ORLEN 74th Rally Poland
|ORLEN 74th Rally Poland|
|Stages:||23 (326,64 km)|
- Super-quick sandy roads dart among the picturesque countryside of the Masurian Lake District holiday region in northern Poland.
- Based in Mikolajki, several hours north of Warsaw, which hosts the start, finish and a super special stage next to the service park that is run three times.
- After Thursday evening’s curtain-raiser in Mikolajki, Friday is unchanged from last year. It features two loops of four tests to the north-east, before a repeat of the super special stage duels - a total of 116.16km.
- Saturday heads north towards the border with the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad for four stages that are driven twice, before a last pass over the Mikolajki super special.
- Four final tests will be held on Sunday, including the new Paprotki Power Stage.
- Very fast roads will see speeds approach those of Rally Finland.
- Tall grass lines many sections, limiting visibility on the approach to corners.
- Grass also hides rocks so cutting corners is a risky pastime.
- Gravel suspension.
- Soft compound tyres are the primary option, but hard rubber will also be available.
- First established in 1921, Rally Poland is one of the world’s oldest rallies.
- It was included in the inaugural WRC season in 1973 when there were only three classified finishers. Four other crews completed the route but were excluded for being out of time.
- It left the calendar and became an asphalt event in the European Championship.
- It returned to WRC in 2009 when Mikko Hirvonen won, after which it was again removed.
- It returned to the championship for a second time in 2014.
What’s new for 2017
- Almost a third of the route has not featured in the last three editions.
- Two brand new stages – Saturday’s 23.80km Pozezdrze and the 10.50km Orzysz, both of which are driven twice.
- A Saturday lunchtime service in Mikolajki after morning stages north of the town.
- Paprotki Power Stage will replace Sady as the bonus points decider on Sunday.
- Mikolajki’s super special stage which includes spectacular head-to-head duels on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings. It is within walking distance of the service park so make sure you combine a visit to both.
- If you are going to watch, then stay on for a few days to enjoy the lakeland area of Masuria. The area is a prime tourist destination famous for its lakes and forests and offering activities such as sailing, kayaking, swimming, angling, walking and cycling.