Martin Prokop: Baja Poland always offers something special

You cannot play with any tactics, you have to push from the first meter to the finish line," says Martin Prokop, who we will see in this year's edition of Wysoka Grzęda Baja Poland not only in a new car but, first of all, in a completely new role.

2021 Wysoka Grzęda Baja Poland will be different for you than before? Tell us about it.
Martin Prokop:
 Indeed, this year Baja Poland is special for me. For the first time in my life I will not compete as a competitor but as a part of the organization team. I will drive a “zero” car which means my responsibility is to check the rally roads, if they are ready for the guys to battle for the positions at Baja Poland.

We are sure that You will be focused on doing your job the best, but do you have also other plans for rally routes in Poland?
Baja Poland offers great possibility to do quiet long special stages on Saturday. This practice is needed as my last time in the cross-country car was during Dakar 2021. So after 8 month I return to my “Shrek” – that’s how I call this car:)

Also it was a long time since Viktor (Chytka-co-driver) was in the cross-country car, it will also be good for him to practice the co-driver job again.

What vehicle will You use to open the Wysoka Grzęda Baja Poland route?
That’s a very good question! The car I will use does not fit into any of the current existing regulations. It will be a “hybrid”  between the T1.1 what I used to drive plus some new components.

It will be our first try of this car, so more or less a big shakedown.

You have had two starts in Szczecin, Dobra and Drawsko Pomorskie, so what can you say about Polish routes and their level of difficulty?
Baja Poland always offers something special. If I think back to last year how the heavy rainfalls made the stages more muddy than during Wales Rally GB. This was incredible. I even got stuck in a water splash and  half car was under water. I hope this won’t happen this year anymore.

But generally the stages a demanding and the sand ruts are getting very deep. The level of competition is very high, lot of local drivers are motivated to show the world elite their speed.

How do you prepare for your new role in Wysoka Grzęda Baja Poland?
There is no real difference if I compete in the rally or as now as “zero” car. I will prepare with watching onboards from last year to get used to the special stage characteristics. Even if the stages will be different, watch the videos helps a lot.

This year I will have constant communication with Rally Control, I will attend briefings with security services and not only obey safety procedures but also control them. And I will be first “proper” car on the road and draw the lines to the competitors following.

Who do You think we will see this year at Wysoka Grzęda Baja Poland? Who will fight for the victory?
I guess there will be the top drivers if of the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Bajas. Would be nice to see Seb Loeb there. I am not sure if Nasser or Kuba will start? For me the favorite on the victory is Krzysztof Hołowczyc.

From your long experience, what can decide about victory in Wysoka Grzęda Baja Poland?
Like all the baja’s it is a sprint race from the beginning. You can not play any tactics, you have to push from the first meter till the finish. The base for the victory you set at home with your preparation. As I said, watching videos from the past is very important but time consuming.

But Baja Poland is also about how the driver can read the roads, they are special and only experience from the past will help you to understand them. For sure any time loss like a puncture will make it difficult to fight for the top spot.

Where will we see you next this year, in what vehicles and in what roles?
The aim is to start in Dakar 2022. For this we prepare the whole year. With new regulations coming into the game it could be interesting edition. But time is running and I don’t know yet which car spec I will use in Dakar 2022. Hopefully we know more after Baja Poland:)

For sure I will start with my Fiesta R5 in the WRC. WRC offers great platform to train your driving skills which are needed for cross-country racing.

Why did you choose Wysoka Grzęda Baja Poland to start in such a role?
There are more facts why Baja Poland. First of all we are having good cooperation with the event organizers, they are always helping out when we need their help. Second of all this is a chance to test the new components on the car on a demanding surface. Last but not least I like to compete in Poland. The fans are great, pure passion for motorsports and it’s not too far from Czech so I expect some fans coming over (if allowed under current pandemic rules) to support me.




Szczecin     Dobra Szczecińska     Drawsko Pomorskie


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