Polish stage of the World Rally Championship is back in a series of program not so long ago. After his debut in the WRC in 1973, Rally Poland disappeared from the calendar of the championship for years to 36 years. In 2009, the Polish stage was once again included in the World Cup, but only for one season. The final return of the same happened in 2014.
However, even during these three years spent in zero Racing Rally Poland have been the scene of an interesting fight with unexpected outcome. I was no exception and the race this year.
But before we begin the story of the struggle last season remember in 2016. Then the victory in the Rally of Poland won Sebastien Ogier. Behind him on the second, third and fourth place finish, Andreas Mikkelsen, Ott and Hayden Tyanak Peddon.
At this year's gravel stages Ogier forced to waste time because the track clearance, which leads to it behind the leader. This is what happened in Poland. But Mikkelsen Tyanak and Peddon in this order took the first three places — a wholly amusing coincidence. But it could have been a little different...
No, the trio of Norwegian, Estonian and New Zealander dominated throughout the rally. The exception was only the first special stage — the audience superdop «Mikołajki Arena», who won by Thierry Neuville, seized by this leadership.
However, since the second special stage as Ott Tyanak, Hayden Peddon Andreas Mikkelsen and formed a group of three crews, which led him the rest of the peloton.
During the race order changed in the top three until the eighth special stage. But after SU8, which was called «Świętajno 2» Tyanak came in first place, pushing the second Mikkelsen. Peddon same at this point already I had begun to lag behind the two leaders.
And what is the recognized favorites? Where Ogier and Latvala, as well as a pair of experienced riders Hyundai Neuville and Sordo?
Jari-Matti Latvala in Poland has never particularly lucky. What's the first race for him, where he shamelessly came down to the very finish, breaking and tearing off a wheel suspension on the final very brief viewers SU. Then there was only a little better — in the past two years, he finished fifth. This year, the Finn again finished only fifth, with himself explain this result racer Volkswagen Motorsport difficult.
Sebastien Ogier on the contrary — did everything that was in its power. But against the «rules of the anti-Ogier» He can not do anything. Clears the track in the first two days on gravel stages is difficult and this leads to a colossal waste of time. Hence the sad outcome for the Frenchman — after victories in conventionally asphalt Monte Carlo Rally and conditionally snow and ice Rally Sweden this year Ogier until there is no longer any «Victoria.» No one gravel stage in 2016 five of the past Sebastien was unable to climb to the highest step of the podium.
Worse than that — the results are falling! First there were two second places (Mexico and Argentina), and then two third (Portugal and Italy), and now — the sixth in Poland. Something is going to happen...
Teammates Hyundai Motorsport Thierry Neuville and Dani Sordo had a race not too well — and do not be misleading Belgian fourth result.
Thierry made a serious mistake during the review — was too «slow» his transcript for the Polish route and as a result of the first passage of special stages he rode slowly than he could and what he wanted. On the second — the tempo increased, after Neville to make changes.
But what could be his final result, if not this absolutely unnecessary mistake! At the finish he lost who became the third Hayden Peddon some miserable eight-tenths of a second, and the runner-up Ott Tyanaku 3.1 seconds.
And sat down behind the wheel of the third Hyundai i20 WRC Dani Sordo was the victim of a tactical move, Andreas Mikkelsen, who has taken more Norwegian in the final special stage of the previous stage of the world championship, which took place in Italy.
Then the Norwegian special slowed down to at the end of the race down a notch lower in the results table and skip forward Sordo. Thus Mikkelsen received a better starting position, and Dani had in Poland for the first two days after the start Sébastien Ogier and experiencing difficulties due to driving on slippery and muddy road.
As a result, the Spaniard showed gruesome results in the special stages and the end of the race took only 11th place. And under the Spaniard finish first «put» its Hyundai on the parapet and damaged the front part, and then crashed into a tree and broke his suspension. Ret.
Spanish pilot Problems Hyundai Motorsport allowed to get into the coveted top ten both pilots factory team M-Sport and semi-works drivers duo Abu Dhabi World Rally Team.
The best in this quartet became Craig Breen — Irishman was slower, but more stable than his comrade-in-arms Stephen Lefebvre, finished the race ninth due to the fact that on the second Sunday dope Frenchman tore myself rear left suspension.
«Fordovtsy» as Mads Ostberg and Eric Camilli — as opposed to speaking on a similar, but nezavodskoy machine Ott Tyanaka — the race held at the end of the first ten and barely clung at least for some points.
It's hard to say why a Norwegian and a Frenchman were so weak in Poland, despite the fact that the Estonian was incredibly fast. A significant difference was only one — factory pilots went on Michelin tires, and spoke at Tyanak DMACK. But the same can not be better than the Chinese tires French? Or maybe? Time will tell…
In the meantime, the World Rally Championship goes into a little vacation. The next stage of the series will be held from 28 to 31 July in Finland — we are waiting for the legendary Neste Rally Finland.