Friday | 30 Jan 2015

90 per cent revamp for Rally Poland stages

The route of LOTOS Rally Poland, the seventh round of the 2015 FIA World Rally Championship, has changed by almost 90% compared to last year's edition, organisers have revealed.

The 2015 itinerary features 19 gravel stages, with a total length of nearly 332 km, and a total rally distance of 1,228 kilometres. Most of the special stages are modified or completely new, including the longest test in the history of rallying in Poland – an all new special stage of 42 km.

Like in 2014, the rally will be based in the city of Mikołajki, with stages run in the surrounding Masurian lakes and Moraine hills regions. This year’s rally will also be an all-Polish affair, after organisers dropped the stages in neighbouring Lithuania that featured in 2014.

“The route has undergone very big changes and only the head-to-head super special at the Mikołajki Arena will have the same course as last season,” explained clerk of the course, Jarosław Noworól. “In other cases, we use well known pieces of special stages, tests run in the opposite direction or sections used many years ago, but not in the World Championship. There will also be completely new special stages, amongst which there will be the longest one in the rally.

Local hero Robert Kubica will be keen to impress on the stages around Mikołajki

“The schedule is so arranged that there are no stages run in the dark. Last year's stages, in most cases, appealed to drivers, fans and media representatives, but we paid attention to their suggestions and opinions. We take them into account when preparing our rally. I have no doubt that in the first weekend of July we will see exciting competition on demanding and spectacular special stages of the LOTOS 72nd Rally Poland,” he added.

The ceremonial start will take place on Thursday 2 July in the centre of Mikołajki. The same evening, drivers will face the first competition on the Mikołajki Arena track.

On Friday 3 July, drivers will tackle eight special stages, totalling 162 kilometers, without a midday service. The leg will include two runs through the longest timed test in the rally and will end with a second visit to the Mikołajki Arena Super Special. Seven stages, with a total length of 132 km, will be held on Saturday, 4 July. Three of them will be run twice.

There will be three stages on Sunday, 5 July, including a final visit to the Super Special and the rally-closing Power Stage. The finish of the rally, like the ceremonial start, will be in the centre of Mikołajki.

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