Hubert Ptaszek expects to resume his WRC 2 campaign at his home round in Poland next week with injured co-driver Maciej Szczepaniak winning his battle for fitness.
Szczepaniak injured his back after a heavy landing at a jump in the Fafe stage during the final morning of Vodafone Rally de Portugal in May. It kept the pair out of the last round in Italy earlier this month, but Ptaszek is confident of being back for PZM 73rd Rally Poland (30 June - 3 July).
“Maciej is back in shape and I think we will be 100% ready for Rally Poland. After some testing we will see, but I’m quite positive about Maciej’s condition,” said Skoda Fabia R5 pilot Ptaszek, who slipped to fifth in the standings after missing Italy.
Among his WRC 2 rivals next week will be fellow Pole and European champion Kajetan Kajetanowicz (below), who makes his championship debut in a Ford Fiesta R5. He won the rally three times when it was a counter for the European series.
“I have great fondness for Rally Poland and now we will have even stronger rivals and longer special stages. I love fast stages, where a lot of corners are at maximum speed and flying through the crests. For us, a place in the top five of WRC 2 will be something big,” he said.
Ptaszek, Kajetanowicz and Junior WRC contender Lukasz Pieniążek joined clerk of the course Jarosław Noworól in urging fans to put safety at the top of their priorities at this seventh round of the 14-event series.
“This year we significantly changed the concept of security and organisation of the rally for the fans. We have about 50% more people responsible for security. If the fans stand in prohibited places we will have to cancel the stage. However, I hope our joint efforts will not be wasted,” said Noworól.