Thursday | 02 Jul 2015

Kubica cools home crowd expectations in Poland

Robert Kubica has warned his loyal army of supporters against unrealistic expectations when the FIA World Rally Championship visits his home country for this week's 72nd LOTOS Rally Poland.

Kraków-born Kubica’s race-winning career in Formula One made him a motorsport hero in his homeland, and his fans will be among an estimated 100,000 spectators at this week's gravel rally in Mikołajki, 250km north of the Polish capital Warsaw.

It will be the 30-year-old's third start in front of his home fans, and his second driving a Ford Fiesta RS in the top level World Rally Car class. "It's always good to get the chance to compete in my home country because I haven't had many opportunities to do that since I left for international karting in 1998," he told

"I'm happy to be here and it's a great opportunity for our country to host a WRC event because the sport is very popular here. I would like to thank all of the spectators who are coming here - hopefully all of us will have a good weekend."

But Kubica, who is co-driven by Maciek Szczepaniak, denied that success could be judged on finishing position alone. "As usual I want to do well, but it's more about me driving well." he explained. "I am not targeting any position. Instead I would like to get the best driving from what we have and see where that gets us.

"When it comes to expectations we have to stay realistic. We have a smaller budget and a much smaller team than the factory crews," he added.

Kubica's insistence on running his own team meant he missed April's WRC counter in Argentina when he took time out to restructure. Now based in Tuscany, his RK World Rally Team has its own service base but can still call upon the support of preparation firm M-Sport.

As well as acknowledging the limitations of his privateer status, Kubica also scotched suggestions of a home advantage. "Although I'm Polish and have competed here twice before, most of the stages are changed, so it's like a new rally," he said.

“On the recce I was writing down pace notes and thinking no, it cannot be so fast, but it is – extremely - and the differences between the drivers will be small. That's why it's so important to feel confident and comfortable in the car."

The rally starts on Thursday with a Super Special Stage in Mikolajki and ends, 19 stages later, on Sunday afternoon with the live TV Baranowo Power Stage.

More News

Video: Get set for Poland...