WRC 2017: Rally Poland at a glance (+itinerary)

WRC 2017: Rally Poland at a glance (+itinerary)

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Rally Poland 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Poland means

Poland’s long rallying heritage is maintained with the 74th running of Rajd Polski (Rally Poland), held for the first time in 1921 and pre-dated only by Rally Monte Carlo.

  • FIA President Jean Todt co-drove Achim Warmbold to victory on the 1973 event. It was a founding round of the World Rally Championship, no less.
  • From 1974 onwards the rally was part of the European championship. Its WRC status was restored in 2009 Mikko Hirvonen and Jarmo Lehtinen won. That was after Jari-Matti Latvala and Miikka Anttila crashed out within sight of the finish of the final stage held at the Mikołajki Arena.
  • The purpose-built venue, the event’s shortest at 2.5 kilometres, continues to form Rally Poland’s centrepiece. It is the setting for the opening stage from 19h08 local time on Thursday, June 29. It’s within walking distance of the permanent service park in the lakeside town, a three-hour drive north of the capital Warsaw in the heart of the picturesque Mazurian lake district.
  • As well as hosting the service park and superspecial stage, Mikołajki is the setting of the ceremonial start on Thursday, June 29 and finishing podium on Sunday, July 2.
  • While the Mikołajki Arena, Chmielewo, Wieliczki, Świętajno, Stare Juchy and Gołdap stages are unchanged from 2016, Pozezdrze and Orzysz are all-new for 2017, while almost 100 kilometres (29 per cent) of the competitive route has not featured for the last three years. Kruklanki is the rally’s longest stage at 26.35 kilometres.
  • All special stages are within a 100-kilometre radius of the event’s Mikołajki HQ – within the Congress Center of the giant Hotel Gołębiewski.

Recent winners

2016 Andreas Mikkelsen/Anders Jæger Volkswagen Polo R WRC
2015 Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia Volkswagen Polo R WRC
2014 Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia Volkswagen Polo R WRC
2013 Kajetan Kajetanowicz/Jarosław Baran Ford Fiesta R5*
2012 Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferme Škoda Fabia S2000*

*ERC event only

Rally Poland Schedule (GMT+2)

Thursday 29 June

8.00am: Shakedown – Sady (4.90km)

4.00pm: Start (Mikolajki)

7.08pm: SS1 – Mikolajki Arena (2.50km)

7.28pm: Parc ferme (Mikolajki)

Friday 30 June

6.25am: Service A (Mikolajki – 18 mins)

7.15am: SS2 – Chmielewo 1 (6.52km)

9.00am: SS3 – Wieliczki 1 (15.96km)

9.55am: SS4 – Swietajno 1 (19.60km)

10.40am: SS5 – Stare Juchy 1 (13.50km)

12.40pm: Service B (Mikolajki – 33 mins)

1.45pm: SS6 – Chmielewo 2 (6.52km)

3.30pm: SS7 – Wieliczki 2 (15.96km)

4.25pm: SS8 – Swietajno 2 (19.60km)

5.10pm: SS9 – Stare Juchy 2 (13.50km)

7.08pm: SS10 – Mikolajki Arena 2 (2.50km)

7.38pm: Service C (Mikolajki – 48 mins)

Saturday 1 July

7.45am: Service D (Mikolajki – 18 mins)

8.08am: SS11 – Baranowo 1 (15.55km)

9.20am: SS12 – Pozezdrze 1 (24.28km)

10.45am: SS13 – Goldap 1 (14.75km)

11.35am: SS14 – Kruklanki 1 (19.58km)

1.12pm: Service E (Mikolajki – 33 mins)

2.08pm: SS15 – Baranowo 2 (15.55km)

3.20pm: SS16 – Pozezdrze 2 (24.28km)

4.45pm: SS17 – Goldap 2 (14.75km)

5.35pm: SS18 – Kruklanki 2 (19.58km)

7.30pm: SS19 – Mikolajki Arena 3 (2.50km)

8.00pm: Service F (Mikolajki – 48 mins)

Sunday 2 July

6.40am: Service G (Mikolajki – 18 mins)

8.10am: SS20 – Orzysz 1 (11.15km)

9.08am: SS21 – Paprotki 1 (18.68km)

10.45am: SS22 – Orzysz 2 (11.15km)

12.18pm: SS23 – Paprotki 2 – Power Stage (18.68km)

1.40pm: Service H (Mikolajki – 13 mins)

2.30pm: Podium (Mikolajki)

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