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WRC 2017, Round 8/13 – Rally Poland (June 29/July 2)

WRC 2017

Round 8, Rally Poland

Entry List

Noticeboard

Rally Guide

Itinerary

Rally Maps

LIVE text, results & split times

Results – eWRC

Results – Rally-base

Results – Michelin

LIVE Stream

Red Bull TV – free-to-air broadcasting

Radio / Radio

Autosport LIVE Commentary

Timetabe

Thursday 29 June

Shakedown (4,90 km) 8:00-12:30
Meet the Crews’, Service Park 12:00
FIA Press Conference, Press Room 12:30
Autograph session, Mikołajki Main Square 15:40
Official start and start of Section 1, Mikołajki Main Square 16:00
19:08 SS 1 Mikołajki Arena 1 (2,50 km)

Friday 30 June

6:25 Service A (Mikołajki) – 18 min
7:15 SS 2 Chmielewo 1 (6,52 km)
9:00 SS 3 Wieliczki 1 (15,05 km)
9:55 SS 4 Świętajno 1 (19,60 km)
10:40 SS 5 Stare Juchy 1 (13,50 km)
12:25 Service B (Mikołajki) – 33 min
13:45 SS 6 Chmielewo 2 (6,52 km)
15:30 SS 7 Wieliczki 2 (15,05 km)
16:25 SS 8 Świętajno 2 (19,60 km)
17:10 SS 9 Stare Juchy 2 (13,50 km)
19:08 SS 10 Mikołajki Arena 2 (2,50 km)
19:38 Flexi Service C (Mikołajki) – 48 min
‘Meet the Crews’, Service Park, During the 45′ service

Competitive distance: 116,16 km (Liaison 469,08 km, Total 585,24 km)

Saturday 1 July

7:27 Service D (Mikolajki) – 18 min
8:08 SS 11 Baranowo 1 (15,55 km)
9:20 SS 12 Pozezdrze 1 (21,24 km)
10:45 SS 13 Goldap 1 (14,75 km)
11:35 SS 14 Kruklanki 1 (19,58 km)
13:12 Service E (Mikolajki) – 33 min
14:08 SS 15 Baranowo 2 (15,55 km)
15:20 SS 16 Pozezdrze 2 (21,24 km)
16:45 SS 17 Goldap 2 (14,75 km)
17:35 SS 18 Kruklanki 2 (19,58 km)
19:30 SSS 19 Mikolajki Arena 3 (2.50 km)
20:00 Service F (Mikolajki) – 48 min
‘Meet the Crews’, Service Park, During the 45′ service

Competitive distance: 144,74 km (Liaison 435,01 km, Total 579,75 km)

Sunday 2 July

6:40 Service G (Mikolajki) – 18 min)
8:10 SS 20 Orzysz 1 (11,15 km)
9:08 SS 21 Paprotki 1 (18,68 km)
10:45 SS 22 Orzysz 2 (11,15 km)
11:32 Regroup (Miłki)
12:18 SS 23 Powerstage Paprotki 2 (18,68 km)
13:40 Service H (Mikolajki) – 13 min
14:30 Prize-Giving and podium ceremony, Mikołajki Main Square
15:00 FIA Press Conference, Press Room

Competitive distance: 59,66 km (Liaison 184,10 km, Total 234,76 km)

Total distance: 1088,19 km
Stage distance: 320,56 km (22,8%)
Liaison distance: 1408,75 km
Number of stages: 23

https://twitter.com/rallyparadise/status/879988032165883905

Testing

M-Sport World Rally Team:

Sebastien Ogier, Estonia 16.6.2017

https://twitter.com/Karlip1/status/875645863325978625

Ott Tänak, Estonia 15.6.2017

Elfyn Evans, Estonia 14.6.2017

Hyundai Motorsport:

Dani Sordo & Hayden Paddon, Lithunia 19.6.2017

https://twitter.com/DaniSordo/status/876675174225063936

https://twitter.com/HaydenPaddon/status/876843121627340800

Citroën Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team:

Andreas Mikkelsen, Poland 15.-16.6.2017

Craig Breen, Poland 17.6.2017

Stéphane Lefebvre, Poland 17.6.2017

TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team:

Jari-Matti Latvala, Estonia 19.6.2017

Juho Hänninen, Estonia 18.6.2017

Esapekka Lappi, Estonia 17.-18.6.2017

Onebet Jipocar World Rally Team:

Mads Østberg, Poland 25.6.2017

https://twitter.com/rallyparadise/status/878988924714201091

Tagai Racing Technology:

Quentin Gilbert, Poland 26.6.2017

Orlen Team (Tagai Racing Technology):

Hubert Ptaszek, Poland 26.6.2017

Preview

To mark the start of the second half of the 2017 FIA World Rally Championship season, the contenders head to the Mazurian Lake District for ORLEN Rally Poland, the fourth consecutive gravel event of the year. Having run for the first time in 1921, this is the second oldest rally in the world behind Monte-Carlo and celebrates its 74th anniversary this year.

Based in Mikołajki, 250 kilometres north of Warsaw, this is one of the Championship’s fast loose surface events and has a passionate following by thousands of fanatical spectators. Sandy roads lined with tall grass make visibility on the approach to corners tricky, and corner cutting risky. Championship leader Sébastien Ogier, Toyota’s newcomer, Esapekka Lappi and Citroën’s Andreas Mikkelsen are the only three drivers on this year’s entry list to have previously claimed victory on the rally. Lappi won in 2012 when it was a round of the FIA European Rally Championship and in doing so became the youngest-ever winner in the history of the event. Ogier took wins in 2014 and 2015, and Mikkelsen in 2016 after Ott Tänak cruelly lost the win in the penultimate stage. The event also sees a strong following in the FIA WRC 2 Championship category and this is the third round of the FIA Junior WRC Championship.

The experienced and popular Krzysztof Holowczyc, who has won the European Rally Championship, was three times Polish Rally Champion and three-time winner of Rally Poland, will this year be behind the wheel of one of the all-important zero cars. Jakub Przygonski, who is currently second in the FIA World Cup for Cross Country Rallies, will drive a second one.

Five stages will be broadcast live; SS10 on Friday, SS11 and SS15 on Saturday, and SS21 and SS23 on Sunday.

ROUTE GRAPHICS

 

THE 2017 ROUTE

Nearly a third of the route has not featured in the last three editions of the event. After the first of three runs over the Mikołajki super special stage on Thursday evening, Friday remains largely unchanged from 2016 with two loops of four stages to the northeast. Saturday features one new stage, Pozezdrze, which is driven twice, and Sunday covers two tests, Orzysz and Paprotki, the latter replacing Sady as the all-important Power Stage.

WHAT WE SAID…

“Rally Poland is full of heritage, it has a huge following and when we conducted our fan survey a couple of years ago it showed it has the biggest fan base of any event,” said Jarmo Mahonen, FIA Rally Director. “Having the HQ, Service Park and super special stage all within the same area is also a real bonus for the spectators, it creates a great atmosphere around the event and means the fans can really feel part of the action.”

RALLY DATA

Total distance: 1,422.63 km
Stage distance: 326.64 km (23%)
Number of stages: 23

https://twitter.com/rallyparadise/status/879293914749992960

MANUFACTURER ENTRIES, RALLY ITALIA SARDEGNA

M-Sport World Rally Team:
Sébastien Ogier / Julien Ingrassia (#1)
Ott Tänak / Martin Järveoja (#2)
Elfyn Evans / Daniel Barritt (#3)

Hyundai Motorsport:
Hayden Paddon / Sebastian Marshall (#4)
Thierry Neuville / Nicolas Gilsoul (#5)
Dani Sordo / Marc Marti (#6)

Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT:
Andreas Mikkelsen / Anders Jaeger (#7)
Craig Breen / Scott Martin (#8)
Stéphane Lefebvre / Gabin Moreau (#9)

TOYOTA GAZOO Racing WRT:
Jari-Matti Latvala / Miikka Anttila (#10)
Juho Hänninen / Kaj Lindström (#11)
Esapekka Lappi / Janne Ferm (#12)

Team Previews

Manufacturers: M-Sport World Rally Team (GB) / Ford Fiesta WRC (Michelin, Evans: DMACK)
1 Sébastien Ogier / Julien Ingrassia (F)
2 Ott Tänak / Martin Järveoja (EE)
3 Elfyn Evans / Daniel Barrit (GB)

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.”

M-Sport World Rally Team / Ford Fiesta R5 (Michelin)
91 Eric Camilli / Benjamin Veillas (F)
92 Pierre-Louis Loubet / Vincent Landais (F)

WRC2

35 Gus Greensmith / Craig Parry (GB)
36 Pedro Heller / Pablo Olmos (CHL/RA)
46 Osian Pryce / Dale Furniss (GB) DMACK

M-Sport will field five Ford Fiesta R5s at next week’s Orlen 74th Rally Poland. Here’s what the RC2 competitors had to say in the lead-up to the event.

Éric Camilli said:

“We had a great rally in Sardinia and now I’m looking forward to the next challenge in Poland, but these two rallies could not be more different!

“The stages in Sardinia were really narrow and rough and you had to be really clever. In Poland, it’s all about being confident and brave. The stages are so fast and flowing and they really are a pleasure to drive flat-out.

“Hopefully, we can continue our good form on these fast stages. We won’t be competing for WRC 2 points, but a lot of the main players will be there and it will be a great opportunity for us to show our speed against them.”

Gus Greensmith said:

“Rally Poland is fast – really fast – and that is a unique challenge in itself. It’s an event I enjoy because of the speed, and because of the high level of commitment that you need to apply in every corner.

“The biggest challenge is in knowing not to push the entry to every corner as you can lose a lot of time on that – especially if it’s followed by a long straight. To be on the pace in Poland, you definitely need to find the right balance between patience and commitment.

“Portugal was a good rally for us, and when we had a clean stage we were fighting right at the sharp end which was great.

“I’d like to make another step forward in Poland. I don’t have a particular position in mind, but I do have a good idea of where I want to be and I’m looking forwarded to realising that goal.”

Pierre-Louis Loubet said:

“Rally Poland is an event that I will always remember – it’s where I had a big crash during shakedown when I was competing in in the Junior World Rally Championship.

“Last year however, I had a lot of fun there and I hope to have just as much this year too. The speeds are incredible and to succeed you need to keep a fast pace whilst staying on the road.

“I’m not scoring WRC 2 points this weekend, so the goal is to take maximum experience ready for a big push in Finland.”

Osian Pryce said:

“I’m really looking forward to Rally Poland. Doing the British Rally Championship with the Fiesta R5, I’ve built up some confidence over the first half of the year and we’ll have a good team around us so I’m looking forward to what will hopefully be an enjoyable and rewarding weekend.

“This will be my third time at Rally Poland and the roads there are definitely unique. It’s a great event with a real buzz about it. The speeds on the stages are incredible, but so are the people – the Polish fans really get involved and have a clear passion for their motorsport.

“Like Finland, the speed in Poland really is on another level. The level of commitment needed is pretty high and you need to find the right balance – between finding that commitment and not overdoing it and making mistakes.

“Of course I want to set some good times and secure a positive result, but at the end of the day I just want to go out there and enjoy it and make the most of the opportunity.”

Manufacturers: Hyundai Motorsport (D) / Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC (Michelin)
4 Hayden Paddon / Sebastian Marshall (NZ/GB)
5 Thierry Neuville / Nicolas Gilsoul (B)
6 Daniel Sordo / Marc Marti (E)

There are just five events left on the WRC schedule for 2017, so our crews move onto Rally Poland knowing that every result counts in our Championship charge.

After scoring seven individual podiums in the last five rallies, we are hopeful of continuing our run in Poland. Our target for the high-speed Polish stages is a strong combined team result to enhance our title-winning hopes against M-Sport.

We have secured Polish podium success before, with Thierry and Nicolas in 2014, our debut season, and again with Hayden and John last year.

“We have always been quite competitive in Poland,” says our Team Principal Michel. “Our focus is on the Championship battle. We need to ensure a strong team result at all rallies. That means we need to help our crews to get the best out of their cars, and themselves.”

Polish promise

Sealing their fifth successive podium with a third-place finish in Sardinia, Thierry and Nicolas were able to close the gap on overall Championship leader Sébastien Ogier.

“I really enjoy Rally Poland as I like the flow of the stages. You can be a bit braver at this one and take a few more risks,” said Thierry. “We are now into the second half of the season, where every moment and every decision matters.”

Hayden and Seb led in Sardinia and demonstrated their rally winning pace and potential. With Hayden grabbing a podium in Poland last year, he will be targeting a similar result this time out.

“Our performance in Sardinia showed exactly what we are capable of achieving,” he said. “Poland is definitely one of my favourite rallies. It’s one of the fastest of the year, and of course I love going as fast as I can!”

Speed demons

Run across 23 stages spanning 326.46km, Rally Poland is known for its rapid sandy stretches and limited visibility through certain grassy sections.

Our Spanish crew of Dani and Marc will be looking to bounce back from a disappointing Sardinia with a competitive run at one of the fastest rallies of the season.

“Given the speeds that can be reached in Poland, it is vitally important that our pace notes are accurate,” said Dani. “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.”

Rally action will kick off on Thursday night with a Super Special Stage at the Mikolajki Arena and concludes on Sunday afternoon with the running of the Paprotki Power Stage.

Manufacturers: Citroën Total Abu Dhabi W.R.T. (F) / Citroën C3 WRC (Michelin)
7 Andreas Mikkelsen / Anders Jaeger (N)
8 Craig Breen / Scott Martin (IRL/GB)
9 Stéphane Lefebvre / Gabin Moreau (F)

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!

QUOTE, UNQUOTE

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)

KEY FIGURES
23 timed stages covering a total of 326.64 km.
44% of the stages are new to the WRC crews
28 Michelin LTX Force tyres per driver for the rally, with soft compound tyres tending to be the main choice
1 Polish team member at Citroën Racing: our team manager, Marek Nawarecki
3 crews classified at the end of Rally Poland in 1973, the year that the WRC was founded

Manufacturers: TOYOTA GAZOO Racing WRC (FIN) / Toyota Yaris WRC (Michelin)
10 Jari-Matti Latvala / Miikka Anttila (FIN)
11 Juho Hänninen / Kaj Lindström (FIN)
12 Esapekka Lappi / Janne Ferm (FIN)

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.”

ŠKODA Motorsport / ŠKODA Fabia R5 (Michelin)
31 Pontus Tidemand / Jonas Andersson (S)

Pontus Tidemand and co-driver Jonas Andersson are dominantly leading the WRC2 championship. So far they competed in four WRC2 rounds and won them all. With another victory at Rally Poland (June 29th to July 2nd), they would be in a strong position to win the World Rally Championship (WRC2) this year. For ŠKODA Motorsport, another success would as well be the 11th WRC2 win in a row since Rally Spain in October 2016.

Michal Hrabánek

“In Poland Pontus and Jonas can make a big step forward in their pursuit of winning the WRC 2 title,” says ŠKODA Motorsport boss Michal Hrabánek.

Every competitor in WRC2 can bring not more than six results into his overall tally. Tidemand / Andersson collected 100 points with four wins in four events. Among the entries in WRC2 category in Rally Poland, ŠKODA is the strongest brand with six FABIA R5.

Michal Hrabánek

“We are delighted that more and more teams trust in the speed and reliability of our ŠKODA FABIA R5. Up to now, we delivered more than 140 cars to customers worldwide,” adds Hrabánek.

Rally Poland offers 23 special stages totalling 326 kilometres on very fast sandy roads in the picturesque countryside of the Masurian Lake District, a popular holiday region in Northern Poland. The rally is based in Mikolajki, which hosts the start on Thursday, 16h00 local time, finish on Sunday, 14h30, and in between three runs of a super special stage next to the service park.

Pontus Tidemand

“This year I already got a lot of experience on gravel,” says ŠKODA driver Pontus Tidemand. “But the upcoming Rally Poland is very special – it is one of the fastest events of the World Rally Championship. Last year, I learnt a lot in Poland ending up in seventh position only – now I am aiming for the victory.“

WRC Poland: Fast roads and hidden stones will be the main challenge

Pontus Tidemand and co-driver Jonas Andersson started their 2017 winning streak at Rally Sweden, taking top position at their home event on snow in convincing style. The tough gravel events in Mexico and Argentina saw another faultless performance of the Swedish duo. In Portugal they had well deserved luck to win another thrilling event with their ŠKODA FABIA R5. In Poland the ŠKODA factory team is again facing strong competition not only from Norwegian junior team Ole Christian Veiby / Stig Rune Skjaermœn in a privately entered ŠKODA FABIA R5.

Until today ŠKODA won ten consecutive WRC2 rallies in a row. This winning sequence started at Rally Spain in October 2016. Of the last 18 WRC2 events the Czech manufacturer won 17.

JWRC

After successfully battling one of the toughest rounds of the series, competitors fighting for the 2017 FIA Junior World Rally Championship are set to take on what’s expected to be one of their fastest rallies at Orlen Rally Poland next weekend.

The high-speed gravel stages in the Masurian Lake District in the far north of the country will see championship leaders Nil Solans and Miki Ibanez aim to make it three in a row after taking victory on both rounds so far this season. They hold a 20-point championship lead and won the first two prize drives, but are likely to come under more pressure next week.

Frenchmen Nicolas Ciamin and Tibo de la Haye in second place are also targeting victory after finishing runner-up to Solans on both rallies this year, and would love to move one step higher on the podium.

Fellow countryman Terry Folb scored his best Junior WRC result of second at Rally Poland last year and he will also be aiming for the top step of the podium. Julius Tannert from Germany took his first podium last time out in Sardinia and will again be out to prove his speed.

It’s also another chance for the Rookies to demonstrate their development this season. Swede Dennis Rådström notched up his first scratch time with a much-improved pace in Sardinia while Dillon Van Way and Sebastian Careaga are also aiming to lift their speed.

After his accident on the last event, Miko Niinemae remains injured and won’t make the start. However, 20-year-old Finnish star Emil Lindholm joins the Junior ranks in Poland. He was recently chosen as the Future Rally Star of Finland and wins a funded drive in Junior WRC on Rally Finland.

Rally Poland is the home event for the M-Sport Poland team which prepares and runs the identical Ford Fiesta R2T rally cars. They will be fitted with DMACK’s DMG+22 GH43 medium compound tyres.

The event is renowned for its super-high speeds but tall grass often hides the approach to corners, and making accurate pacenotes during the recce is vital. Soft and sandy roads are normal but that means the possibility of deep ruts for the second pass. Winning in Poland demands high commitment, confidence in the car and a clever approach.

After a private shakedown on Thursday morning, the rally starts on Thursday evening with the Mikolajki Super Special. Friday sees crews tackle a four-stage loop twice with the longest day of action on Saturday featuring over 150km of stages. Sunday finishes with four short tests closer to host town Mikolajki.

Maciek Woda, M-Sport’s Junior WRC manager, said:

“As the home rally for our M-Sport Poland team, we are all excited for next week’s event. We’re now two rallies in and everyone is improving their pace as they get more experience with the Fiesta, so we’re expecting a really close battle. The Polish stages are extremely fast and very demanding, they are a favourite with many drivers and I hope everyone has an enjoyable event.”

Dick Cormack, DMACK managing director, said:

“DMACK tyres have traditionally performed well in Poland so we’re looking forward to another strong and competitive event. The championship is really starting to hot up now and I think we are going to have another really exciting battle in Poland.”

Rally Poland Junior WRC entry list

71 Nil Solans (Spain) / Miguel Ibanez (Spain)
72 Terry Folb (France) / Christopher Guieu (France)
73 Julius Tannert (Germany) / Jurgen Heigl (Austria)
74 Nicolas Ciamin (France) / Thibault de la Haye (France)
75 Robert Duggan (Ireland) / Tom Woodburn (UK)
76 Miko Niinemäe (Estonia) / Martin Valter (Estonia)
77 Dillon Van Way (USA) / Dai Roberts (UK)
78 Dennis Rådström (Sweden) / Johan Johansson (Sweden)
79 Sebastian Careaga (Bolivia) / Rodrigo Sanjuan (Spain)
80 Emil Lindholm (Finland) / Tomi Tuominen (Finland)

Driver Comments

Nicolas Ciamin from France: “I was really pleased with Sardinia, I didn’t expect to set fastest times on gravel yet but we scored four – that was very encouraging. We’ve been second twice now, while it would be nice to think we could aim for first, I still think that’s a little optimistic. Poland is difficult because it is so fast and you must think that every corner is faster than it should be on another event.”

Emil Lindholm from Finland: “My aim for Rally Poland is to have a solid performance, avoid mistakes and try to set some times in the top-three. I expect the second pass will be rutted so one of the challenges will be to avoid problems and find a compromise between speed and caring for the car. The roads are very fast, we’ve tested already and will concentrate on making good pacenotes.”

Dennis Rådström from Sweden: “We got faster in Sardinia and the aim for Poland is to have fun, get the experience and keep up that improved pace from Sardinia. The speed in Poland is incredible and the challenge is to keep focused and trust the pacenotes. The recce will again be important to get the best information to be able to push hard.”

Dillon Van Way from USA: “I was happy with my improvement in pace in Sardinia and hopefully that progression continues in Poland. Our aim next week is to have a big push and see if we can get up into the overall battle – we need about two seconds per mile and I know we are capable of that. I have heard the Poland stages are very fast so the initial challenge will be to have a strong recce with pacenotes that are 100 per cent perfect.”

Championship Points after round 2

1. Nil Solans / Miguel Ibanez 62
2. Nicolas Ciamin / Thibault de la Haye 42
3. Terry Folb / Christopher Guieu 33
4. Julius Tannert / Jurgen Heigl 27
5. Dennis Rådström / Johan Johansson 21
6. Robert Duggan / Tom Woodburn 20
7. Sebastian Careaga / Rodrigo Sanjuan 10
7. Dillon Van Way / Dai Roberts 10
9. Miko Niinemäe / Martin Valter 2
10. William Wagner / Kevin Parent 0

Recce

https://twitter.com/Michelin_Sport/status/879598725609533442

https://twitter.com/DaniSordo/status/879592924811546624

https://twitter.com/HaydenPaddon/status/879717129888595968

https://twitter.com/SLefebvreRallye/status/880122007312060416

https://twitter.com/MadsOstberg/status/880149650422026241

https://twitter.com/KibiceKubicy/status/879713093860950019

https://twitter.com/rallyplus/status/880029675547795456

https://twitter.com/rallyplus/status/880028966236545026

https://twitter.com/HMSGOfficial/status/880044015353303040

https://twitter.com/AtWorldMA/status/879787800949817346

Service Park

https://twitter.com/rajdpolski/status/879959932862431232

https://twitter.com/rajdpolski/status/879782292083924993

https://twitter.com/rajdpolski/status/879782928884137984

https://twitter.com/rajdpolski/status/880015352482148352

https://twitter.com/PaweKrawczyk10/status/879645159436279808

https://twitter.com/JakubRoskosz/status/880124872793497606

 

https://twitter.com/maciej_rowinski/status/880099605454741507

https://twitter.com/JariMattiWRC/status/880098712906870786

https://twitter.com/HMSGOfficial/status/880105802710777856

https://twitter.com/MSportLtd/status/880155908550135808

Thursday 29 June

Shakedown (4,90 km) 8:00-12:30
Meet the Crews’, Service Park 12:00
FIA Press Conference, Press Room 12:30
Autograph session, Mikołajki Main Square 15:40
Official start and start of Section 1, Mikołajki Main Square 16:00
19:08 SS 1 Mikołajki Arena 1 (2,50 km)

https://twitter.com/rajdpolski/status/880306984985255936

https://twitter.com/DaniSordo/status/880301393822846976

https://twitter.com/MSportLtd/status/880303648227680256

https://twitter.com/OCVeiby/status/880317464579538945

https://twitter.com/MaciejRally/status/880306579232489472

https://twitter.com/CitroenRacing/status/880316636171034624

https://twitter.com/akikojmlfani/status/880311970561499136

https://twitter.com/planetemarcus/status/880400501476642816

https://twitter.com/Michelin_Sport/status/880385830388367365

https://twitter.com/Michelin_Sport/status/880395207879127040

https://twitter.com/MSportLtd/status/880361247744696320

Shakedown results:

1. Thierry Neuville, Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC, 2:12.1
2. Ott Tänak, Ford Fiesta WRC, 2:12.3
3. Hayden Paddon, Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC, 2:12.7
4. Sébastien Ogier, Ford Fiesta WRC, 2:13.1
5. Jari-Matti Latvala, Toyota Yaris WRC, 2:13.3
6. Daniel Sordo, Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC, 2:13.8
7. Esapekka Lappi, Toyota Yaris WRC, 2:14.2
8. Mads Østberg, Ford Fiesta WRC, 2:14.5
9. Juho Hänninen, Toyota Yaris WRC, 2:14.7
10.Teemu Suninen, Ford Fiesta WRC, 2:15.2
11.Andreas Mikkelsen, Citroën C3 WRC, 2:15.2
12.Elfyn Evans, Ford Fiesta WRC, 2:15.3
13.Stéphane Lefebvre, Citroën C3 WRC, 2:16.0
14.Craig Breen, Citroën C3 WRC, 2:16.6
15.Valeriy Gorban, MINI John Cooper Works WRC, 2:26.4
16.Jean-Michel Raoux, Citroën DS3 WRC, 2:37.9
17.Jourdan Serderidis, Citroën DS3 WRC, 2:44.2

WRC2

1. Pontus Tidemand, SKODA Fabia R5, 2:24.8
2. Ole Christian Veiby, SKODA Fabia R5, 2:25.1
3. Gus Greensmith, Ford Fiesta R5, 2:27.9
4. Pedro Heller, Ford Fiesta R5, 2:28.2
5. Hubert Ptaszek, SKODA Fabia R5, 2:28.3
6. Osian Pryce, Ford Fiesta R5, 2:28.5
7. Quentin Gilbert, SKODA Fabia R5, 2:29.5
8. Wojciech Chuchała, Ford Fiesta R5, 2:29.6
9. Simone Tempestini, Citroën DS3 R5, 2:29.6
10.Benito Guerra, SKODA Fabia R5, 2:30.1
11.Jaroslaw Koltun, Ford Fiesta R5, 2:31.4
12.Raul Jeets, SKODA Fabia R5, 2:32.0
13.Łukasz Pieniążek, Peugeot 208 T16 R5, 2:32.1
14.Yoann Bonato, Citroën DS3 R5, 2:32.2
15.Fabio Andolfi, Hyundai i20 R5, 2:32.8

Shakedown, FIA World Rally Championship

Shakedown, Michelin Motorsport

Shakedown, Hyundai Motorsport

Shakedown, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing WRC

Shakedown, WRCantabria

Shakedown, GRB rally

Shakedown, Rallymedia

Shakedown, GHrallyemotion

Shakedown, MeTHKa

Shakedown, Power Stage

Shakedown, Devillersvideo

Shakedown, J-Records

https://twitter.com/rajdpolski/status/880390259405709316

FIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP
Rally Poland
Pre-event Press Conference
Thursday 29th June

Present:
Ott Tänak, M-Sport World Rally Team
Thierry Neuville, Hyundai Motorsport
Esapekka Lappi, Toyota GAZOO Racing WRT
Craig Breen, Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT

Q:
Ott, you took your first WRC win in Italy at the last event. How does that feel now that you’ve had time to digest it over the past two weeks? What was the reception like at home when you returned? Does it give you extra confidence coming here?
OT:
Definitely it was a nice moment. I was working for it for a long time now. A couple of times I was close and just missed it. I’m sure it makes us more hungry. Sardinia was a rough event. It looks like smart to be smart is the way.

Q:
Tell us about the greeting you had at the airport when you went home from Sardinia?
OT:
I was not so happy. My daughter start to cry a bit and she was a bit frightened. It was nice to have this kind of reception though. I am sure it is a big boost for motor sport in Estonia. It’s a long time since Markko (Martin) won and it’s nice to get back.

Q:
Last year you were cruelly denied a win at this event. Do you feel you have a score to settle this time?
OT:
For sure, it’s a nice place with the atmosphere and quite like Estonia. It’s almost the closest WRC event for me. It definitely feels like a home event and the nature of the roads is similar. I always enjoy it here.

Q:
You are also in the title fight this year now…
OT:
Yes, it’s pretty interesting and we are still in touch with the guys in front. I am even with Jari-Matti (Latvala) and we still have half the season to go. A lot can happen. We need to stay smart and hopefully it stays interesting to the end of season.

Q:
Thierry, you achieved good points away from Italy and have edged a little closer to Ogier in the Championship standings, just 18 points adrift. What is your objective here?
TN:
Similar like before. We have to catch a couple of points back. It went well in Sardinia and we could have been in the lead without a small brake failure. The margin to the guys behind is not so big as well and a couple of them are pushing hard. I have been five in a row on the podium. The speed is there for all the races. I am sure I have my bad luck so far. At one point in the season I hope to be in the leading position. Esapekka (Lappi) drove very well on the last rally. Power Stage points are important. Ogier took one more than me, but the main goal was to be ahead. The Power Stage has more importance than previous years. There are five points to catch. I am sure this is the fastest Power Stage of the year.

Q:
What do these stages demand from a driver? How brave can you be to achieve ultimate speed? Are there areas that can catch you out?
TN:
I am born brave so it is a good rally for me! The most difficult thing is to manage the gap between brave and too brave and find the safe limit. There may be tricky conditions with the rain during the weekend and some fell last night. It will be more tricky and we will need to find the right balance.

Q:
Esapekka, with five stage wins and the Power Stage victory in Italy you were on fine form. You seem to be pushing yourself to achieve more on every stage. What can we expect from you here?
EP:
It’s difficult to say but it is not so easy. Obviously it is the fastest rally of the calendar and Sardinia was the slowest. You need a different driving style and more confidence. You need to be fully confident. The rain will mix it up, for sure.

Q:
What are your expectations for the rally?
EP:
For sure, I surprised myself as well last time. I want to improve all the time. It doesn’t matter what the situation is. That’s my motivation. All I want is to be better and better. It is getting tricky to find the last steps (of improvement).

Q:
You have won this event before in the ERC and have knowledge of the stages here. Is aiming for the podium a possibility? What are your own personal targets for this event?
EP:
No numbers in my mind. If I make a mistake and we are running out of the road, I am not happy. I want to keep continuing the learning process. This is the third rally for me and I want to get maximum mileage and reach the finish.

Q:
Craig, before we chat about this event you were competing at the weekend at home in a Mark II Escort with a good friend alongside you in the co-driving seat. Tell us a little bit about that experience.
CB:
It was especially a great weekend. Paddy, my friend, is unique. It was my home rally, the Raven’s Rock, a tarmac event in Ireland that is close to my heart. Some of you may have met Paddy here before. We decided to do the rally together back home with Paddy as my co-driver. But he got stage fright and we had to put the pace notes in the bag. I cried at the end of the last stage as we had so much fun – his dream had come true. He’ll be pulling to get into the car beside me here as well. I guess 300km here is a bit different to 100km back home though!

Q:
You are seventh in the Championship as we head into Rally Poland. Italy didn’t quite go to plan but what can we see from you here? Back to the ‘sweet spot’ of fifth overall?
CB
I think if I can maintain the same speed, there seems to be a sweet spot for me in the top five. Can we do it again? Why not? It’s a rally we have done before. It’s my second time with a WRC car on some familiar stages so a top five would be nice.

Q:
How was pre-event testing? I understand we are seeing a change to the C3 WRC here but only to Mikkelsen’s car in terms of the mechanical homologation joker? Do you feel things are things moving in the right direction?
CB:
Our test went well. There were some changes that we had been thinking about since the start of the year. Kris, me and Stéphane had discussed them and they were implemented and Andreas said it was a good start. Me and Stéphane will not have the upgrade here. We don’t know until we see a rally environment how good they are. We need fresh roads before we will see how it works, but it’s an exciting time. I did a couple of runs with the upgrade. It’s definitely the step we expected but it’s never night and day on a test road. These rallies don’t show the true potential. I guess on slow twisty rallies it will be better.

FIA WRC 2 CHAMPIONSHIP

Present:
Osian Pryce, Drive DMACK Team
Hubert Ptaszek, ORLEN Team

Q:
Osian, it has been a busy time for you lately competing at Ypres and now leading the British Rally Championship. Does that give you a bit more confidence coming here to compete at Rally Poland?
OP:
Yes, we had a good start to the year and the BRC has helped to get used to the R5 car. Still it is my first WRC event with the R5. Ypres was a bit different to this but we have brought the Welsh weather with us. I think it’s going to be a bit of a lottery for everyone to be honest if it rains, but I look forward to it. It was a nightmare trying to get through in a two-wheel drive car last year. On gravel we had a couple of events and we have been close to winning BRC events back home. The shakedown times were good. Ypres was the first time on tarmac and we got the hang of it.

Q:
What do you think of the stages and what is your target for the weekend?
OP:
The new stage, SS12, is not quite the same as the other stages but we have to be careful. The speeds are high and it is easy to be caught out. I don’t have a target. I want to do the best I can for the team and for my supporters.

Q:
Hubert, home event for you and I’m sure one you are looking forward to! Push for the podium on the cards?
HP:
For sure, we are getting faster and faster. I guess there is some pressure competing at home. We will see how it works and see what is the weather forecast that will come. Weather conditions will be tricky and fast times will not come easy. It was good for us to run the shakedown in wet conditions to see how it works. Everything was working good. We will see what happens. Dry conditions are easier because in fast sections it is hard to keep the line. On wet, slippery roads you can go out of the line and it is not so easy to come back to the road. I try to focus on the driving. The pace notes are ready so we try to push. If we make everything good the times will come. I am not calculating after the stages.

FIA JUNIOR WRC / WRC 3 CHAMPIONSHIP

Present:
Dillon Van Way
Sebastian Careaga

Q:
Dillon, 2017 was always going to be a steep learning curve each event for the first time. How do you feel it has been so far?
DVW:
It’s been really fun and just a great experience of being here. It is incredible coming from the States (USA) and a lot of fun and we are getting better with each rally.

Q:
What areas have you found most difficult and what has surprised you about the Championship? What has been the biggest thing you have learnt so far?
DVW:
In general, the notes here. We struggle because we don’t have the same recce in the US – I guess it’s pretty much the same in the rest of the world. My navigator (Dai Roberts) is doing a great job. We are doing pretty well for our fourth WRC event.

Q:
This will be the fastest event you have competed on this year, what do you think of the stages here?
DVW:
I think it’s going to be fun. It’s definitely fast. But, in an R2, the car is light and can stop pretty quick if it goes wrong. We would like to finish every rally. That’s the goal and I really want to keep improving. I was off the pace in Corsica and much better in Sardinia.

Q:
Sebastian, you come from South America, is this a learning experience for you too?
SC:
For me, the WRC is incredible and to get to the finish line and gain more experience and improve the pace is my target.

Q:
What are the toughest challenges?
SC:
For me, I believe to go as fast as the road goes. It is really tricky to go so fast with so many crests. It’s just hard. We did shakedown today. It went pretty good. We were trying to learn to enjoy the rally.

https://twitter.com/CitroenRacing/status/880426283418636289

https://twitter.com/DMACK_Tyres/status/880491190776459266

https://twitter.com/rallyparadise/status/880490633944805376

SS 1: Esapekka Lappi had some problems with the engine.

https://twitter.com/TGR_WRC/status/880505029911867392

SS 1: Juho Hänninen picked up a 10 sec penalty for a jump start.

Friday 30 June

6:25 Service A (Mikołajki) – 18 min
7:15 SS 2 Chmielewo 1 (6,52 km)
9:00 SS 3 Wieliczki 1 (15,05 km)
9:55 SS 4 Świętajno 1 (19,60 km)
10:40 SS 5 Stare Juchy 1 (13,50 km)
12:25 Service B (Mikołajki) – 33 min
13:45 SS 6 Chmielewo 2 (6,52 km)
15:30 SS 7 Wieliczki 2 (15,05 km)
16:25 SS 8 Świętajno 2 (19,60 km)
17:10 SS 9 Stare Juchy 2 (13,50 km)
19:08 SS 10 Mikołajki Arena 2 (2,50 km)
19:38 Flexi Service C (Mikołajki) – 48 min
‘Meet the Crews’, Service Park, During the 45′ service

Competitive distance: 116,16 km (Liaison 469,08 km, Total 585,24 km)

The starting order:

ORD ENTRANT (TEAM) DRIVER/CODRIVER NAT. NR CAR GR CL SEED PR  
1 M-Sport World Rally Team Sébastien Ogier / Julien Ingrassia F 1 Ford Fiesta WRC RC1 WRC P1 M
2 Hyundai Motorsport Thierry Neuville / Nicolas Gilsoul B 5 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC RC1 WRC P1 M
3 M-Sport World Rally Team Ott Tänak / Martin Järveoja EE 2 Ford Fiesta WRC RC1 WRC P1 M
4 TOYOTA GAZOO Racing W.R.T. Jari-Matti Latvala / Miikka Anttila FIN 10 Toyota Yaris WRC RC1 WRC P1 M
5 Hyundai Motorsport Daniel Sordo / Marc Marti E 6 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC RC1 WRC P1 M
6 M-Sport World Rally Team Elfyn Evans / Daniel Barrit GB 3 Ford Fiesta WRC RC1 WRC P1 M
7 Citroën Total Abu Dhabi W.R.T. Craig Breen / Scott Martin IRL/GB 8 Citroën C3 WRC RC1 WRC P1 M
8 Hyundai Motorsport Hayden Paddon / Sebastian Marshall NZ/GB 4 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC RC1 WRC P1 M
9 TOYOTA GAZOO Racing W.R.T. Juho Hänninen / Kaj Lindström FIN 11 Toyota Yaris WRC RC1 WRC P1 M
10 TOYOTA GAZOO Racing W.R.T. Esapekka Lappi / Janne Ferm FIN 12 Toyota Yaris WRC RC1 WRC P1 M
11 Citroën Total Abu Dhabi W.R.T. Andreas Mikkelsen / Anders Jaeger N 7 Citroën C3 WRC RC1 WRC P1 M
12 M-Sport World Rally Team (One Bet Jipocar W.R.T.) Mads Østberg / Ola Fløene N 14 Ford Fiesta WRC RC1 WRC P1
13 Citroën Total Abu Dhabi W.R.T. Stéphane Lefebvre / Gabin Moreau F 9 Citroën C3 WRC RC1 WRC P1 M
14 M-Sport World Rally Team Teemu Suninen / Mikko Markkula FIN 15 Ford Fiesta WRC RC1 WRC P1
15 Eurolamp World Rally Team Valeriy Gorban / Sergei Larens UA/EE 21 MINI John Cooper Works WRC RC1 WRC P1 WRC Trophy
16 Jean-Michel Raoux / Laurent Magat F 23 Citroën DS3 WRC RC1 WRC P1 WRC Trophy
17 (J-Motorsport) Jourdan Serderidis / Lara Vanneste GR/B 22 Citroën DS3 WRC RC1 WRC P1 WRC Trophy
18 ŠKODA Motorsport II Pontus Tidemand / Jonas Andersson S 31 ŠKODA Fabia R5 RC2 R5 P2 WRC2
19 Printsport Ole Christian Veiby / Stig Rune Skjærmoen N 34 ŠKODA Fabia R5 RC2 R5 P2 WRC2
20 Motorsport Italia srl Benito Guerra / Daniel Cué MEX/E 32 ŠKODA Fabia R5 RC2 R5 P2 WRC2
21 Gekon Racing Simone Tempestini / Giovanni Bernacchini RO/I 33 Citroën DS3 R5 RC2 R5 P2 WRC2
22 TRT Peugeot WRT Łukasz Pieniążek / Przemysław Mazur PL 39 Peugeot 208 T16 R5 RC2 R5 P2 WRC2
23 (M-Sport) Gus Greensmith / Craig Parry GB 35 Ford Fiesta R5 RC2 R5 P2 WRC2
24 (M-Sport) Pedro Heller / Pablo Olmos CHL/RA 36 Ford Fiesta R5 RC2 R5 P2 WRC2
25 Orlen Team (Tagai Racing Technology) Hubert Ptaszek / Maciej Szczepaniak PL 38 ŠKODA Fabia R5 RC2 R5 P2 WRC2
26 (Tagai Rally Technology) Quentin Gilbert / Renaud Jamoul F/B 40 ŠKODA Fabia R5 RC2 R5 P2 WRC2
27 C-Rally Jarosław Kołtun / Ireneusz Pleskot PL 41 Ford Fiesta R5 RC2 R5 P2 WRC2
28 Wojciech Chuchała / Sebastian Rozwadowski PL 42 Ford Fiesta R5 RC2 R5 P2 WRC2
29 ACI Team Italia Fabio Andolfi / Manuel Fenoli I 43 Hyundai i20 R5 RC2 R5 P2 WRC2
30 (CHL Sport Auto) Yoann Bonato / Benjamin Boulloud F 44 Citroën DS3 R5 RC2 R5 P2 WRC2
31 Tehase Auto Raul Jeets / Kuldar Sikk EE 45 ŠKODA Fabia R5 RC2 R5 P2 WRC2
32 Drive DMACK Trophy Team (M-Sport) Osian Pryce / Dale Furniss GB 46 Ford Fiesta R5 RC2 R5 P2 WRC2
33 M-Sport World Rally Team Eric Camilli / Benjamin Veillas F 91 Ford Fiesta R5 RC2 R5
34 (Équipe de France FFSA Rallye – M-Sport) Pierre-Louis Loubet / Vincent Landais F 92 Ford Fiesta R5 RC2 R5
35 (CHL Sport Auto) Raphaël Astier / Frédéric Vauclare F 61 Peugeot 208 R2 RC4 R2 P3 WRC3
36 Name Rua Racing Francisco Name / Armando Zapata MEX 62 Citroën DS3 R3T Max RC3 R3T P3 WRC3
37 Go+Cars Jakub Brzeziński / Szymon Marciniak PL 63 Citroën DS3 R3T Max RC3 R3T P3 WRC3
38 Nil Solans / Miquel Ibáñez Sotos F 71 Ford Fiesta R2T RC4 R2 P3 WRC3/JWRC
39 Nicolas Ciamin / Thibault de la Haye F 74 Ford Fiesta R2T RC4 R2 P3 WRC3/JWRC
40 Terry Folb / Christopher Guieu F 72 Ford Fiesta R2T RC4 R2 P3 WRC3/JWRC
41 ADAC Sachsen Julius Tannert / Jürgen Heigl D/A 73 Ford Fiesta R2T RC4 R2 P3 WRC3/JWRC
42 Dennis Rådström / Johan Johansson S 78 Ford Fiesta R2T RC4 R2 P3 WRC3/JWRC
43 Emil Lindholm / Tomi Tuominen FIN 80 Ford Fiesta R2T RC4 R2 P3 WRC3/JWRC
44 Sebastian Careaga / Rodrigo Sanjuan BOL/E 79 Ford Fiesta R2T RC4 R2 P3 WRC3/JWRC
45 Dillon van Way / Dai Roberts USA/GB 77 Ford Fiesta R2T RC4 R2 P3 WRC3/JWRC
46 Juta KSK Jonas Pipiras / Aisvydas Paliukėnas LT 93 Ford Fiesta R2 RC4 R2
47 Alain Foulon / Gilles Delarche F 94 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X RC2 NR4
Robert Duggan / Tom Woodburn IRL/GB 75 Ford Fiesta R2T RC4 R2 cancelled entry WRC3/JWRC
Cueks Racing Miko Niinemäe / Martin Valter EE 76 Ford Fiesta R2T RC4 R2 cancelled entry WRC3/JWRC

https://twitter.com/rallyparadise/status/880653678742581248

https://twitter.com/HMSGOfficial/status/880659237713608705

https://twitter.com/MSportLtd/status/880647996916076544

https://twitter.com/thierryneuville/status/880645954545885185

https://twitter.com/MiikkaAnttila/status/880656146067050496

https://twitter.com/CitroenRacing/status/880648730575343618

https://twitter.com/MiikaWuorela/status/880661739221733376

https://twitter.com/TeemuSuninenRac/status/880660479433216001

https://twitter.com/PontusTidemand/status/880658003049029632

https://twitter.com/OfficialWRC/status/880649660083433473

https://twitter.com/voiceofrally/status/880649117629853697

https://twitter.com/akikojmlfani/status/880654620502130689

SS 2: Thierry Neuville went against the bank a coupe of times. There was no grip at all.

https://twitter.com/thierryneuville/status/880658097139834880

SS 2: Ott Tänak missed a bit one junction on the tarmac – went straight on.

https://twitter.com/OttTanak/status/880660041875030017

SS 2: Dani Sordo missed the first junction. Lost almost 10 seconds.

https://twitter.com/HMSGOfficial/status/880660409908416512

SS 2: Craig Breen had something broken in the transmission. It felt like two-wheel-drive. Lost almost 40 seconds.

https://twitter.com/CitroenRacing/status/880662379612303363

https://twitter.com/OfficialWRC/status/880669761276915714

https://twitter.com/CitroenRacing/status/880679994518904834

SS 2: Teemu Suninen stalled the engine in the first junction.

SS 2: Osian Pryce went of the road. The car was heavily damaged after multiple rolls. Retired

https://twitter.com/DMACK_Tyres/status/880678124769431553

https://twitter.com/OfficialWRC/status/880680365744062465

https://twitter.com/RadioOlsztyn/status/880682192254504960

https://twitter.com/JariMattiWRC/status/880687150899105792

https://twitter.com/TGR_WRC/status/880687684401889280

SS 4: Esapekka Lappi stopped at 17,1 km. Made a big cut, hit a rock and and the front-suspension was damaged. Retired -> Rally 2

https://twitter.com/OfficialWRC/status/880728087511658498

https://twitter.com/OfficialWRC/status/880710613693075456

SS 4: Simone Tempestini hit a rock and got a broken wheel. Retired -> Rally 2

SS 4: Raphaël Astier stopped due to the suspension problems. Retired -> Rally 2

SS 5: Ott Tänak stalled on the start line.

SS 5: Andreas Mikkelsen went out a bit  in a right-hander and hit a tree stump. The rear-left suspension was damaged. Lost over 1.45 minutes.

https://twitter.com/OfficialWRC/status/880729006248792064

https://twitter.com/rallyemag/status/880731186821292032

SS 5: Fabio Andolfi an electronic problem with the gearbox.

SS 2-5: Craig Breen suffered a transmission issue which left him with a three-wheel drive car. Lost seven minutes duting the morning.

https://twitter.com/rallyparadise/status/880721304814538753

https://twitter.com/MSportLtd/status/880793553672310785

SS 7: Hubert Ptaszek went off the road a. Retired -> Rally 2

https://twitter.com/TeamORLEN/status/880912365230936065

SS 8: Gus Greensmith went off at the end of stage, hit a concrete gully and broke a steering arm. Retired -> Rally 2

https://twitter.com/MSportLtd/status/880819899173666818

https://twitter.com/GreensmithGus/status/880881914000924672

https://twitter.com/TeemuSuninenRac/status/880814327523049473

https://twitter.com/HMSGOfficial/status/880812933600735232

SS 9: Teemu Suninen missed a junction and needed to reverse.

https://twitter.com/TeemuSuninenRac/status/880818565972099072

https://twitter.com/KristapsUsvils/status/880818544258240512

SS 9: Terry Folb had a rear-left puncture.

SS 9: Nicolas Ciamin had a spun and lost 10 seconds.

https://twitter.com/thierryneuville/status/880878835314679809

https://twitter.com/OttTanak/status/880851727234326528

https://twitter.com/JariMattiWRC/status/880838097482788864

https://twitter.com/SebOgier/status/880838913576898562

https://twitter.com/HaydenPaddon/status/880720227121737730

https://twitter.com/TeemuSuninenRac/status/880888774955343872

https://twitter.com/AMikkelsenRally/status/880843938621468674

https://twitter.com/EsapekkaLappi/status/880886819428106240

Thierry Neuville has inched into the lead of Rally Poland this afternoon after a thrilling battle that saw the lead change no fewer than three times in three consecutive stages. The Belgian holds a narrow 1.3 second advantage over Ott Tänak after nearly 120 kilometres of treacherous competition in the first full day of the eighth round of the FIA World Rally Championship. Jari-Matti Latvala is third for Toyota just 5.3 second adrift of the Estonian after a tricky afternoon.

After persistent rain throughout the morning, conditions remained difficult this afternoon despite some respite from the downfall. While those at the front of the field benefitted more during the first loop of stages, rutted roads filled with rainwater proved more difficult during the repeated stages and those just a couple of cars back fared better. The first repeated stage was cancelled for safety reasons, but after this Latvala headed back out in the lead and maintained his advantage after SS7. However, the Finn was a bit cautious in the following stage and both Tänak and Neuville were able to close the gap, Tanak taking the overall lead by a mere second with Neuville setting the fastest time and coming to within seven-tenths of a second of the demoted Latvala. Another fastest time for Neuville then saw him overhaul both his rivals to top the leaderboard going into the second run around the Mikolajki super special stage.

Sébastien Ogier has been on the limit the whole afternoon but opening the road meant the World Champion was the first to power through all the mud and standing water and he lost time to his rivals as a consequence. While he was embroiled in a four-way battle this morning, he has dropped back and is now over 30 seconds adrift of the leading trio. Hayden Paddon has run well this afternoon and after driving to survive the morning had a better afternoon after set-up changes aided his charge. He is fifth ahead of team-mate Dani Sordo, the Spaniard also finding conditions a little more stable during the second loop. Teemu Suninen, in his first outing in a 2017 specification World Rally Car, is having a great run and the young Finn was fastest in SS7 on only his sixth stage in the car. His is seventh in the Fiesta and ahead of Toyota’s factory driver Juho Hänninen. The Finn knew he’d have problems with the ruts and ride height of the Yaris, but mud-caked dampers meant he was unable to do anything about it before the start of SS8.

Stéphane Lefebvre remains the leading C3 WRC runner for the French marque. He has had a trouble-free day but is being hunted down by Mads Østberg, the Norwegian just a handful of seconds adrift in 10th overall. Andreas Mikkelsen, replacing Kris Meeke in Poland, had a better afternoon after the team repaired his broken suspension and made set-up changes. More at-one with the car he was able to set more competitive times, but then took a cautious approach in the penultimate stage having picked up a puncture before the start. He is 12th with team-mate Craig Breen 26th. After the Irishman broke a drive-shaft this morning leaving him with no option but to limp through the stages, the afternoon has been little better and Breen described it as one of the worst days of his career. Esapekka Lappi, who was forced out with broken suspension, is the lead retirement of the day and the Finn will not be restarting on Saturday.

Ole Christian Veiby is having a confident run in the FIA WRC 2 Championship category and heads series leader Pontus Tidemand, albeit by a mere 5.1 seconds. Quentin Gilbert has moved into third following the retirement of Gus Greensmith who was forced out with broken steering. Nil Solans now leads the Junior WRC category ahead of Dennis Radstrom and Emil Lindholm.

Results after Section 3

1.   Thierry Neuville / Nicolas Gilsoul Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC 56min 21.2sec
2.   Ott Tänak / Martin Järveoja Ford Fiesta WRC 56min 22.5sec
3.   Jari-Matti Latvala / Miikka Anttila Toyota Yaris WRC 56min 27.8sec
4.   Sébastien Ogier / Julien Ingrassia Ford Fiesta WRC 56min 56.3sec
5.   Hayden Paddon / Sebastian Marshall Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC 57min 00.8sec
6.   Dani Sordo / Marc Marti Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC 57min 12.9sec
7.   Teemu Suninen / Mikko Markkula Ford Fiesta WRC 57min 32.2sec
8.   Juho Hänninen/Kaj Lindström Toyota Yaris WRC 57min 50.1sec
9.   Stéphane Lefebvre / Gabin Moreau Citroën C3 WRC 57min 58.2sec
10. Mads Østberg / Ola Floene Ford Fiesta WRC 58min 03.9sec

SS 1-5, FIA World Rally Championship

SS 6-9, FIA World Rally Championship

Day 1 / WRC2, FIA World Rally Championship

Day 1 / JWRC, FIA World Rally Championship

Day 1, Michelin Motorsport

Day 1, Hyundai Motorsport

Day 1, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing WRC

Day 1, GRB rally

Day 1, GHrallyemotion

Day 1, Power Stage

Day 1, J-Records

Saturday 1 July

7:27 Service D (Mikolajki) – 18 min
8:08 SS 11 Baranowo 1 (15,55 km)
9:20 SS 12 Pozezdrze 1 (21,24 km)
10:45 SS 13 Goldap 1 (14,75 km)
11:35 SS 14 Kruklanki 1 (19,58 km)
13:12 Service E (Mikolajki) – 33 min
14:08 SS 15 Baranowo 2 (15,55 km)
15:20 SS 16 Pozezdrze 2 (21,24 km)
16:45 SS 17 Goldap 2 (14,75 km)
17:35 SS 18 Kruklanki 2 (19,58 km)
19:30 SSS 19 Mikolajki Arena 3 (2.50 km)
20:00 Service F (Mikolajki) – 48 min
‘Meet the Crews’, Service Park, During the 45′ service

Competitive distance: 144,74 km (Liaison 435,01 km, Total 579,75 km)

The starting order:

ORD ENTRANT (TEAM) DRIVER/CODRIVER NAT. NR CAR GR CL SEED PR  
1 Citroën Total Abu Dhabi W.R.T. Craig Breen / Scott Martin IRL/GB 8 Citroën C3 WRC RC1 WRC P1 M
2 Citroën Total Abu Dhabi W.R.T. Andreas Mikkelsen / Anders Jaeger N 7 Citroën C3 WRC RC1 WRC P1 M
3 M-Sport World Rally Team Elfyn Evans / Daniel Barrit GB 3 Ford Fiesta WRC RC1 WRC P1 M
4 M-Sport World Rally Team (One Bet Jipocar W.R.T.) Mads Østberg / Ola Fløene N 14 Ford Fiesta WRC RC1 WRC P1
5 Citroën Total Abu Dhabi W.R.T. Stéphane Lefebvre / Gabin Moreau F 9 Citroën C3 WRC RC1 WRC P1 M
6 TOYOTA GAZOO Racing W.R.T. Juho Hänninen / Kaj Lindström FIN 11 Toyota Yaris WRC RC1 WRC P1 M
7 M-Sport World Rally Team Teemu Suninen / Mikko Markkula FIN 15 Ford Fiesta WRC RC1 WRC P1
8 Hyundai Motorsport Daniel Sordo / Marc Marti E 6 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC RC1 WRC P1 M
9 Hyundai Motorsport Hayden Paddon / Sebastian Marshall NZ/GB 4 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC RC1 WRC P1 M
10 M-Sport World Rally Team Sébastien Ogier / Julien Ingrassia F 1 Ford Fiesta WRC RC1 WRC P1 M
11 TOYOTA GAZOO Racing W.R.T. Jari-Matti Latvala / Miikka Anttila FIN 10 Toyota Yaris WRC RC1 WRC P1 M
12 M-Sport World Rally Team Ott Tänak / Martin Järveoja EE 2 Ford Fiesta WRC RC1 WRC P1 M
13 Hyundai Motorsport Thierry Neuville / Nicolas Gilsoul B 5 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC RC1 WRC P1 M
14 Eurolamp World Rally Team Valeriy Gorban / Sergei Larens UA/EE 21 MINI John Cooper Works WRC RC1 WRC P1 WRC Trophy
15 Jean-Michel Raoux / Laurent Magat F 23 Citroën DS3 WRC RC1 WRC P1 WRC Trophy
16 (J-Motorsport) Jourdan Serderidis / Lara Vanneste GR/B 22 Citroën DS3 WRC RC1 WRC P1 WRC Trophy
17 Printsport Ole Christian Veiby / Stig Rune Skjærmoen N 34 ŠKODA Fabia R5 RC2 R5 P2 WRC2
18 ŠKODA Motorsport II Pontus Tidemand / Jonas Andersson S 31 ŠKODA Fabia R5 RC2 R5 P2 WRC2
19 (Équipe de France FFSA Rallye – M-Sport) Pierre-Louis Loubet / Vincent Landais F 92 Ford Fiesta R5 RC2 R5
20 M-Sport World Rally Team Eric Camilli / Benjamin Veillas F 91 Ford Fiesta R5 RC2 R5
21 (Tagai Rally Technology) Quentin Gilbert / Renaud Jamoul F/B 40 ŠKODA Fabia R5 RC2 R5 P2 WRC2
22 Motorsport Italia srl Benito Guerra / Daniel Cué MEX/E 32 ŠKODA Fabia R5 RC2 R5 P2 WRC2
23 (CHL Sport Auto) Yoann Bonato / Benjamin Boulloud F 44 Citroën DS3 R5 RC2 R5 P2 WRC2
24 Wojciech Chuchała / Sebastian Rozwadowski PL 42 Ford Fiesta R5 RC2 R5 P2 WRC2
25 Tehase Auto Raul Jeets / Kuldar Sikk EE 45 ŠKODA Fabia R5 RC2 R5 P2 WRC2
26 TRT Peugeot WRT Łukasz Pieniążek / Przemysław Mazur PL 39 Peugeot 208 T16 R5 RC2 R5 P2 WRC2
27 C-Rally Jarosław Kołtun / Ireneusz Pleskot PL 41 Ford Fiesta R5 RC2 R5 P2 WRC2
28 (M-Sport) Pedro Heller / Pablo Olmos CHL/RA 36 Ford Fiesta R5 RC2 R5 P2 WRC2
29 ACI Team Italia Fabio Andolfi / Manuel Fenoli I 43 Hyundai i20 R5 RC2 R5 P2 WRC2
30 (M-Sport) Gus Greensmith / Craig Parry GB 35 Ford Fiesta R5 RC2 R5 P2 WRC2
31 Gekon Racing Simone Tempestini / Giovanni Bernacchini RO/I 33 Citroën DS3 R5 RC2 R5 P2 WRC2
32 Nil Solans / Miquel Ibáñez Sotos F 71 Ford Fiesta R2T RC4 R2 P3 WRC3/JWRC
33 Dennis Rådström / Johan Johansson S 78 Ford Fiesta R2T RC4 R2 P3 WRC3/JWRC
34 Emil Lindholm / Tomi Tuominen FIN 80 Ford Fiesta R2T RC4 R2 P3 WRC3/JWRC
35 Terry Folb / Christopher Guieu F 72 Ford Fiesta R2T RC4 R2 P3 WRC3/JWRC
36 Nicolas Ciamin / Thibault de la Haye F 74 Ford Fiesta R2T RC4 R2 P3 WRC3/JWRC
37 Go+Cars Jakub Brzeziński / Szymon Marciniak PL 63 Citroën DS3 R3T Max RC3 R3T P3 WRC3
38 ADAC Sachsen Julius Tannert / Jürgen Heigl D/A 73 Ford Fiesta R2T RC4 R2 P3 WRC3/JWRC
39 Dillon van Way / Dai Roberts USA/GB 77 Ford Fiesta R2T RC4 R2 P3 WRC3/JWRC
40 Juta KSK Jonas Pipiras / Aisvydas Paliukėnas LT 93 Ford Fiesta R2 RC4 R2
41 (CHL Sport Auto) Raphaël Astier / Frédéric Vauclare F 61 Peugeot 208 R2 RC4 R2 P3 WRC3
42 Name Rua Racing Francisco Name / Armando Zapata MEX 62 Citroën DS3 R3T Max RC3 R3T P3 WRC3
43 Sebastian Careaga / Rodrigo Sanjuan BOL/E 79 Ford Fiesta R2T RC4 R2 P3 WRC3/JWRC
44 Alain Foulon / Gilles Delarche F 94 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X RC2 NR4

https://twitter.com/rallyparadise/status/881033272637104128

https://twitter.com/voiceofrally/status/881007904102461442

https://twitter.com/rajdpolski/status/881030584616849408

https://twitter.com/Michelin_Sport/status/881033658974523392

https://twitter.com/HMSGOfficial/status/881028598223835136

https://twitter.com/CitroenRacing/status/881022620115849217

https://twitter.com/Michelin_Sport/status/881031723571494913

https://twitter.com/voiceofrally/status/881025474482360320

https://twitter.com/HMSGOfficial/status/881052843184148480

https://twitter.com/TGR_WRC/status/881047792294035456

SS 11: Łukasz Pieniążek had some electrics problems. Retired -> Rally 2

SS 11: Jarosław Kołtun had a road accident on the liaison section to the stage. Retired

SS 12: Andread Mikkelsen went off into a field and lost some time.

SS 12: Sébastien Ogier hit a stone in the first corner. The rear-left wheel was broken, the front bumper missing and the splitter hanging off. Lost almost 30 seconds.

https://twitter.com/MSportLtd/status/881067405820252160

https://twitter.com/SebOgier/status/881088188323856384

https://twitter.com/SebOgier/status/881089300426870785

SS 12: Ott Tänak went off into a field.

https://twitter.com/OttTanak/status/881067149611212800

https://twitter.com/Michelin_Sport/status/881066530779389952

SS 12: Pierre-Louis Loubet hit a rock. The right-rear suspension was damaged. The wheel was running out of alignment.

https://twitter.com/OfficialWRC/status/881094640321122304

SS 12: Fabio Andolfi went off the road and got stuck for a while. Lost over 10 minutes.

SS 14: Andread Mikkelsen missed a junction, went into a field and through an electric fence.

https://twitter.com/OfficialWRC/status/881102003480535040

SS 15: Jari-Matti Latvala ad a scary moment less than 1 km before the finish. Went sideways in a rut – thought it was going to roll.

SS 15: Juho Hänninen picked up a puncture. Lost at least 10 seconds.

SS 16: Jari-Matti Latvala stopped at 12.9 km due to a technical issue. A broken gearbox. Retired -> Rally 2

https://twitter.com/martlainas/status/881174799170637829

https://twitter.com/JariMattiWRC/status/881169666940522498

SS 16: Ott Tänak lost the rear wing. It just flew off.

https://twitter.com/OttTanak/status/881152085097689088

SS 16: Thierry Neuville had a rear-left puncture. It happened 2 km after the start. Lost over 20 seconds.

https://twitter.com/eWRCresults/status/881154583703244802

SS 16: Emil Lindholm went off the road and hit a tree. Retired -> Rally 2

https://twitter.com/JuniorWRC/status/881172915865214977

https://twitter.com/T_Tuominen/status/881167283095314432

https://twitter.com/skodafabiar5/status/881177729814712322

SS 17: Simone Tempestini hit a stone and got a broken intercooler. Retired -> Rally 2

SS 18: Dani Sordo got a puncture.

https://twitter.com/HMSGOfficial/status/881184718326296576

https://twitter.com/DMACK_Tyres/status/881208835549138944

https://twitter.com/HMSGOfficial/status/881225255511093248

https://twitter.com/rajdpolski/status/881236314078760961

https://twitter.com/nicolasgilsoul/status/881221257324265474

https://twitter.com/OttTanak/status/881186978796011520

https://twitter.com/HaydenPaddon/status/881217492210864131

 

https://twitter.com/skodafabiar5/status/881215585002115072

https://twitter.com/GreensmithGus/status/881244611297103875

https://twitter.com/JuniorWRC/status/881227604963078144

The afternoon loop of Rally Poland stages have been packed with drama as all three leading drivers hit trouble in the same stage. Jari-Matti Latvala, third at the time, was the first; the Finn hit a compression and suddenly lost drive, forcing him into retirement. Tänak’s rear wing then fell off while he was leading and, while he was able to continue, the loss of downforce in the stage – and the remaining three stages – left the Estonian struggling with a totally unstable car. Thierry Neuville fared the best of the trio and while he lost over 20 seconds with a puncture, his was a quick fix at the end of the stage and he was able to then re-take Tänak for the overnight lead. However, he is only 3.1 seconds ahead, setting up an epic fight to the finish on Sunday.

As a consequence of Latvala’s retirement, Hayden Paddon has climbed into the final provisional podium position, the Kiwi driver also on a real charge this afternoon. While the 25.5 second deficit to the lead is too much to overcome on speed alone, he has had a clean run this afternoon and set two fastest times. Championship leader Sébastien Ogier was sixth going into the repeated loop after his earlier problems and then had concerns about the Fiesta’s engine. Even so, he managed to overhaul Dani Sordo for fourth after the Spaniard made a big mistake at a hairpin approaching it flat out. He then also picked up a puncture in the final long stage and overnight’s 11.8 seconds adrift of Ogier.

Teemu Suninen continues his fine run in his debut outing in the 2017 Fiesta WRC but admitted to driving too slowly and cautiously in the ruts, a WRC car able to survive this kind of punishment by comparison with his usual R5 machinery. He is sixth, on course for a career-best WRC result and ahead of Stéphane Lefebvre, the Frenchman still Citroën’s lead driver. After a trouble-free day, he then had a problem with the rear diff in the penultimate stage but was otherwise happy with his performance. Mads Østberg holds eighth with Elfyn Evans and Andreas Mikkelsen in pursuit.

In the FIA WRC 2 Championship, Ole Christian Veiby continues to lead and the Norwegian now has over a minute in hand to Pontus Tidemand. Both drivers suffered punctures in SS17 but Veiby fared better and extended his advantage significantly in this single stage. Nil Solans has control of the FIA Junior WRC Championship category, the Spaniard winning two of the afternoon stages to head Dennis Radstrom by 40.1 seconds.

The final day of competition on Sunday takes in two stages, both repeated, and 59.66 competitive kilometres.

Results after Section 5

1.   Thierry Neuville / Nicolas Gilsoul Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC 2hr 10min 26.3sec
2.   Ott Tänak / Martin Järveoja Ford Fiesta WRC 2hr 10min 29.4sec
3.   Hayden Paddon / Sebastian Marshall Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC 2hr 10min 51.8sec
4.   Sébastien Ogier / Julien Ingrassia Ford Fiesta WRC 2hr 11min 58.3sec
5.   Dani Sordo / Marc Marti Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC 2hr 12min 10.1sec
6.   Teemu Suninen / Mikko Markkula Ford Fiesta WRC 2hr 12min 32.5sec
7.   Stéphane Lefebvre / Gabin Moreau Citroën C3 WRC 2hr 12min 46.6sec
8.   Mads Østberg / Ola Floene Ford Fiesta WRC 2hr 13min 12.1sec
9.   Elfyn Evans / Daniel Barritt Ford Fiesta WRC 2hr 13min 49.4sec
10. Andreas Mikkelsen / Anders Jæger Citroën C3 WRC 2hr 14min 00.9sec

SS 13-18, FIA World Rally Championship

Day 2 / WRC2, FIA World Rally Championship

Day 2 / JWRC, FIA World Rally Championship

Day 2, Michelin Motorsport

Day 2, Hyundai Motorsport

Day 2, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing WRC

Day 2, GRB rally

Day 2, GHrallyemotion

Day 2, Power Stage

Sunday 2 July

6:40 Service G (Mikolajki) – 18 min)
8:10 SS 20 Orzysz 1 (11,15 km)
9:08 SS 21 Paprotki 1 (18,68 km)
10:45 SS 22 Orzysz 2 (11,15 km)
11:32 Regroup (Miłki)
12:18 SS 23 Powerstage Paprotki 2 (18,68 km)
13:40 Service H (Mikolajki) – 13 min
14:30 Prize-Giving and podium ceremony, Mikołajki Main Square
15:00 FIA Press Conference, Press Room

Competitive distance: 59,66 km (Liaison 184,10 km, Total 234,76 km)

The starting order:

ORD ENTRANT (TEAM) DRIVER/CODRIVER NAT. NR CAR GR CL SEED PR  
1 Citroën Total Abu Dhabi W.R.T. Craig Breen / Scott Martin IRL/GB 8 Citroën C3 WRC RC1 WRC P1 M
2 TOYOTA GAZOO Racing W.R.T. Juho Hänninen / Kaj Lindström FIN 11 Toyota Yaris WRC RC1 WRC P1 M
3 Citroën Total Abu Dhabi W.R.T. Andreas Mikkelsen / Anders Jaeger N 7 Citroën C3 WRC RC1 WRC P1 M
4 M-Sport World Rally Team Elfyn Evans / Daniel Barrit GB 3 Ford Fiesta WRC RC1 WRC P1 M
5 M-Sport World Rally Team (One Bet Jipocar W.R.T.) Mads Østberg / Ola Fløene N 14 Ford Fiesta WRC RC1 WRC P1
6 Citroën Total Abu Dhabi W.R.T. Stéphane Lefebvre / Gabin Moreau F 9 Citroën C3 WRC RC1 WRC P1 M
7 M-Sport World Rally Team Teemu Suninen / Mikko Markkula FIN 15 Ford Fiesta WRC RC1 WRC P1
8 Hyundai Motorsport Daniel Sordo / Marc Marti E 6 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC RC1 WRC P1 M
9 M-Sport World Rally Team Sébastien Ogier / Julien Ingrassia F 1 Ford Fiesta WRC RC1 WRC P1 M
10 Hyundai Motorsport Hayden Paddon / Sebastian Marshall NZ/GB 4 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC RC1 WRC P1 M
11 M-Sport World Rally Team Ott Tänak / Martin Järveoja EE 2 Ford Fiesta WRC RC1 WRC P1 M
12 Hyundai Motorsport Thierry Neuville / Nicolas Gilsoul B 5 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC RC1 WRC P1 M
13 TOYOTA GAZOO Racing W.R.T. Jari-Matti Latvala / Miikka Anttila FIN 10 Toyota Yaris WRC RC1 WRC P1 M
14 Eurolamp World Rally Team Valeriy Gorban / Sergei Larens UA/EE 21 MINI John Cooper Works WRC RC1 WRC P1 WRC Trophy
15 Jean-Michel Raoux / Laurent Magat F 23 Citroën DS3 WRC RC1 WRC P1 WRC Trophy
16 (J-Motorsport) Jourdan Serderidis / Lara Vanneste GR/B 22 Citroën DS3 WRC RC1 WRC P1 WRC Trophy
17 Printsport Ole Christian Veiby / Stig Rune Skjærmoen N 34 ŠKODA Fabia R5 RC2 R5 P2 WRC2
18 ŠKODA Motorsport II Pontus Tidemand / Jonas Andersson S 31 ŠKODA Fabia R5 RC2 R5 P2 WRC2
19 M-Sport World Rally Team Eric Camilli / Benjamin Veillas F 91 Ford Fiesta R5 RC2 R5
20 (Tagai Rally Technology) Quentin Gilbert / Renaud Jamoul F/B 40 ŠKODA Fabia R5 RC2 R5 P2 WRC2
21 Motorsport Italia srl Benito Guerra / Daniel Cué MEX/E 32 ŠKODA Fabia R5 RC2 R5 P2 WRC2
22 (CHL Sport Auto) Yoann Bonato / Benjamin Boulloud F 44 Citroën DS3 R5 RC2 R5 P2 WRC2
23 Wojciech Chuchała / Sebastian Rozwadowski PL 42 Ford Fiesta R5 RC2 R5 P2 WRC2
24 Tehase Auto Raul Jeets / Kuldar Sikk EE 45 ŠKODA Fabia R5 RC2 R5 P2 WRC2
25 (Équipe de France FFSA Rallye – M-Sport) Pierre-Louis Loubet / Vincent Landais F 92 Ford Fiesta R5 RC2 R5
26 (M-Sport) Gus Greensmith / Craig Parry GB 35 Ford Fiesta R5 RC2 R5 P2 WRC2
27 Gekon Racing Simone Tempestini / Giovanni Bernacchini RO/I 33 Citroën DS3 R5 RC2 R5 P2 WRC2
28 ACI Team Italia Fabio Andolfi / Manuel Fenoli I 43 Hyundai i20 R5 RC2 R5 P2 WRC2
29 (M-Sport) Pedro Heller / Pablo Olmos CHL/RA 36 Ford Fiesta R5 RC2 R5 P2 WRC2
30 TRT Peugeot WRT Łukasz Pieniążek / Przemysław Mazur PL 39 Peugeot 208 T16 R5 RC2 R5 P2 WRC2
31 Nil Solans / Miquel Ibáñez Sotos F 71 Ford Fiesta R2T RC4 R2 P3 WRC3/JWRC
32 Dennis Rådström / Johan Johansson S 78 Ford Fiesta R2T RC4 R2 P3 WRC3/JWRC
33 Terry Folb / Christopher Guieu F 72 Ford Fiesta R2T RC4 R2 P3 WRC3/JWRC
34 Go+Cars Jakub Brzeziński / Szymon Marciniak PL 63 Citroën DS3 R3T Max RC3 R3T P3 WRC3
35 Nicolas Ciamin / Thibault de la Haye F 74 Ford Fiesta R2T RC4 R2 P3 WRC3/JWRC
36 ADAC Sachsen Julius Tannert / Jürgen Heigl D/A 73 Ford Fiesta R2T RC4 R2 P3 WRC3/JWRC
37 Emil Lindholm / Tomi Tuominen FIN 80 Ford Fiesta R2T RC4 R2 P3 WRC3/JWRC
38 Dillon van Way / Dai Roberts USA/GB 77 Ford Fiesta R2T RC4 R2 P3 WRC3/JWRC
39 Name Rua Racing Francisco Name / Armando Zapata MEX 62 Citroën DS3 R3T Max RC3 R3T P3 WRC3
40 Juta KSK Jonas Pipiras / Aisvydas Paliukėnas LT 93 Ford Fiesta R2 RC4 R2
41 Sebastian Careaga / Rodrigo Sanjuan BOL/E 79 Ford Fiesta R2T RC4 R2 P3 WRC3/JWRC
42 Alain Foulon / Gilles Delarche F 94 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X RC2 NR4
43 (CHL Sport Auto) Raphaël Astier / Frédéric Vauclare F 61 Peugeot 208 R2 RC4 R2 P3 WRC3

https://twitter.com/rallyparadise/status/881393596771037184

https://twitter.com/rajdpolski/status/881392670660317184

https://twitter.com/Michelin_Sport/status/881385086347882498

https://twitter.com/OttTanak/status/881394494222065664

https://twitter.com/HaydenPaddon/status/881377528241369089

https://twitter.com/CitroenRacing/status/881376755734523905

https://twitter.com/JariMattiWRC/status/881389698152878080

https://twitter.com/TGR_WRC/status/881395898420539392

https://twitter.com/OCVeiby/status/881388904166940672

https://twitter.com/MotorsportSkoda/status/881388737627910145

https://twitter.com/JuniorWRC/status/881395974555541509

https://twitter.com/OfficialWRC/status/881404400828395521

SS 20: Raul Jeets went off the road and rolled. Retired

SS 21: Andreas Mikkelsen went straight in a junction. No grip in a braking zone. Lost at least 25 seconds.

https://twitter.com/AMikkelsenRally/status/881414109459349504

SS 21: Stéphane Lefebvre clipped the fence on the apex to a right-hander. There was at least a metre of wooden fence post wedged in the front grille of his Citroen.

https://twitter.com/voiceofrally/status/881415720088764417

SS 21: Ott Tänak hit a bank with the rear and it pulled the front into a tree. The front end was badly crunched. Lost 1.45 minutes. Retired

https://twitter.com/inforallyes/status/881460702547980288

https://twitter.com/OttTanak/status/881421331308392452

https://twitter.com/JonArmstrong84/status/881442752004841473

https://twitter.com/voiceofrally/status/881420091560275968

https://twitter.com/rajdpolski/status/881428491287265280

https://twitter.com/thierryneuville/status/881421949469175808

https://twitter.com/HMSGOfficial/status/881433737073917952

SS 21: Jean-Michel Raoux hit a tree. Retired

SS 21: Quentin Gilbert hit something, stopped the engine and had to reverse.

https://twitter.com/gilbert_quentin/status/881431941689606144

https://twitter.com/OttTanak/status/881443915664064512

https://twitter.com/rallyparadise/status/881451958778855424

SS 23: Teemu Suninen lost the rear and had a spin, but was able to keep the car on the road. Lost at least 25 seconds.

https://twitter.com/rajdpolski/status/881466487382429696

https://twitter.com/TGR_WRC/status/881471592009801728

https://twitter.com/thierryneuville/status/881471112277839872

https://twitter.com/HMSGOfficial/status/881495383079358465

https://twitter.com/HaydenPaddon/status/881509987993964544

https://twitter.com/SebOgier/status/881521140405030913

https://twitter.com/SebOgier/status/881475995978670080

https://twitter.com/SLefebvreRallye/status/881494292644204544

https://twitter.com/TeemuSuninenRac/status/881467143082188800

https://twitter.com/MSportLtd/status/881474786110693376

https://twitter.com/MadsOstberg/status/881618982993842177

https://twitter.com/AMikkelsenRally/status/881500062060347393

https://twitter.com/JariMattiWRC/status/881472830428336128

https://twitter.com/OCVeiby/status/881474088044285953

https://twitter.com/PontusTidemand/status/881476346400182273

https://twitter.com/gilbert_quentin/status/881495075175444484

https://twitter.com/JuniorWRC/status/881481597056417792

Thierry Neuville and Nicolas Gilsoul racked up their third victory of the FIA World Rally Championship season in Poland today after a neck and neck fight which ultimately forced Ott Tänak into an unlucky mistake as he pushed to the maximum for the win. The Estonian powered into the lead in today’s opener but then hit a tree in the following stage, leaving Neuville with an unassailable lead of over a minute. As such, Hayden Paddon and Sebastian Marshall – waiting in the wings – moved up to second to give Hyundai a one-two, with Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia claiming the final podium position for M-Sport.

“I’m really happy,” said Neuville. “We’ve been strong in the last couple of rallies. Our main goal was to catch points on Ogier and we’ve done that two events in a row. Closing up the gap is a good achievement. The end of the Championship will be really interesting and tough.”

In the FIA World Rally Championship, Ogier retains his lead but Neuville has narrowed the gap and is now just 11 points adrift in the Drivers’ Championship. In the Manufacturers’ Championship, maximum points for Hyundai Motorsport also sees the Korean marque edge to within 22 points of M-Sport with five rounds remaining.

The final day of Rally Poland was set to be a thriller with Neuville in the overnight lead and Tänak just 3.1 seconds adrift. The Estonian set the opening stage alight and, 4.9 seconds faster than his rival, powered into the lead. However, in the following test the Estonian hit a bank with the rear of the car which pulled the front-end into a tree. While he was able to complete the stage, he was then forced out with too much damage; the second consecutive year he has been so close to claiming the winner’s trophy in Poland. Neuville was fastest in this stage and the next to take a one minute 13 second advantage into the Power Stage. He was only fifth fastest but wasn’t prepared to risk the win for a top haul of extra points. Sitting in third and too far adrift of the fight for the win, Paddon was watching in the wings and his no risk strategy paid off as he moved up to second following Tänak’s off. Similarly, Ogier was hanging back for a push and maximum points in the Power Stage but he ended up in a field in the penultimate stage when the car snapped out at the rear. Four points in the Power Stage were a welcome addition to his tally however.

Behind the leading trio, Dani Sordo had a near miss with a tree this morning and then a puncture this afternoon, but fourth for the Spaniard alongside Hyundai’s one-two was a great result for the team. Stéphane Lefebvre had a tricky morning, off the road in the first stage and then he clipped a fence in the second, distracted by a tool kit that worked loose and ended up under the brake pedal. Nevertheless he managed to move into fifth in the Power Stage, benefitting when Teemu Suninen had a near off. While a fine result for the Finn in his first outing in a 2017 World Rally Car, he was disappointed to have made a mistake in the final stage of the rally. Mads Østberg claimed seventh and Elfyn Evans eighth. Andreas Mikkelsen moved into ninth for Citroën despite an overshoot this morning and Juho Hänninen was Toyota’s lead driver in 10th overall. Team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala – returning under Rally 2 regulations – took some consolation from maximum points in the Power Stage.

Ole Christian Veiby won the FIA WRC 2 Championship, the Norwegian claiming his first victory in the category after leading for all but the first stage. He beat Pontus Tidemand by 32.9 seconds and moves into second in the Championship. Nil Solans took his third consecutive victory in the FIA Junior WRC Championship and continues to top this category and the FIA WRC 3 Championship.

The FIA World Rally Championship contenders now head to a classic on the calendar, the ‘Gravel Grand Prix’ – Neste Rally Finland (27-30 July).

Final Classification

1.   Thierry Neuville / Nicolas Gilsoul Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC 2hr 40min 46.1sec
2.   Hayden Paddon / Sebastian Marshall Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC 2hr 42min 10.0sec
3.   Sébastien Ogier / Julien Ingrassia Ford Fiesta WRC 2hr 43min 06.9sec
4.   Dani Sordo / Marc Marti Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC 2hr 43min 33.5sec
5.   Stéphane Lefebvre / Gabin Moreau Citroën C3 WRC 2hr 43min 57.9sec
6.   Teemu Suninen / Mikko Markkula Ford Fiesta WRC 2hr 44min 02.9sec
7.   Mads Østberg / Ola Floene Ford Fiesta WRC 2hr 44min 25.7sec
8.   Elfyn Evans / Daniel Barritt Ford Fiesta WRC 2hr 45min 25.2sec
9.   Andreas Mikkelsen / Anders Jæger Citroën C3 WRC 2hr 45min 29.6sec
10. Juho Hänninen / Kai Lindström Toyota Yaris WRC 2hr 45min 39.8sec
RESULTS
  ENTRANT (TEAM) DRIVER/CODRIVER NAT. NR CAR GR   TIME  
1 Hyundai Motorsport Thierry Neuville / Nicolas Gilsoul B 5 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC RC1 WRC 2:40:46.1 M
2 Hyundai Motorsport Hayden Paddon / Sebastian Marshall NZ/GB 4 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC RC1 WRC 2:42:10.0 M
3 M-Sport World Rally Team Sébastien Ogier / Julien Ingrassia F 1 Ford Fiesta WRC RC1 WRC 2:43:06.9 M
4 Hyundai Motorsport Daniel Sordo / Marc Marti E 6 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC RC1 WRC 2:43:33.5 M
5 Citroën Total Abu Dhabi W.R.T. Stéphane Lefebvre / Gabin Moreau F 9 Citroën C3 WRC RC1 WRC 2:43:57.9 M
6 M-Sport World Rally Team Teemu Suninen / Mikko Markkula FIN 15 Ford Fiesta WRC RC1 WRC 2:44:02.9
7 M-Sport World Rally Team (One Bet Jipocar W.R.T.) Mads Østberg / Ola Fløene N 14 Ford Fiesta WRC RC1 WRC 2:44:25.7
8 M-Sport World Rally Team Elfyn Evans / Daniel Barrit GB 3 Ford Fiesta WRC RC1 WRC 2:45:25.2 M
9 Citroën Total Abu Dhabi W.R.T. Andreas Mikkelsen / Anders Jaeger N 7 Citroën C3 WRC RC1 WRC 2:45:29.6 M
10 TOYOTA GAZOO Racing W.R.T. Juho Hänninen / Kaj Lindström FIN 11 Toyota Yaris WRC RC1 WRC 2:45:39.8 M
11 Citroën Total Abu Dhabi W.R.T. Craig Breen / Scott Martin IRL/GB 8 Citroën C3 WRC RC1 WRC 2:52:42.6 M
12 Printsport Ole Christian Veiby / Stig Rune Skjærmoen N 34 ŠKODA Fabia R5 RC2 R5 2:53:39.3 WRC2
13 ŠKODA Motorsport II Pontus Tidemand / Jonas Andersson S 31 ŠKODA Fabia R5 RC2 R5 2:54:12.2 WRC2
14 M-Sport World Rally Team Eric Camilli / Benjamin Veillas F 91 Ford Fiesta R5 RC2 R5 2:57:34.3
15 (Tagai Rally Technology) Quentin Gilbert / Renaud Jamoul F/B 40 ŠKODA Fabia R5 RC2 R5 2:57:59.6 WRC2
16 Eurolamp World Rally Team Valeriy Gorban / Sergei Larens UA/EE 21 MINI John Cooper Works WRC RC1 WRC 2:58:14.5 WRC Trophy
17 Motorsport Italia srl Benito Guerra / Daniel Cué MEX/E 32 ŠKODA Fabia R5 RC2 R5 3:00:44.2 WRC2
18 (CHL Sport Auto) Yoann Bonato / Benjamin Boulloud F 44 Citroën DS3 R5 RC2 R5 3:01:02.2 WRC2
19 Wojciech Chuchała / Sebastian Rozwadowski PL 42 Ford Fiesta R5 RC2 R5 3:01:56.2 WRC2
20 TOYOTA GAZOO Racing W.R.T. Jari-Matti Latvala / Miikka Anttila FIN 10 Toyota Yaris WRC RC1 WRC 3:08:47.1 SR M
21 (Équipe de France FFSA Rallye – M-Sport) Pierre-Louis Loubet / Vincent Landais F 92 Ford Fiesta R5 RC2 R5 3:11:56.6
22 (M-Sport) Gus Greensmith / Craig Parry GB 35 Ford Fiesta R5 RC2 R5 3:15:38.3 SR WRC2
23 ACI Team Italia Fabio Andolfi / Manuel Fenoli I 43 Hyundai i20 R5 RC2 R5 3:15:58.2 WRC2
24 Nil Solans / Miquel Ibáñez Sotos F 71 Ford Fiesta R2T RC4 R2 3:17:47.0 WRC3/JWRC
25 Dennis Rådström / Johan Johansson S 78 Ford Fiesta R2T RC4 R2 3:18:02.4 WRC3/JWRC
26 Go+Cars Jakub Brzeziński / Szymon Marciniak PL 63 Citroën DS3 R3T Max RC3 R3T 3:19:57.8 WRC3
27 Nicolas Ciamin / Thibault de la Haye F 74 Ford Fiesta R2T RC4 R2 3:20:28.8 WRC3/JWRC
28 Terry Folb / Christopher Guieu F 72 Ford Fiesta R2T RC4 R2 3:21:39.4 WRC3/JWRC
29 ADAC Sachsen Julius Tannert / Jürgen Heigl D/A 73 Ford Fiesta R2T RC4 R2 3:24:04.8 WRC3/JWRC
30 (J-Motorsport) Jourdan Serderidis / Lara Vanneste GR/B 22 Citroën DS3 WRC RC1 WRC 3:26:20.5 WRC Trophy
31 Dillon van Way / Dai Roberts USA/GB 77 Ford Fiesta R2T RC4 R2 3:28:24.9 WRC3/JWRC
32 (M-Sport) Pedro Heller / Pablo Olmos CHL/RA 36 Ford Fiesta R5 RC2 R5 3:29:50.0 SR WRC2
33 Name Rua Racing Francisco Name / Armando Zapata MEX 62 Citroën DS3 R3T Max RC3 R3T 3:40:12.0 WRC3
34 Sebastian Careaga / Rodrigo Sanjuan BOL/E 79 Ford Fiesta R2T RC4 R2 3:40:57.7 WRC3/JWRC
35 Emil Lindholm / Tomi Tuominen FIN 80 Ford Fiesta R2T RC4 R2 3:46:30.4 SR WRC3/JWRC
36 Gekon Racing Simone Tempestini / Giovanni Bernacchini RO/I 33 Citroën DS3 R5 RC2 R5 3:52:33.7 SR WRC2
37 TRT Peugeot WRT Łukasz Pieniążek / Przemysław Mazur PL 39 Peugeot 208 T16 R5 RC2 R5 4:00:34.8 SR WRC2
38 (CHL Sport Auto) Raphaël Astier / Frédéric Vauclare F 61 Peugeot 208 R2 RC4 R2 4:05:21.4 WRC3
39 Juta KSK Jonas Pipiras / Aisvydas Paliukėnas LT 93 Ford Fiesta R2 RC4 R2 4:07:31.1
40 Alain Foulon / Gilles Delarche F 94 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X RC2 NR4 4:11:34.4 SR
LEADING RETIREMENTS SS=Special Stage
SS ENTRANT (TEAM) DRIVER/CODRIVER NAT. NR CAR GR   CAUSE  
21 M-Sport World Rally Team Ott Tänak / Martin Järveoja EE 2 Ford Fiesta WRC RC1 WRC accident damages M
16 TOYOTA GAZOO Racing W.R.T. Jari-Matti Latvala / Miikka Anttila FIN 10 Toyota Yaris WRC RC1 WRC gearbox M
4 TOYOTA GAZOO Racing W.R.T. Esapekka Lappi / Janne Ferm FIN 12 Toyota Yaris WRC RC1 WRC wheel bearing M
21 Jean-Michel Raoux / Laurent Magat F 23 Citroën DS3 WRC RC1 WRC hit a tree WRC Trophy
4,17 Gekon Racing Simone Tempestini / Giovanni Bernacchini RO/I 33 Citroën DS3 R5 RC2 R5 wheel bearing, hit a stone -> broken intercooler WRC2
8 (M-Sport) Gus Greensmith / Craig Parry GB 35 Ford Fiesta R5 RC2 R5 steering arm WRC2
(M-Sport) Pedro Heller / Pablo Olmos CHL/RA 36 Ford Fiesta R5 RC2 R5 WRC2
7 Orlen Team (Tagai Racing Technology) Hubert Ptaszek / Maciej Szczepaniak PL 38 ŠKODA Fabia R5 RC2 R5 accident WRC2
11 TRT Peugeot WRT Łukasz Pieniążek / Przemysław Mazur PL 39 Peugeot 208 T16 R5 RC2 R5 electrics WRC2
11 C-Rally Jarosław Kołtun / Ireneusz Pleskot PL 41 Ford Fiesta R5 RC2 R5 road accident WRC2
20 Tehase Auto Raul Jeets / Kuldar Sikk EE 45 ŠKODA Fabia R5 RC2 R5 accident WRC2
2 Drive DMACK Trophy Team (M-Sport) Osian Pryce / Dale Furniss GB 46 Ford Fiesta R5 RC2 R5 accident WRC2
4 (CHL Sport Auto) Raphaël Astier / Frédéric Vauclare F 61 Peugeot 208 R2 RC4 R2 suspension WRC3
16 Emil Lindholm / Tomi Tuominen FIN 80 Ford Fiesta R2T RC4 R2 accident WRC3/JWRC
8 Alain Foulon / Gilles Delarche F 94 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X RC2 NR4
 
STARTERS 47 (3 WRC-T, 15 WRC2, 11 WRC3, 8 JWRC) FINISHERS 40 (2 WRC-T, 11 WRC2, 11 WRC3, 8 JWRC)    
  RALLY LEADERS SS 1 Evans, 2 Neuville, 3-7 Latvala, 8- Tänak, 9-11 Neuville, 12-13 Tänak, 14-15 Neuville, 16-17 Tänak, 18-19 Neuville, 20 Tänak, 21-23 Neuville
  WRC Trophy SS 1 Raoux, 2-23 Gorban
  WRC2 & RC2 SS 1 Tidemand, 2-23 Veiby
  WRC3 & JWRC SS 1 Folb, 2 Rådström, 3 Lindholm, 4 Solans, 5-7 Rådström, 8-23 Solans
  RC3 SS 1-23 Brzeziński
  RC4 SS 1 Folb, 2 Rådström, 3 Lindholm, 4 Solans, 5-7 Rådström, 8-23 Solans
   
  STAGE POSITIONS 1 2 3 4 5 6  
Thierry Neuville 9 6 1 3 1 0
Jari-Matti Latvala 4 5 3 1 2 0
Hayden Paddon 3 4 0 4 2 4
Elfyn Evans 3 0 0 1 0 1
  Ott Tänak 2 4 6 3 1 1
  Teemu Suninen 1 0 1 1 1 4
  Sébastien Ogier 0 2 4 3 3 1
Daniel Sordo 0 1 1 2 3 2
Andreas Mikkelsen 0 0 3 2 3 2
Stéphane Lefebvre 0 0 3 2 1 2
Mads Østberg 0 0 0 1 2 5
Craig Breen 0 0 0 1 0 1
Esapekka Lappi 0 0 0 0 2 1
Juho Hänninen 0 0 0 0 0 1
WRC Trophy
STAGE POSITIONS 1 2 3 4 5 6
Valeriy Gorban 19 2 1 0 0 0
Jean-Michel Raoux 3 16 0 0 0 0
Jourdan Serderidis 0 4 18 0 0 0
WRC2
  STAGE POSITIONS 1 2 3 4 5 6
  Pontus Tidemand 10 9 2 0 0 0
  Ole Christian Veiby 9 5 3 4 0 0
  Gus Greensmith 3 5 9 1 0 0
  Quentin Gilbert 0 3 6 6 4 0
  Pedro Heller 0 0 1 2 2 2
  Yoann Bonato 0 0 1 2 0 3
  Simone Tempestini 0 0 0 3 7 2
  Benito Guerra 0 0 0 2 2 3
  Łukasz Pieniążek 0 0 0 1 2 0
  Osian Pryce 0 0 0 1 0 0
  Wojciech Chuchała 0 0 0 0 3 7
  Fabio Andolfi 0 0 0 0 2 3
  Hubert Ptaszek 0 0 0 0 1 1
  Raul Jeets 0 0 0 0 0 1
 
  RC2
  STAGE POSITIONS 1 2 3 4 5 6
  Pontus Tidemand 9 8 3 1 0 0
  Ole Christian Veiby 8 4 5 1 3 0
  Gus Greensmith 3 5 3 6 1 0
  Eric Camilli 2 2 8 1 3 2
  Quentin Gilbert 0 2 1 5 4 5
  Pierre-Louis Loubet 0 1 1 4 4 0
  Pedro Heller 0 0 1 1 1 2
  Yoann Bonato 0 0 0 1 1 1
  Łukasz Pieniążek 0 0 0 1 1 0
  Osian Pryce 0 0 0 1 0 0
  Simone Tempestini 0 0 0 0 5 4
  Benito Guerra 0 0 0 0 0 4
  Fabio Andolfi 0 0 0 0 0 2
  Wojciech Chuchała 0 0 0 0 0 1
 
  WRC3
  STAGE POSITIONS 1 2 3 4 5 6
  Nil Solans 9 7 3 2 0 1
  Dennis Rådström 6 6 3 0 5 1
  Terry Folb 5 2 3 6 3 1
  Emil Lindholm 1 3 5 5 1 2
  Jakub Brzeziński 1 3 3 5 4 3
  Nicolas Ciamin 0 3 4 1 5 7
  Julius Tannert 0 1 0 2 3 6
  Raphaël Astier 0 0 0 0 1 1
     
  JWRC
  STAGE POSITIONS 1 2 3 4 5 6
  Nil Solans 10 6 4 1 1 0
  Dennis Rådström 7 7 1 3 3 1
  Terry Folb 6 1 5 7 2 0
  Emil Lindholm 2 3 6 3 2 2
  Nicolas Ciamin 0 3 5 3 9 2
  Julius Tannert 0 1 0 4 6 8
  Dillon van Way 0 0 0 0 0 7
  Sebastian Careaga 0 0 0 0 0 1
 
  RC3
  STAGE POSITIONS 1 2 3 4 5 6
  Jakub Brzeziński 22 0 0 0 0 0
  Francisco Name 0 22 0 0 0 0
 
  RC4
  STAGE POSITIONS 1 2 3 4 5 6
  Nil Solans 10 6 4 1 1 0
  Dennis Rådström 7 7 1 2 4 0
  Terry Folb 6 1 5 7 1 0
  Emil Lindholm 2 3 6 3 2 0
  Nicolas Ciamin 0 3 5 3 9 0
  Julius Tannert 0 1 0 4 3 10
  Jonas Pipiras 0 0 0 2 1 1
  Raphaël Astier 0 0 0 0 2 8
  Sebastian Careaga 0 0 0 0 0 1

SS 22-23, FIA World Rally Championship

Highlights / WRC2, FIA World Rally Championship

Highlights / JWRC, FIA World Rally Championship

Highlights, Michelin Motorsport

Highlights, Citroën Racing

Day 3, Hyundai Motorsport

Day 3, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing WRC

Highlights, WRCantabria

Day 3, GRB rally

Highlights, Rallymedia

Highlights, GHrallyemotion

Day 3, MeTHKa

Day 3, Power Stage

Day 3, Devillersvideo

Day 3, J-Records

2017 FIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP FOR DRIVERS AFTER ROUND EIGHT:

1 Sebastien Ogier 160
2 Thierry Neuville 149
3 Jari-Matti Latvala 112
4 Ott Tanak 108
5 Dani Sordo 82
6 Elfyn Evans 57
7 Hayden Paddon 51
8 Craig Breen 43
9 Juho Hänninen 30
10 Kris Meeke 27
11 Stéphane Lefebvre 22
12 Andreas Mikkelsen 21
13 Esapekka Lappi 20
14 Mads Østberg 18
15 Teemu Suninen 13
16 Jan Kopecký 5
17 Pontus Tidemand 4
18 Eric Camilli 2
19 Stéphane Sarrazin 2
20 Yohan Rossel 1
21 Bryan Bouffier 1

2017 FIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP FOR MANUFACTURERS AFTER ROUND EIGHT:

1 M-Sport World Rally Team 259
2 Hyundai Motorsport 237
3 TOYOTA GAZOO Racing WRT 153
4 Citroen Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team 117

https://twitter.com/rallyparadise/status/881778751176093697

Team Reviews

Manufacturers: M-Sport World Rally Team (GB) / Ford Fiesta WRC (Michelin, Evans: DMACK)
1 Sébastien Ogier / Julien Ingrassia (F)
2 Ott Tänak / Martin Järveoja (EE)
3 Elfyn Evans / Daniel Barrit (GB)

Ott Tänak and Martin Järveoja delivered another sensational performance on Rally Poland’s super-fast stages – their commitment and speed behind the wheel of the Ecoboost-powered Ford Fiesta WRC was something to applaud as they fought for victory on the final day.

Unfortunately, the Estonians were one of many crews to be caught out by a particularly tricky section through the closing stages – bringing an end to an event in which they deserved so much more.

Their demise did however play into the hands of team mates Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia – the World Champions climbing to third place and securing vital points for their title defence.

Thanks to Ogier’s third place finish, the Fiesta continues its untarnished record of finishing on the podium at every event this year, and the team maintain a 22 point lead at the head of the championship standings.

Team Principal, Malcolm Wilson OBE, said:

“It’s disappointing to have missed out on victory through the closing stages, but it’s fair to say that Ott was very unlucky. We saw so many people making mistakes on that particularly tricky section. He just touched the bank with the rear which knocked him into a spin and into the trees. With too much damage, that was the end of the road.

“As I say, it’s disappointing, but we will take the positives away from this weekend – as will Ott. He was setting incredible pace and he can go to Finland confident in his ability to challenge for the win. This will only make him stronger and more determined, that is something I am sure of.

“It’s great to see Sébastien securing third place after what has been a really difficult weekend for him. As I’ve always said, you can never discount him and he has driven extremely well given everything he has had to contend with – taking vital points to maintain his lead at the head of the championship standings.

“It was also good to see Elfyn securing some strong manufacturer points which is very important from the team perspective and keeps us in the lead of the manufacturer standings.

“Finally, we can’t leave Poland without giving credit to Teemu on what has been an absolutely sensational debut in a world rally car. He is a very talented youngster with a lot of potential – a fastest stage time after just six stages is proof of that. Sixth place on his debut is fantastic, and I look forward to seeing what he can do next time out on home soil.”

OGIER AND INGRASSIA
THIRD OVERALL AT RALLY POLAND

Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia can never be discounted, and that was certainly the case at this weekend’s Rally Poland – the French pairing piloting the Ford Fiesta WRC to a sixth podium of the year.

Relentless in his point-scoring consistency, Ogier also set the second fastest time through the Power Stage to secure an additional four points and maintains his lead at the head of the drivers’ championship.

Having to contend with his fair share of issues throughout the event, Ogier never lost his focus and has secured a strong haul of points as a result.

Stage performances:

SS20: 5th (+17.2)
SS21: 7th (+24.6)
SS22: 11th (+13.4)
SS23: 2nd (+4.9)

Sébastien Ogier (3rd) said:

“This weekend was really tough for us so to come away with a podium is more than we expected.

“Of course I’m sorry for Ott – he had really good speed this weekend and deserved to be on the podium, but that is the way it goes sometimes.

“We had a lot to contend with and it’s fair to say that the good luck hasn’t really been on our side. But we made the most of it and secured some good points which is really important for the championship.

“Now I can enjoy my holiday and come back ready for what is sure to be another exciting battle at Rally Finland.”

EVANS AND BARRITT
EIGHTH OVERALL AT RALLY POLAND

Elfyn Evans and Daniel Barritt may have endured a tough weekend at Rally Poland, but there remain a number of positives.

The Brits were unbeatable on the Mikolajki Super Special – claiming all three fastest stage times through the spectator-friendly speed test.

For the large part however, the extreme conditions hindered the Welshman but he kept his head down and made it cleanly through the stages – getting the better of both Mikkelsen and Hänninen through the closing kilometres to secure eighth place and vital points for M-Sport’s championship campaign.

Stage performances:

SS20: 12th (+13.8)
SS21: 11th (+33.9)
SS22: 7th (+8.8)
SS23: 7th (+14.8)

Elfyn Evans (8th) said:

“It’s been a tough weekend. We were hoping for a dry rally but we got the opposite and I think it’s fair to say that we struggled in the extreme conditions.

“We kept our heads down and focused on delivering a clean rally. Three stage wins and eighth place isn’t bad considering, and let’s hope the sun is shining next time out in Finland.”

TÄNAK AND JÄRVEOJA
DNF AT RALLY POLAND

Ott Tänak and Martin Järveoja were denied a second successive victory at this weekend’s Rally Poland, but their fearless speed is something that everyone will remember.

Coming into the final day of competition 3.1 seconds adrift of the lead, Tänak was untouchable through the opening speed test – five seconds faster than anyone else through the treacherous and demanding conditions.

But the excitement of what Tänak called a near-perfect stage would be short-lived. The Estonian was one of a number of drivers to be caught out by a particularly tricky section through the following speed test, and luck was not on his side.

Following the slightest of brushes with the bank, his Ford Fiesta WRC was sent into a spin and impacted with the trees. With too much damage to continue, that was the end of the road for Tänak and Järveoja.

Despite the disappointment, the Estonians will be sure to regroup and come back stronger in Finland – confident in the knowledge that they have the performance to challenge for victory.

Stage performances:

SS20: 1st
SS21: DNF
SS22: DNS
SS23: DNS

Ott Tänak (DNF) said:

“What can I say? Obviously it’s really disappointing to have finished the rally like this and I am just so sorry for the team and all of the fans who came here to support us.

“We were ready for the fight and had a really good run through the first stage this morning. We were pushing hard, but it was a clean run and I would say almost a perfect stage for us.

“Then on the next stage, there was just one really slippery place in the forest. We touched the bank with the rear of the car and that pulled the front into a spin and into the trees. There was too much damage to continue, and that is where our Rally Poland came to an end.

“It was one of those things, and we’ll be back stronger. This one wasn’t to be, but we know that we have the performance and now it’s all focus on Finland.”

ELSEWHERE
IN THE TEAM

Teemu Suninen delivered a sensational debut behind the wheel of a world rally car at Rally Poland. The Finn has long been established as one of rallying’s most promising up-and-coming young talents, and he proved that once again this weekend.

With experienced co-driver Mikko Markkula calling the notes, it took Suninen just six competitive stages to secure his first stage victory – a class above the rest through the second pass of Wieliczki (SS7).

As the event continued, the 23-year-old continued to learn with a string of highly competitive times – as well as a number of fastest split times – that saw him as high as fifth place overall.

A spin on the final speed test dropped the young Finn to sixth place, but still a very impressive result on what was his first outing at the sport’s highest level.

Suninen and Markkula now look forward to their next outing with the Ecoboost-powered Ford Fiesta WRC on home soil at Rally Finland.

Teemu Suninen (6th) said:

“It’s disappointing to lose a place on the last stage with a small mistake, but okay, that’s the way it goes sometimes and I think that it has still been a good weekend for us.

“We’ve learnt a lot and it was nice to get a fastest stage time on Friday. I think we’ve shown good speed through certain sections, but there remains work to do to keep that speed up for the whole weekend.

“I want to improve and now I’m looking forward to my home rally in Finland where we can hopefully take another step forward.”

M-Sport World Rally Team / Ford Fiesta R5 (Michelin)
91 Eric Camilli / Benjamin Veillas (F)
92 Pierre-Louis Loubet / Vincent Landais (F)

WRC2

35 Gus Greensmith / Craig Parry (GB)
36 Pedro Heller / Pablo Olmos (CHL/RA)
46 Osian Pryce / Dale Furniss (GB) DMACK

Éric Camilli (3rd RC2) said:

“On the whole I think it was a good weekend for us and we are happy to finish in third place after a really tricky weekend for everyone. It’s a good result after the win in Sardinia. It’s good for the confidence that we can be fast in a lot of different conditions – slow, fast, wet, dry – and now we look forward to the next one.”

Pierre-Louis Loubet (8th RC2) said:

“I would say that this weekend has been a bit like ‘fifty-fifty.’ We can be happy with our pace on the first day when we had some really good times, but after that it got a bit more complicated for us. It was good experience for Finland when I hope we will be ready to challenge for the podium.”

Gus Greensmith (9th RC2 / 7th WRC 2) said:

“I think it’s been a good weekend for us. Friday started really well and I was happy with how I was driving. We weren’t taking any risks but then I got caught out by a mud patch and there wasn’t much we could do about it.

“On Saturday we adopted the same strategy that we had in Sweden – just driving through the stages at 70 percent to learn as much as we could. But to be honest, I got a bit bored with that and had to have a bit of a push every now and then!

“With the rain again today we just eased ourselves back into it over the opening stage, and then collected another stage win.

“Overall it’s been good. The speed is there, but next time I need to show some more consistency and pull it all together for a good result.”

Pedro Heller (11th RC2 / 9th WRC 2) said:

“It’s been a positive weekend for us as we achieved our goals. We’ve seen a big improvement in our times from the previous event and we were very close to the leaders through the opening stages. That was a big step for us and it was a very tricky rally with very difficult conditions.

“In that sense it has been a good weekend and we were very happy to be here. Now we look forward to our next FIA World Rally Championship event which will be at Wales Rally GB.”

Manufacturers: Hyundai Motorsport (D) / Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC (Michelin)
4 Hayden Paddon / Sebastian Marshall (NZ/GB)
5 Thierry Neuville / Nicolas Gilsoul (B)
6 Daniel Sordo / Marc Marti (E)

We have taken our third victory of the 2017 WRC season in style with a fantastic 1-2 in Rally Poland.

Thierry and Nicolas took the win ahead of Hayden and Seb, who picked up their first podium of the season. It represents our first 1-2 result since Rallye Deutschland back in 2014, and also our seventh double podium.

“What a great result for the whole team,” said a happy Thierry at the end of the Power Stage. “I am delighted for everyone in the team.”

Our Team Principal Michel was equally pleased. “An important result for us, especially in terms of the championship” he said. “More than that, it shows what we can achieve when we are all at the top of our game.”

Titanic battle

Our Belgians had been involved in an exciting duel with Ott Tanak for much of the rally, which saw the lead change multiple times. The challenge ended after SS21 (Paprotki) when the Estonian was unfortunately forced to retire.

“It was a closely-fought rally,” added Thierry. “Our goal was to outscore Séb (Ogier), which we did, and we have closed the gap for the second rally in a row.”

Our Belgians have continued their unbroken streak of podium results, which dates back to Rally Mexico in March. By finishing fifth in the final run through Paprotki, they also extended their record of scoring Power Stage points in every rally this season.

In the Drivers’ Championship, there are now just 11 points separating Thierry in second and leader Ogier, which sets up an exciting prospect in the final five events.

Welcome relief

For Hayden, second place is his first top-three finish since Poland twelve months ago and his best result since he won in Argentina last season. It also represents Seb’s debut WRC podium!

“I can’t tell you how relieved I am,” said Hayden. “It feels like a win after the season we have had. Thanks to Seb for a job well done, and congratulations to him for his first WRC podium.”

Dani and Marc finished strongly in fourth place to give us our best-ever combined team result in WRC.

“It has been a difficult weekend with some tricky conditions, but overall it has been positive,” commented Dani. “I am really pleased for the team, as we have collected a lot of points for the championship.”

Catch me if you can

From a 40-point gap, we are now just 22 behind M-Sport in the Manufacturers’ Championship. The competition remains intense so we have to keep focused at each event in our efforts to catch them.

“This 1-2 result is for everyone in the team and our supporters,” concluded Michel. “WRC is in great health with a high level of competition. We are honoured to be playing our part.”

The fast and furious stages continue with the high-speed Rally Finland next up on the 2017 calendar. The ninth round of the championship will take place from 27-30 July.

Manufacturers: Citroën Total Abu Dhabi W.R.T. (F) / Citroën C3 WRC (Michelin)
7 Andreas Mikkelsen / Anders Jaeger (N)
8 Craig Breen / Scott Martin (IRL/GB)
9 Stéphane Lefebvre / Gabin Moreau (F)

Citroën Racing came into this weekend’s Rally Poland armed with an upgraded C3 WRC and hoping to make a fresh start to its 2017 season. The team certainly had a positive rally, with its drivers consistently among the frontrunners and all three cars reaching the finish.

A RACE DICTATED BY THE WEATHER
After recce was completed in glorious sunshine, rain began falling in the north of Poland on Thursday morning. It became heavier on Friday, just as the cars left service to tackle the opening stages.

Running quite far down the starting order, the C3 WRCs had little choice but to drive in the mud churned up by the earlier crews… The morning was especially difficult for Craig Breen, who suffered a transmission issue which left him with a three-wheel drive car! Having lost seven minutes in the morning, the Irishman saw his hopes of a good result evaporate in the opening stages. Andreas Mikkelsen also lost more than a minute after breaking part of the suspension when he hit a tree.

Constantly fighting for eighth position, Stéphane Lefebvre enjoyed an error-free opening leg. Ninth as the cars parked up for the night, he remained in the middle of the chasing group.

Friday afternoon also provided Andreas Mikkelsen with the chance to showcase his skills. Having adjusted the set-up during the mid-leg service, the Norwegian set his first top-five times.

On Saturday, sunshine greeted the crews again at the start of the longest day of the rally. With the crews running in reverse order of the overall standings at the end of Friday’s leg, Breen and Mikkelsen were the first on the road, followed by Stéphane Lefebvre in fifth position.

Of the three Citroën drivers, the Frenchman had the best day. Less than 2/10ths per kilometre off the pace of the drivers fighting for overall victory, he closed to within fifteen seconds of sixth place. Andreas Mikkelsen showed similar speed, as he sneaked into the top ten of the overall standings. And Craig Breen was visibly happier again: despite running first on the road, he gradually built up his confidence again, already looking ahead to Rally Finland.

Just four stages remained on Sunday to finalise the positions. With rain falling once more in the region, the drivers had to deal with extremely slippery roads again. Despite the tricky conditions, Stéphane Lefebvre and Gabin Moreau finished off their very good weekend in style as they grabbed fifth place in the Power Stage. They also equalled their best result in the WRC, secured at the 2016 Rallye Monte-Carlo.

Having lost tenth place after overshooting a corner on SS21, Andreas Mikkelsen and Anders Jæger pushed hard until the end of the final stage. The pair clocked the third fastest time on the Power Stage to snatch ninth overall, less than five seconds shy of eighth place.

Meanwhile, Craig Breen and Scott Martin – once again first on the road – finished the event in eleventh position overall.

QUESTIONS FOR YVES MATTON, CITROËN RACING TEAM PRINCIPAL
How do you assess the results achieved by Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT at Rally Poland?

“As soon as we saw the weather forecast for opening leg of the rally, we knew that our drivers wouldn’t be able to challenge at the front. There were two reasons for this: the fact that all our testing with our latest upgrades had been done in dry conditions and their very poor position in the running order. Craig’s race was then dealt a body blow at the start with a mechanical issue. Despite these handicaps, nobody in the team became despondent. As soon as the conditions became more even, our drivers moved back into the mix, making use of the work done by the team before the rally. From Friday lunchtime onwards, Andreas, Stéphane and Craig racked up a total of fifteen top-five times at one of the most intense rallies in the history of the WRC. There are no miracles in motorsport: the hard work we have done will take time to pay dividends, especially as the other teams have not rested on their laurels. The last few tenths are always the most difficult to hunt down.”

This time out, it was Stéphane Lefebvre that secured the team’s best result…

“When I told Stéphane that he wouldn’t be competing in Sardinia, I asked him to work even harder in order to prepare for Poland. He had a good race here in 2016 and we knew that he had the potential to pick up a good result. This weekend, he managed to put together all the things he has learned in his time as a professional rally driver. He had the sense to push when he had the confidence to do so and take it a bit easier when the conditions were too tricky. And for once this season, he had a bit of luck too. This result will help to boost Stéphane’s confidence.”

Having said all that, he won’t be competing at the next two rallies?

“In Finland, Kris Meeke, Craig Breen and Khalid Al Qassimi will form our driver line-up. In Germany, the three C3 WRCs will be driven by Kris Meeke, Andreas Mikkelsen and Craig Breen. Stéphane will return to competitive action in Spain. Just like with our mechanics or engineers, the drivers have to know when to act in the best interests of the team, because our priority is to get the best results for Citroën. Stéphane understands this perfectly well. He won’t be sitting around during this period though, because he will be taking part in various test sessions.”

Did you make the right call to drop Kris Meeke for Rally Poland?

“It’s not the first time that this has happened in the WRC: several teams have made adjustments to their driver line-up in the past. I honestly believe that Kris needed a break. The aim is very simple: for Kris to come back in better form than ever, so that we can win together. For the time being, no one can say with any certainty whether we made the right or wrong call. But we couldn’t keep doing nothing. We had to take action to end this run of results and I take full responsibility for this decision.”

Kris cannot be held solely responsible for the team’s poor run. Some questions have been raised about the handling of the car…

“We never said that. It is worth remembering, however, that after each test session, the drivers said they were very happy with the handling of the car. But they were unable to find the same feeling on rallies conditions. That means that some of the directions taken during development of the C3 WRC were not fit for purpose. Once we had taken the step back we needed to take, I asked the technical team to work on some upgrades that would provide the car with greater versatility. There have been a number of changes: upgrades to the suspension at Rally Sweden, upgrades to the transmission in Poland and others will follow over the coming months. This all takes time. With a wider driver range, we are confident in our ability to move faster in the right direction.”

You also reorganised the team, with a new technical director…

“Yes, Laurent Fregosi – who had held this post for a year after having previously been chief engineer, chassis, for the C4, DS 3 WRC and C-Elysée WTCC – wanted to return to a more technically-focused role. We therefore appointed Christophe Besse, an engineer who knows Citroën very well since he was involved in work on the Xsara WRC at the start of the 2000s. This change is part of the new foundations established this weekend.”

The aim for the 2017 season was to win races. Is that still the case?

“The priority now is to prepare for 2018. Some of the upgrades will need several months of development work and they won’t be ready to be introduced until the start of next season. That doesn’t mean that we won’t win any more events in 2017. At the Tour de Corse, we showed the performance level of the C3 WRC on tarmac… However, I have asked the engineers to focus on development of the car, rather than on specific settings for each rally.”

Manufacturers: TOYOTA GAZOO Racing WRC (FIN) / Toyota Yaris WRC (Michelin)
10 Jari-Matti Latvala / Miikka Anttila (FIN)
11 Juho Hänninen / Kaj Lindström (FIN)
12 Esapekka Lappi / Janne Ferm (FIN)

The TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team ended a challenging event at Rally Poland by taking the win in the Power Stage with Jari-Matti Latvala. It was his fourth stage win of the weekend and gave him five points to add to his championship score, lifting him up into third in the standings. Latvala had retired from Saturday but before that he was involved in a close battle for the win, and led in wet and slippery conditions on the first day. Juho Hänninen also scored, finishing in 10th position.

Car 10(Jari-Matti Latvala, Miikka Anttila)
The final day was made up of four stages, ending with the Paprotki Power Stage. After having to stop during Saturday afternoon with a mechanical issue, Latvala restarted with the target of picking up points on the Power Stage, which he won by 4.9 seconds. Delayed by issues on Saturday, Hänninen moved back into the top 10 on the final day to score points for the sixth time this season.

Quotes:
Tommi Mäkinen (Team Principal)
“Today we achieved the objectives we had the beginning of the day, with Jari-Matti taking maximum points on the Power Stage and Juho completing the rally in the top 10. Jari-Matti came back well from the disappointment of retiring yesterday. He again showed great speed, like he did earlier in the weekend. Overall, the result wasn’t what we expected but the pace we had here was a positive going on to Finland.”

Jari-Matti Latvala (Driver car 10)
“Of course, it was disappointing to retire on Saturday but it was important that we came back and managed to win the Power Stage. I was focusing a lot before the stage, going through all the corners and the braking points in my mind, and it paid off. We scored five more points and it gives me the confidence again that our car is very fast and we can challenge our rivals in the rallies that are coming up. Thanks to the team for the work to prepare my car to restart today and ensure we could get these five points. They could still be very valuable in the championship.”

Juho Hänninen (Driver car 11)
“It has been a challenging weekend. The conditions were very difficult. When it was really slippery, on the harder ground, we actually had decent pace, but in the softer ground with the deep ruts we were losing quite a bit of time and it was frustrating. We will try to improve this for the future. Luckily, Rally Finland is next and I am sure this will be better, as we will have a good test beforehand.”

ŠKODA Motorsport / ŠKODA Fabia R5 (Michelin)
31 Pontus Tidemand / Jonas Andersson (S)

For the eighth time in a row in 2017 a ŠKODA FABIA R5 team won a round of the World Rally Championship. At Rally Poland, current Asia Pacific Rally Championship leaders Ole Christian Veiby / Stig Rune Skjaermœn, driving a Printsport entered ŠKODA FABIA R5, achieved their first win on World Rally Championship level. After already winning four WRC2 events this season ŠKODA Motorsport’s Pontus Tidemand and co-driver Jonas Andersson came second. With a WRC2 championship lead of 50 points they are now in best position to win this year’s title.

The weather changed on the final day of the rally back to the poor conditions of the opening day. Heavy rain falls made the gravel tracks of the Masurian Lake District slippery and treacherous again. After Pontus Tidemand’s time consuming puncture on Saturday afternoon, the race for the first place in WRC 2 category was more or less decided. Youngster Ole Christian Veiby secured his very first WRC2 win with a faultless and very concentrated drive and climbed into the second position in the championship standings.

Michal Hrabánek
“Congratulations to both teams. Bringing home the victory Ole Christian and Stig Rune not only proved that they are really fast, but very clever too. For us this result is another confirmation of our decision to employ both to compete for ŠKODA in the Asia Pacific Rally Championship. With a valuable second place Pontus and Jonas are in the best position to win the championship prematurely this year,” commented a delighted ŠKODA Motorsport boss Michal Hrabánek at the finish line in Mikolajki.
Pontus Tidemand was fastest in WRC 2 on three of the remaining four stages of the final leg of Rally Poland securing second place and valuable points for the championship home.

“It is a pity that a puncture stopped the nice fight with Ole Christian. Congratulations to him for this great performance. However the points for second place put me in a very good position in the championship race, which was in the end my main goal,” concluded Pontus Tidemand, the WRC 2 leader from Sweden.
The eighth round of World Rally Championship proved again, that the ŠKODA FABIA R5 is by far the fastest and most reliable car in WRC 2 category. At the finish line in Mikolajki ŠKODA teams occupied top four positions in the category. In the WRC 2 championship standings, ŠKODA works driver Pontus Tidemand leads after eight rounds with 118 points ahead of stablemate Ole Christian Veiby (68 points).

JWRC

This weekend will see another milestone for the WRC as its 500thevent takes place at Brother Rally New Zealand over 338.5km of competitive gravel stages. It has been 39 years and 6 months since it began back in Monte Carlo. It will be the 31st time WRC drivers have enjoyed the fast flowing highly cambered gravel roads of New Zealand. Over the decades WRC has visited 31 different countries and established a worldwide fan base of millions.

The centurion events provide a snapshot into the many changes that have occurred in the sport. The centurion event podiums have been dominated by World Champions. How many past, current of future world champions will be standing on the podium steps of Brother Rally New Zealand 2012? It may be another 7 or 8 years before we know for sure. Only time will tell.

It was a terrific treble for FIA Junior World Rally Championship leaders Nil Solans and Miki Ibanez when a 15.4-second victory at Orlen Rally Poland saw them take wins on all three rounds of the series to hold a 39-point championship lead.

The Spaniards adopted another clever strategy on a treacherously slippery event to set nine fastest stage times and remain unbeaten, winning from Swedes Dennis Rådström and Johan Johansson. Solans’ performance also saw him extend his lead in the WRC 3 championship after another victory in the support category and finish top two-wheel-drive car on Rally Poland.

Top-rookie Rådström vowed to improve his pace in Poland and he did exactly that, surprising even himself. On only his third WRC event, he was unbeaten on six stages to finish second, take his best result and first podium of the season. He moves up to fourth in the championship.

French pairing Nicolas Ciamin and Tibo de la Haye struggled with the wet conditions over the weekend but improved their pace and moved into the final podium spot on the penultimate stage.

They benefitted when fellow countrymen Terry Folb and Christopher Guieu lost time after puncturing a tyre, dropping two minutes and sliding back to fourth. Folb showed bursts of speed over the weekend to set five quickest times and had been comfortable in third before his problem.

Newcomer Emil Lindholm, on his first full WRC rally, was a surprise leader on the opening day. He collided with a tree, however, on stage 16 and retired for the day – but returned on Sunday to set the best time on the final stage of the rally.

German driver Julius Tannert struggled with the inconsistent conditions and high commitment stages but managed the situation well to improve over the weekend. It was also a learning event for Dillon Van Way and Sebastian Careaga who gained maximum experience in very alien conditions.

Rally Poland was another extremely positive rally for the Junior competitors, who all took a clever approach to finish the tough event. On the home round for the M-Sport Poland team, the competitive Ford Fiesta R2T-based championship saw four different leaders and four different stage winners over the weekend.

Championship partners DMACK used their DMG+22 tyre in medium G43 compound – which coped remarkably with the mud, standing water and difficult sandy stages.

Maciek Woda, M-Sport’s Junior WRC manager, said:

“We’ve had another extremely competitive and positive event. Well done to Nil and Miki for their third victory and also to Dennis and Johan for some consistently fast times. We’ve again demonstrated just how competitive this format is with four different rally leaders and stage winners over a very tough weekend.”

Dick Cormack, DMACK managing director, said:

“Once again Nil has been a class act and controlled a very difficult rally. Our DMG+22 tyres coped remarkably well with the treacherously slippery conditions and delivered the performance to master the rally, win WRC 3 and finish as top two-wheel-drive car.”

Top-Three Driver Comments

Nil Solans: “It was another great event for us and we’re so happy to have taken three wins. It was a very difficult rally and we had to be careful at the start. But then we lifted the pace and controlled the rally. The rain, and the fact we were first two-wheel-drive car on the road, made things very difficult but it’s nice to be top of the podium again.”

Dennis Rådström: “This was really a dream result for us. It’s only our third WRC event and we could never think of being so close to the top. We were a little cautious at some points over the weekend but the conditions were difficult. We pushed harder when the roads were better. Overall it has been a very good event and we’re really happy with the weekend.”

Nicolas Ciamin: “The conditions were very difficult and I knew we wouldn’t be able to challenge at the top if it was wet. So the plan was to try and improve the pace and secure the maximum experience. We didn’t really make any mistakes and luckily that approach worked as we benefitted on the last day to move into third place.”

Individual Competitor News

Sebastian Careaga / Rodrigo Sanjuan

With no experience of muddy conditions or rutted roads, Rally Poland was a big learning experience for Careaga. With its torrential rain and mud-covered roads, the first day was a difficult challenge for the Bolivian. But when the stages dried up he improved the pace and gained more confidence in his pacenotes on the flat-out, high commitment stages.

Nicolas Ciamin / Thibault de la Haye

Ciamin admitted before the rally that he wouldn’t have the experience to challenge if the weather was wet and he struggled to match the pace of the leaders. The French pair were consistently setting top-three times and battled a number of time-consuming problems to collect a solid haul of points after sneaking into the podium places.

Terry Folb / Christopher Guieu

Folb managed to set five fastest stage times despite not getting fully into the swing of things. He struggled on Friday to get a good feeling, was either pushing a little too hard or braking too early and had a couple of slides and stalls. He had experience of the stages from last year but the conditions were completely different and he was unlucky to miss out on a podium after collecting a puncture on the final day.

Emil Lindholm / Tomi Tuominen

The Finns retired on Saturday after going off the road and colliding heavily with a tree. However, before that, they had been showing an impressive pace. It was Lindholm’s first full WRC event and first time in the Fiesta R2T, and he was an early rally leader on Friday and a stage winner on Sunday. He came here to get experience and check his speed against the front-runners so it was still mission accomplished.

Dennis Rådström / Johan Johansson

The Swedish pair stepped things up a gear this weekend and showed a strong pace. Radstrom admitted he never expected to be challenging for top times and the rally lead so early in the season but could still have gone a little faster. It was his best performance of the season, with six fastest times and a debut podium, even though he admitted to being too cautious at times.

Nil Solans / Miki Ibanez

Another perfect rally for the Spaniards, they controlled the event, managed their pace and increased their championship lead. Solans took it steady on the first morning but then lifted the pace with a series of fastest times on Saturday to open up a strong gap. He maintained that to the finish despite a scare on the final day when he lost time with a puncture.

Julius Tannert / Jurgen Heigl

Overall Tannert and Heigl were happy with their pace in Poland. German Tannert has limited experience on gravel and found the high speeds to be a real challenge. He picked up a puncture on Saturday after hitting a rock, which put him adrift of the leaders, so it was then a matter of setting some solid times and getting the gravel mileage and experience.

Dillon Van Way / Dai Roberts

Van Way came to Poland with the target of getting close to the leading drivers but he struggled to match their pace as things just didn’t click into place for him and British co-driver Dai Roberts. They pushed as hard as they dared, taking a few risks but still found the extreme conditions very difficult. It was possibly commitment in the rutted roads which they struggled with most.

Overall Classification

1. Nil Solans / Miguel Ibanez, 3h 17m 47.0s
2. Dennis Rådström / Johan Johansson, 3h 18m 02.4s
3. Nicolas Ciamin / Thibault de la Haye, 3h 20m 28.8s
4. Terry Folb / Christopher Guieu, 3h 21m 39.4s
5. Julius Tannert / Jurgen Heigl, 3h 24m 04.8s
6. Dillon Van Way / Dai Roberts, 3h 28m 24.9s
7. Sebastian Careaga / Rodrigo Sanjuan, 3h 40m 57.7s
8. Emil Lindholm / Tomi Tuominen, 3h 46m 30.4s

Championship Points after round 3

1. Nil Solans / Miguel Ibanez 96
2. Nicolas Ciamin / Thibault de la Haye 57
3. Terry Folb / Christopher Guieu 50
4. Dennis Rådström / Johan Johansson 45
5. Julius Tannert / Jurgen Heigl 37
6. Robert Duggan / Tom Woodburn 20
7. Dillon Van Way / Dai Roberts 18
8. Sebastian Careaga / Rodrigo Sanjuan 16
9. Emil Lindholm / Tomi Tuominen 5
10. Miko Niinemäe / Martin Valter 2
11. William Wagner / Kevin Parent 0

FIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP
Rally Poland
Post-event Press Conference
Sunday 2nd July

Present:
1st – Thierry Neuville, Hyundai Motorsport
1st – Nicolas Gilsoul, Hyundai Motorsport
2nd – Hayden Paddon, Hyundai Motorsport
2nd – Sebastian Marshall, Hyundai Motorsport
3rd – Sébastien Ogier, M-Sport World Rally Team
3rd – Julien Ingrassia, M-Sport World Rally Team
Michel Nandan, Hyundai Motorsport

Q:
Thierry, congratulations. A Hyundai one-two finish and a really strong performance. How are you feeling? You must be very happy?
TN:
I guess we have to be! It was an incredibly tough weekend again and the conditions were so difficult. We were again involved in a huge fight for the victory. It was very demanding. A lot of energy and concentration. This time, there were no mechanical issues and it gave us a great opportunity to score maximum points without taking too much risk. We also achieved the goal for this weekend of getting points back to Seb (Ogier).

Q:
What were your thoughts at the start of this morning?
TN:
It was horrible to be honest. We were able to read the comments of the first drivers before we started. I drove fast and always with a small margin and still I went wide a few times. I was surprised to see Ott 4.9 seconds faster than me in that first stage. I wasn’t sure if he went crazy or the set-up on my car could have been better. I spoke to some people who saw him passing and they saw him passing like hell. I knew I had to react and I went faster on the next one. Then I found out what had happened to Ott.

Q:
The Power Stage today, were you thinking about the five points? What were your thoughts before the start?
TN:
Always I think that. I wanted to go as fast as possible but we have to be clever. The fight is tough. Ogier is always close to or on the podium and, if we want to catch points, we have to be at the finish. Now, if I could go and do the stage again, I would go a little bit faster, but not more than this.

Q:
What are your thoughts now for Finland?
TN:
The feeling is good at the moment. We have to see again now for Finland. We have seen on the last couple of races that we have been quite consistent. Portugal, it was impossible to win, but we were strong again here like Sardinia. I hope the car will be fast. It felt good here, I had no concerns. Finland is probably one of the most difficult rallies in terms of speed and precision. It is easy to do a mistake. It is a tough event and a good approach is needed

Q:
Nicolas, what did you think when you saw Ott’s time on the board this morning?
NG:
I saw it. I saw we were very quick. We made a few mistakes in the slippery part. The main target was to get to the finish. We were sure Ott was pushing, but we stayed focused on the target and that was to win here this weekend.

Q:
It’s becoming a very close and exciting season isn’t it?
NG:
We decide to split the season, rally-by-rally, to try and catch some points rally-after-rally. The goal is to catch Ogier and Julien.

Q:
Hayden, first first time for you on the podium this year. How are you feeling?
HP:
It’s a big relief, especially after losing 40 seconds on Friday morning. After that we had a clean rally, but I guess we were fortunate with the issues for Jari-Matti and Ott.

Q:
What has this result done for your confidence since Sardinia? Do you feel that you are back on the pace and the level you want to be at now?
HP:
We still have things to work on and improve. This has been the hardest period in my life both professionally and personally. This result feels like I can lower the shoulders a little now and use this as a spring board to go forward. After the test we did last month, this was the perfect result to boost the confidence.

Q:
There are perhaps 10 drivers capable of taking the win in Finland. What do you think about that?
HP:
It certainly will make it exciting. They will be pushing all the time from the first stage. We will be the same from the start. We are looking forward to going all-out to continue to build towards a championship push in 2018.

Q:
Sebastian, welcome to the WRC podium for the first time. I assume that you have had the initiation celebration?
SM:
Right now, I feel quite cold actually (champagne). I am delighted to be here. This is only my third WRC event with Hayden but we have made a strong start together. In Portugal and Sardinia we did not complete the job. It was frustrating to come to Poland and, given our position on Friday morning, no one knew what to expect and that we would make it onto the podium. It is a fantastic result for us and the team. We have done three WRC events and one small rally together now. It actually feels as though we have been together a lot longer than that. It is natural and feels comfortable. It’s a good start to our partnership.

Q:
Third place Seb and good points for the Championship. How are you feeling about the weekend?
SO:
It was not a smooth event for us but I must be pleased with the points, I expected to lose more ground. We did not have a super speed at all. But, I am finally lucky to be at the podium, even if it was because of the little mistake of Ott this morning. He deserved to be here on the podium after his pace all the weekend. But, first to be first, first you have to finish. We grabbed 19 points, so I am happy.

Q:
Tell us about the engine issue you had yesterday…
SO:
It was not the engine it was more linked to the alternator. It was not working consistently and proving big stress for us to finish the loop. But I was lucky to finish. These things happen, plus the punctures on Saturday morning. Starting first on Friday in that weather was not so ideal. Like I say, we scored good points in the Power Stage. Now I am looking forward to enjoying a holiday.

Q:
Tell us your thoughts on Finland?
SO:
I’m sure Finland will be a good weekend for us again. Sometimes you have a bad moment in the championship. Of course I need to recharge the batteries to perform to the maximum. We have two day of testing before Finland to try and feel even better in the car. Finland is always interesting with a lot of Finns, I’m sure, trying to show some things there as well.

Q:
Do you also need to recharge the batteries Julien?
JI:
I feel really fresh…At the end we did not have too much time between the stages. We were worried with punctures and small issues. It was a long weekend for everyone. Now we are coming to the tarmac events. There is still a long way to go. It is exciting and I look forward to recharging the batteries. It is a long time since we had a championship like this. Nobody can bet on who can win and who can be on the podium. Rally after rally, it is getting very exciting. The level is really high. We never drove so fast in a rally car.

Q:
Michel, congratulations, a Hyundai one-two here in Poland. You must be delighted?
MN:
Of course, it’s a good weekend for us. We were able to catch up some points and the Manufacturers’ Championship is also very important. We had no issues as well.

Q:
Are you feeling any pressure now being in contention for both titles?
MN:
I think we have no more pressure than normal. Everybody has to do his job and we have development work in progress. When you are doing the championship you have to be careful not to do any mistakes. We will see, for sure, some nice battles again. Since the beginning of the season, everything has been quite close. I hope it continues to the end of the year.

FIA WRC 2 CHAMPIONSHIP

Present:
1st – Ole Christian Veiby
1st – Stig Rune Skjærmoen

Q:
Ole Christian, congratulations on a superb victory in WRC 2!
OCV:
We are delighted. It is a great feeling. I did not think too high for this rally. We were so strong this weekend and we showed some nice pace. To beat Pontus (Tidemand) is a great feeling.

Q:
Tell us about the conditions, the mud and the rain?
OCV:
For sure, it was very difficult conditions. The most difficult was to judge the level of grip. It was like slicks on ice in the corners. We had many moments as well as many others. We did really well. Not very big moments, but you have some places off the road in the fields a little….

Q:
Your performance level is improving. Is the Asia-Pacific Rally Championship programme also helping with that?
OCV:
It is helping me. I have a lot of rallies on the schedule this year. To drive as much as you can is important with Finland coming soon. We were confident before this rally as well. Our plan was to try and beat Pontus and show some speed, but we did not expect to beat him overall.

Q:
Stig Rune, how did it go for you?
SRS:
I enjoyed the rally a lot. When it’s gong fast, it is fun. Wet is okay as well. It was a great weekend. We did not think a win was possible. To win was fun to do.

FIA JUNIOR WRC / WRC 3 CHAMPIONSHIP

Present:
1st – Nil Solans
1st – Miguel Ibáñez

Q:
Nil, yet another win for you in the Junior WRC category. You must be elated?
NS:
It is amazing. It is a great feeling. We have been here before, but the first time in these conditions. We competed here in 2014 and 2015 but not in conditions like this. In the ruts we did not know if we would roll or not. The car was jumping. We went flat out in all the stages and we enjoyed it a lot.

Q:
How was the car fairing in these conditions?
NS:
Sometimes it was hitting too much. In the bumps, the ceiling (roof) was hitting your head. You begin to think the car will be destroyed, but M-sport makes an amazing car. It was very hard and gave me confidence to drive and we enjoy a lot.

Q:
Four stages today, but you had a flat tyre didn’t you?
NS:
Yes, a left corner at the beginning of the first stage today. It was a big stone inside the gravel. It was in the line, in a flat corner, like Terry Folb and some other drivers. The ruts did help us to go flat and we lost only 16 seconds – not too much.

Q:
Finland next Miguel, you must be looking forward to that?
MI:
Yes, we have done three very different rallies. Corsica was on tarmac, Sardinia was gravel and Poland was quite flat. Finland is not sandy like here. We have the speed and we are confident for Finland.

Q:
What are your thoughts on the win in Poland?
MI:
The feeling is great. On the first day, the rain was very difficult and Saturday was okay. The feeling changed today. It was very difficult for the rain. In Finland, it will be a different feeling.

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