Tuesday | 24 Jun 2014

Pärn heads DMACK’s Fiesta fight

The WRC’s return to Lotos 71st Rally Poland marks the second round of the Drive DMACK Fiesta Trophy and if the opening round in Portugal was anything to go by, then the 12 competitors will provide a thriller.

Five different drivers led Rally de Portugal before Estonia’s Sander Pärn snatched victory in the final loop of stages, and we look at the latest news ahead of the Poland action.

• Two drivers start with an advantage over their rivals. Briton Tom Cave, runner-up in Portugal, tackled Rally Poland in 2009 and Pole Szymon Kornicki is likely to benefit from experience of his home roads.

• Two new co-drivers join the series. The experienced Joseph Matar will partner Nicolas Amiouni in an all-Lebanese pairing as Carlos Del Barrio is suffering from a back injury, while Ireland’s Darragh Mullen debuts alongside Canada’s Leo Urlichich.

Szymon Kornicki - hoping to put experience to good use

• The 12 identical Ford Fiesta R2 cars are powered for the first time by sustainable race fuel provided by GEM Fuel.

• The rally is a home event for the M-Sport team which prepares and runs the Fiesta R2s. Each car has been prepared at the team’s satellite workshop in Krakow.

• Drivers who had started a maximum of two WRC events before the 2014 season are battling for a new award. The Rookie Award, which will be claimed by the highest eligible driver in the final series standings, offers the winner a place in the end-of-season shoot out to win a one-off WRC 2 outing in 2015.

• Pärn, who holds a seven point lead over Cave, has taken advantage of the gap between the first two rounds to practice. “Between Rally de Portugal and Rally Poland I have driven two Estonian Championship rallies and done some tests, so that has helped develop the partnership with my new co-driver James Morgan,” he said.

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