This weekend sees the World Rally Championship return with round seven, the Rally Poland, taking place in and around the northern town of Mikołajki. This gravel rally, which is comprised of 22 special stages, over 3 legs and 306km of competitive distance, promises to test both the skill and stamina of the drivers, as well as the durability of their cars. Once again, there will be a number of ŠKODA Fabia R5s on the start line looking to continue our excellent record in the WRC2 championship this season.
The ŠKODA Motorsport team will be represented this time out by the Swedish duo of Pontus Tidemand/Jonas Andersson and the Finnish pairing of Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm.
But there are plenty of customer teams who will also hope to be in the mix as well. Peruvian Nicolás Fuchs (title photo above), along with his Argentinian co-driver Fernando Mussano have made a great start to the season, with a victory in the WRC2 category in Argentina and second place in Portugal already under their belts. They will be looking to recover after an accident meant they failed to finish in the last WRC round at the Rally Italia Sardegna and build on their current second position in the WRC2 championship standings.
Finland’s Teemu Suninen/Mikko Markkula have also been in fine form this year and are just one place further back in third. With two WRC2 victories already won at the Rally Guanajuato Mexico, as well as last time out at the Rally Italia Sardegna, the Team Oreca duo will also be looking to keep the momentum going in Poland.
For The Ptock team pairing of Hubert Ptaszek and co-driver Maciej Szczepaniak, just getting to the ceremonial start will be a success after Szczepaniak injured his back during the Rally de Portugal in May. However, they played a full part in the Rajd Warmiński last weekend and look to be fully fit and striving to make a big impression in their home rally.
Germans Armin Kremer/Pirmin Winklhofer, driving for the BRR Baumschlager Rallye & Racing Team, have had a solid season so far, after finish second in the WRC2 category at the opening round of the season, the Rallye Monte Carlo. They will want to make an impression on the Polish gravel, as will Australians Scott Pedder/Dale Moscatt, in what will only be their second event in a ŠKODA Fabia R5, after finishing fourth in the WRC2 category in Portugal.
And lastly, Frenchmen Julien Maurin/Olivier Ural are gravel specialists, currently leading the way in the French Gravel Rally Championship, and will be hoping that expertise helps to propel them up the leaderboard this weekend.