A new rally-closing live TV Power Stage is the major change in the itinerary for 74th Rally Poland (29 June - 2 July).
Drivers will fight for bonus points in the Paprotki test, north-east of the rally base in the Masurian lakes town of Mikolajki, which was last driven in 2015. It replaces the Sady stage, which will be driven as the shakedown on Thursday morning.
The route for the eighth round of the WRC features two new stages and almost a third of the competitive distance has not been used in the last three years. A compact itinerary means there will be mid-leg service in Mikolajki on both the opening two legs.
“During this year’s edition of the rally we did not plan any special stages located further than 100km from rally headquarters,” said clerk of the course Jarosław Noworól. “That means we don’t have to organise any additional service.”
The action begins on Thursday night with the traditional head-to-head battles around the Mikolajki Arena super special stage next to the service park.
Friday’s stages are unchanged from last year, two identical loops north-east of Mikolajki leading into a second pass at the arena.
The second leg is the longest at more than 164km and contains almost half the event’s stage distance. It journeys as far north as the border with the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad and includes the new Pozezdrze test. Four stages will be driven twice before a final blast at the arena.
Sunday’s finale comprises two loops of two tests, including the new Orzysz, before the finish in the centre of Mikolajki. The 23 stages cover 338.34km in a route of 1457.41km.