineans Orlando Terranova and Ronnie Graue are running on a high currently; the Mini crew hit the World Cup scene on the third round in Italy, won there and on the following two rounds in Spain and Hungary to launch themselves into a 10-point lead in the series. This will however be their maiden outing on Baja Poland. Vladimir Vasilyev and Konstantin Zhiltsov are their nearest rivals in the Toyota Hilux Overdrive. Lithuanian Benediktas Vanagas, co-driven by Poland’s Sebastian Rozwadowski, is seventh in the standings in his Hilux Overdrive and Miroslav Zapletal and Marek Sykora will be fighting hard to challenge the front-runners in their Ford F150 Evo, the Czech driver finishing on the Baja Poland podium three times previously.

Fedor Vorobyev and Kirill Shubin are fifth in the overall World Cup standings but, more importantly, Vladimir Vasilyev head the T3 category. The Can-Am Maverick X3 crew, who have claimed two T3 wins this season, have a six-point advantage over their nearest rival, Santiago Navarro, who is navigated by Marc Solà in Poland. Third-placed Michele Cinotto is only a further two points adrift in his Polaris RZR 1000 Turbo. Two crews have entered in the T2 category; runaway leader Aldis Vilcans in a Toyota Landcruiser and Romanian Claudiu Barbu, who is equal second but 36 points adrift.

PROVISIONAL RALLY DATA

Total distance 833.95 km
Selective section distance: 504.86 km
Number of selective sections: 7

BAJA POLAND – TIMETABLE & MEDIA OPPORTUNITIES

Thursday 29 August    
Scrutineering    From 14:00 hrs

Friday 30 August    
Shakedown    09:00-14:00 hrs
Ceremonial start, Rally Park Szczecin    16:30 hrs
SSS1 (7.08 kilometres)    18:15 hrs
Leg 2 starting position selection    20:30 hrs

Saturday 31 August    
SS2 (220.00 kilometres)    08:25 hrs
First car arrives remote service/regroup    11:50 hrs
SS3 (220.00 kilometres)    14:00 hrs
First car arrives for final remote service    17:25 hrs
            
Sunday 1 September    
SS4 (18.39 kilometres)    08:30 hrs
SS5 (10.50 kilometres)    09:25 hrs
First car arrives service/regroup    10:10 hrs
SS6 (18:39 kilometres)    12:30 hrs
SS7 (10.50 kilometres)    13:25 hrs
Prize-Giving ceremony, Rally Park Szczecin    14:30 hrs

Organizers

Fundacja BAJA POLAND    PZM

Co-Organizers

Szczecin     Dobra Szczecińska     Drawsko Pomorskie

Honorary Patronage

Pod Patronatem Prezydenta Miasta Szczecina           Pod Patronatem Wójta Gminy Dobra     Pod Patronatem Burmistrza Drawska Pomorskiego

Titular Sponsor

General Sponsors

      

Media sponsors

RMF MAXXXGłos Szczeciński   Moje Miasto Szczecin  WP.PL

Partners

 Mercedes Benz Auto Bogacka