Celebrating 70 years in 2013, the spectacular gravel event is not only a familiar fixture on the ERC schedule it is also one of the oldest rallies in the world. This year’s anniversary edition, the final loose-surface round of the season, is set to be a big hit with fans with four stages shown live on Eurosport and national hero, the Formula One race winner Robert Kubica, among a host of star names set to take part. Running through Poland’s stunning Masurian lake district, the event headquarters, service park and superspecial are housed in one part of host town Mikołajki.
Difficult conditions lead to ERC Poland route changes
There will be serious competition ahead on round nine of the FIA European Rally Championship – just over a shorter distance than originally planned.
Following heavy rain on Wednesday night and Thursday morning, sections of stages have been left damaged beyond immediate repair, prompting the organisers of LOTOS 70 Rally Poland to make a few modifications to the event itinerary.
On Saturday 14 September, special stage one and four, Tałty, is cut from 14.54 kilometres to 6.15 kilometres. Baranowo, which forms stages two and five of the gravel rally, is trimmed from 17.51 kilometres to 12.11 kilometres. However, the length of Mrągowo, which counts as stage three and seven and will be shown live on Eurosport, is unchanged.
The stages scheduled for Sunday 15 September are also unchanged, including the Mateuszek run, which will also be televised live on Eurosport.
The changes made to Saturday’s itinerary means that the total competitive distance of LOTOS 70 Rally Poland falls from 230.40 kilometres to 202.82 kilometres.
Kubica fastest in qualifying as ERC Super September continues in Poland
National hero Robert Kubica has gone fastest on the Qualifying Stage for round nine of the FIA European Rally Championship, LOTOS 70 Rally Poland.
Cheered on by thousands of enthusiastic fans and driving a LOTOS-backed Citroën DS3 RRC, Kubica mastered the slippery conditions on the 2.5-kilometre course in a time of 1m50.4s.
The Formula One race winner now earns the right to select his starting position first for Saturday’s opening leg, which features two stages live on Eurosport.
“The conditions were very tough just life in the recce,” said the 28-year-old. “We are expecting a difficult rally."
Michał Kościuszko, who like Kubica hails from Krakow in the south of Poland, was second fastest, 0.4s down on Kubica, in his new-generation Ford Fiesta R5.
Triple Polish champion Bryan Bouffier was third quickest in a Peugeot 207 Super 2000 with ERC title leader Jan Kopecký fourth fastest for ŠKODA Motorsport. “It was nice to see so many people in the stage,” said Kopecký. “But it was quite rough in some places and my car was quite low so it was touching.”
Craig Breen, currently second to Kopecký in the ERC title race, was eighth quickest for Peugeot Rally Academy. “I wasn’t happy with my driving in there – I couldn’t find a good rhythm,” said the Irishman. “But the real rally begins tomorrow.”
Wojciech Chuchała was the fastest of the ERC Production Car Cup contenders in his Subaru Impreza with Stéphane Lefebvre setting the pace among the ERC 2WD Championship runners in his Peugeot Rally Academy 208 R2.
Toshi Arai, one of the favourites with ERC Production Car Cup success lost time nudging a barrier, while Martin Kangur said he struggled to engage his Fiesta R5’s launch control correctly. Jérémi Ancian reported making a small mistake at the final corner.
The start selection ceremony begins at 20:00hrs in Mikołajki’s main square. The opening stage, Tałty, goes live at 08:48hrs local time.
Rich pickings in Poland as ERC title leader Kopecky goes first on the road
Jan Kopecký will open the road on round nine of the FIA European Rally Championship, LOTOS 70 Rally Poland.
Czech ace Kopecký, who tops the ERC standings on the back of five outright victories in his ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000, was the fourth driver to choose his starting position for Saturday’s opening leg based on the results of the Qualifying Stage, but opted to run at the head of the field alongside co-driver Pavel Dresler.
Meanwhile, Polish hero Robert Kubica won the Qualifying Stage to earn the right to pick his road position first. However, he chose to start in fourth place in his Citroën DS3 RRC.
Michał Kościuszko will start second in his new-generation Ford Fiesta R5 with triple Polish champion Bryan Bouffier third on the road in a Peugeot 207 S2000. Behind Kubica, Polish legend Krzysztof Hołowczyz goes fifth with Peugeot Rally Academy’s Craig Breen sixth, one place ahead of team-mate Jérémi Ancian.
Michał Sołowow starts eighth with young Estonian Martin Kangur ninth in a Fiesta R5 run by Markko Märtin’s eponymous team. Polish championship leader Kajetan Kajetanowicz goes 10th with Turkey’s Yagiz Avci 11th, Dominykas Butvilas of Lithuania 12th and fellow ERC Production Car Cup runner Toshi Arai 13th in a Subaru Impreza R4 STI.
Saturday’s leg features seven stages over a competitive distance of 89.34 kilometres. The first stage, Tałty, gets underway at 08:48hrs local time. The first stage broadcast live on Eurosport is Mrągowo from 11:36hrs.
After SS1: ERC ace Bouffier storms into Poland lead
The FIA European Rally Championship’s Super September continued in style this morning when Bryan Bouffier set the pace on the opening stage of LOTOS 70 Rally Poland.
Bouffier, a three-time Polish champion, took 4m01.9s to complete the Tałty stage, shortened to 6.15 kilometres due to damage caused by recent heavy rain. “It’s completely different to anything I’ve done before with the conditions but I started as quick as I could and pushed but I have to save the car,” said the Peugeot 207 Super 2000 driver. “Until now everything is good with the car.”
Polish championship leader Kajetan Kajetanowicz excelled on his debut in a new-generation Ford Fiesta R5, going second fastest, 5.1s slower than the flying Bouffier. Michał Kościuszko, in another Fiesta R5, was third fastest, 5.4s down off the early pacesetter with ERC title leader Jan Kopecký next up in his ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000.
“It was more cross-country than a normal rally and I couldn’t find the braking point and couldn’t find the road at all,” said Kościuszko, who is driving with a fractured vertebra. “At the moment it’s very soft so I don’t feel pain but the issue is to get to grip, not the pain in my back.”
Kopecký, who is running first on the road, said: “It was quite difficult but I have to say I expected it would be. There are some deep ruts and muddy places and we were driving carefully. The car is quite good but in the deep ruts I don’t know what to do. We are high enough with the car.”
Michał Sołowow was fifth quickest despite suggesting that his Ford Fiesta RRC had been set up too hard for the conditions, while local hero Zbigniew Staniszewski impressed by going sixth fastest in his M-Sport-run Fiesta 2000.
Behind national legend Krzysztof Hołowczyc, Formula One race winner and Polish hero Robert Kubica won Friday evening’s Qualifying Stage and opted to run fourth on the road in his Citroën DS3 RRC. He said: “It was very slippery and we took a very conservative set-up choice for the lines but they were not so big. I took it very easy in very difficult conditions.”
After SS2: Problems for Kosciuszko on Poland ERC qualifier
Michał Kościuszko’s hopes of winning LOTOS 70 Rally Poland suffered a setback when his Ford Fiesta R5’s powersteering faltered on stage two of the FIA European Rally Championship qualifier.
The Krakow resident began the 12.11-kilometre Baranowo stage 5.4s behind leader Bryan Bouffier but is now more than 35s adrift of the flying Frenchman heading to the first of four stages televised live on Eurosport. “We lost the powersteering and the engine stopped at one point,” said Kościuszko. “We lost 20 seconds and in this rally that’s a disaster.”
Bouffier, in a Peugeot 207 Super 2000, was fastest again, 0.7s quicker than Polish championship leader Kajetan Kajetanowicz. As a result, his lead out front stands at a slender 5.8s.
Robert Kubica impressed with the third fastest time to take the final step on the provisional podium in his Citroën DS3 RRC. However, the national hero and 16-time stage winner in the ERC, said he was still struggling in the slippery conditions. “Our car prefers the dry conditions and we are struggling a lot,” said Kubica. “There are sections where it is very slippery.”
Krzysztof Hołowczyc was fourth quickest, 12.2s down on Bouffier with ERC title leader Jan Kopecký next up in his ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000. Peugeot Rally Academy’s Craig Breen was sixth quickest, reporting a lack of rhythm in the 207 S2000 he’s sharing with new co-driver Lara Vanneste.
SS3: Kubica flies to Poland stage win live on Eurosport
Robert Kubica has claimed his 17th stage win in this year’s FIA European Rally Championship by going fastest through the Mrągowo test live on Eurosport.
Driving a Citroën DS3 RRC, Kubica was 2.1s quicker than LOTOS 70 Rally Poland leader Bran Bouffier through the 25.16-kilometre run to move into second place, 12.3s behind the flying Frenchman in a Peugeot 207 Super 2000.
“That was very good,” said the Formula One race winner, whose every move was followed on Eurosport. “I think this is new stage for everybody so other drivers do not have an advantage. But the conditions are so difficult, every corner you can go off. Very, very difficult."
Kajetan Kajetanowicz, who was second overall starting the stage, lost a few seconds briefly going off the road in his Ford Fiesta R5. The Polish championship leader was third quickest and drops to third overall.
Craig Breen was fourth fastest for the Peugeot Rally Academy operation despite a spin costing him valuable time. “That’s tough going,” he said. “In the last five kilometres I had a spin on a junction and had to reverse and go back again.”
Michał Kościuszko also endured an off-road moment in his Fiesta R5 on his way to the fifth quickest time. ERC title leader Jan Kopecký was sixth fastest in his ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000. “Sometimes I feel I was not driving the car, just spectator,” said Kopecký of the slippery stage conditions. “There was no grip at all, I do not like it.”
Crews are heading to host town Mikołajki for a 30-minute service halt. Stage four, Tałty 2, goes live at 14:10hrs local time.
After SS4: Bouffier quickest as Kangur impresses in the ERC
Bryan Bouffier has hit back in the battle for victory on round nine of the FIA European Rally Championship by winning the repeat of the 6.15-kilometre Tałty stage.
The Frenchman was fastest on the opening two runs of LOTOS 70 Rally Poland this morning but was outgunned by Robert Kubica on stage three, Mrągowo, live on Eurosport. However, Bouffier outpaced his rivals on the rerun of Tałty to build an overall advantage of 18.5s heading to stage five, Baranowo.
Kubica, meanwhile, started the stage in second position overall following his heroics on the third test. However, a slower time on stage four means he slips to third behind Polish championship leader Kajetan Kajetnowicz, who was fourth quickest through the stage.
One of the surprise performers on the stage was young Estonian driver Martin Kangur (pictured), who was second fastest in his Ford Fiesta R5, which has been rebuilt following a crash on a rally in Latvia two weeks ago. Kangur was 0.3s slower than Bouffier and climbs to eighth overall as a result.
Jan Kopecký, who heads the European championship standings on the back of five wins from six starts, was third quickest in his ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000. He remains fourth overall.
Robert Kubica admits he could have gone faster on stage five of LOTOS 70 Rally Poland, round nine of the FIA European Rally Championship, had it not been for a moment at a chicane on the 12.11-kilometre Baranowo test.
Kubica, in a Citroën DS3 RRC, reported losing four seconds when he momentarily stalled. As a result he lost out on a second stage win to young Estonian Martin Kangur, who scored his first fastest time on the ERC event in his Markko Märtin Motorsport-run Ford Fiesta R5.
Nevertheless, Kubica is back into second overall after Kajetan Kajetanowicz made a rare error in the stage: “I was too late on the brakes,” said Kajetanowicz, who slips to third. “It was my mistake but I don’t care because I am here.”
Despite going second fastest, Jan Kopecký conceded that he’s losing time running first on the road in his ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000. “The grip is getting much better with the bigger ruts for the drivers behind,” said the Czech driver.
Event leader Bryan Bouffier, who was 2.6s slower than Kopecký, said: “Two places I go a bit wide in the mud but okay, it’s not so bad, no problem. I tried to push.”
Craig Breen said he was in a “better place” after going fifth quickest in his Peugeot Rally Academy 207 Super 2000, his best performance of the event so far. He moves ahead of Krzysztof Hołowczyc into sixth as Hołowczyc drops to ninth following a mistake at a chicane. Meanwhile, Toshi Arai reported a problem with the engine of his Subaru Impreza R4 STI.
Up next is the 2.50-kilometre Mikołajki superspecial where thousands of fans are waiting to watch the action. Bouffier leads the event by 18.2s with Kubica second.
After SS6: Bouffier vows to keep pushing live on Eurosport
Bryan Bouffier has vowed to keep pushing when leg one of LOTOS 70 Rally Poland concludes live on Eurosport later today with the repeat of the 25.16-kilometre Mrągowo stage from 18:00hrs CET.
Bouffier, who heads the FIA European Rally Championship event by 17.2s in his Peugeot 207 Super 2000 with one stage of Saturday’s action remaining, was speaking at the finish of the Mikołajki superspecial stage where he went joined second fastest, 1.0s down on stage winner and second-placed driver Robert Kubica (Citroën DS3 RRC).
“It feels good to be in this position but I continue to keep pushing because the gap is very small to the drivers behind,” said Bouffier, who recorded an identical time to ERC title leader Jan Kopecký’s ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000.
Kubica, who was also fastest when the 2.50-kilometre spectator test was used as the Qualifying Stage on Friday evening, said: “Winning this stage doesn’t matter on this stage because it’s very short. It’s the next stage that I worry about because it is the hardest one of the day.”
ERC Production Car Cup contender Toshi Arai said his Subaru Impreza was back to full power following a fault on the previous stage.
Robert Kubica’s hopes of a podium finish on his home round of the FIA European Rally Championship are over after he a ripped the front-right wheel from his Citroën DS3 RRC – live on Eurosport.
Despite the damage, Kubica heroically fought his way to the finish of the 25.16-kilometre Mrągowo stage, losing more than three minutes in the process. However, with the damage too great for the Formula One race winner to make it back to service in Mikołajki this evening, Kubica has been forced to retire from second place on LOTOS 70 Rally Poland.
Speaking to ERC Rally Radio’s Chris Rawes, Kubica said: “I thought we had less damage than we have. I tried to make it to the finish as I thought we had some spare parts but we don’t and it’s a shame. It was in a quick part, in fifth gear, and I hit a stone on the braking and all the effort went on the front right. I thought at the beginning it was a puncture but in the end it was the wheel. I was doing my rally to be honest, not risking anything but it’s kind of part of the rally. I am not sure if we come back tomorrow.”
Kubica's moment was captured live on Eurosport via the camera fitted in his LOTOS-backed car.
Bryan Bouffier continues to lead outright heading to the overnight halt despite completing the closing 1.5 kilometres of the stage with a broken driveshaft on his Peugeot 207 Super 2000. His advantage over stage winner Kajetan Kajetnowicz (Ford Fiesta R5) is now 16.8s.
Michał Sołowow moves ahead of Jan Kopecký – the ERC title leader – into the final provisional podium spot after the Czech endured a torrid stage running at the head of the field in his ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000. “It was a nightmare,” said Kopecký. “It was horrible, much worse than the first pass and twice I was out of the road. I was very lucky because once I thought we were hitting a tree.”
Craig Breen slipped to eighth overall after losing time with a front-right puncture on his Peugeot Rally Academy 207 S2000, while Martin Kangur completed the stage with damage to the front and rear of his Fiesta R5, the result of an off-road moment caused by a powersteering glitch.
Crews are now heading back to service in Mikołajki where their teams will have 45 minutes to carry out essential repairs ahead of Sunday’s final leg, which kicks off with the 15.58 kilometres of Biskupiec from 07:05hrs local time.
After SS8: ERC ace Kopecky closes on third as lead battle gets serious
Jan Kopecký has closed to within 2.9s of Michał Sołowow in the battle for third place on LOTOS Rally Poland as Katejan Katejanowicz slashed Bryan Bouffier’s overall lead to 5.6s on round nine of the FIA European Rally Championship.
With two close fights for position on the high-speed gravel event starting the final morning, the serious competition ahead in the ERC has once again been underlined in dramatic fashion.
Kajetanowicz, who secured his fourth Polish title yesterday, took 16m07.6s to complete the 15.58 kilometres of Biskupiec at the wheel of his Ford Fiesta R5. “The stage is very soft and you must be very surprised,” said Kajetanowicz, who has now taken two stage wins on the ERC qualifier. “The pacenotes are very good and we have smiles on our faces.”
Peugeot 207 Super 2000 driver Bouffier, whose overnight lead stood at 16.8s, said: “To be honest I’m doing my best, really pushing but it’s not enough up until now. It seems very difficult. I will keep the same pace because I am really pushing. There are a lot of straight lines and I am at top speed but I am not complaining.”
Kopecký, in a ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000, said: “It was a nice stage but there were a few places where the pacenotes were too slow because there were some jumps where I could have been flat out. But we are happy we are here.”
Sołowow, who relies on Ford Fiesta RRC power, said it was “not easy to wake up in the morning” in reference to the 05:50hrs start to leg two.
Polish legend Krzysztof Hołowczyc said he needed to soften the suspension on his Fiesta RRC, adding: “I accept there is a little bit less water on the road. I think we make a mistake on the settings, we need to be a little softer.”
After SS9: Kajetanowicz takes Poland ERC lead from Bouffier
Kajetan Kajetanowicz is the new leader of LOTOS 70 Rally Poland following a dramatic ninth stage of the FIA European Rally Championship counter.
The multiple Polish champion started the 15.14-kilometre Użranki stage trailing Bryan Bouffier by 5.6s but has moved ahead by 1.7s after he outpaced his French rival for a second stage in succession.
Bouffier initially thought the added grunt of the turbocharged engine in Kajetanowicz’s Ford Fiesta R5 had made the difference but it has subsequently emerged that his Peugeot 207 Super 2000 has a broken right-rear damper.
“We try to drive as fast as possible but for sure it’s not good for these conditions to have no oil inside the damper,” said Bouffier, who has three Polish titles to his name. “I am doing my best but we will lose more time and I don’t know if I can do a full stage like this.”
Bouffier will now be trying to carry out running repairs to his Peugeot ahead of the 26.02-kilometre Mateuszek stage, which will be televised live on Eurosport from 10:00hrs local time.
And Bouffier is not the only driver with a problem. ERC title leader Jan Kopecký reported a “vibration” at the rear of his ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000. However, the Czech has moved ahead of Michał Sołowow in the battle for the final podium spot, albeit more than one minute adrift of second-placed Bouffier. Martin Kangur was also in trouble after reporting that he is using a left-rear tyre on the right-rear corner of his Fiesta R5 after changing tyres between stages.
Peugeot Rally Academy’s Craig Breen has taken sixth place from Polish legend Krzysztof Hołowczyc but his pursuit of Michał Kościuszko in fifth could be in vain after the Pole made it a Fiesta R5 one-two on the stage with the second fastest time, 3.2s down on Kajetanowicz.
Crews are now heading to a regroup in Rydzewo before the Mateuszek stage begins at 10:06hrs.
After SS10: Kopecky fastest live on Eurosport, Kajetanowicz grows lead
Kajetan Kajetanowicz has extended his lead over Bryan Bouffier to 20.6s on Poland’s round of the FIA European Rally Championship live on Eurosport.
With Bouffier saddled by a broken rear damper, a problem he has been nursing since the middle of Sunday’s opening test, the Frenchman was almost powerless to stop four-time Polish championship Kajetanowicz from pulling clear in his Ford Fiesta R5.
“I am driving as fast as I can but I have to manage the car because some parts are really bumpy,” said Bouffier in a Peugeot 207 Super 2000. “I am disappointed to have lost the lead but happy to be here because I could have stopped in the stage. At least I have three dampers that are okay but the gap is quite big now and the stages are very fast and maybe I won’t have the speed to fight.”
Amid fears that he wouldn’t be able to make it through the 26.02-kilometre Mateuszek stage broadcast live on Eurosport due a propshaft glitch on his ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000, Jan Kopecký’s biggest concern was actually hearing the pacenotes from co-driver Pavel Dresler due to the vibration inside the Czech machine creating a loud noise. Despite his problems, Kopecký maintains his grip on third place after outpacing event leader Kajetanowicz by 0.6s for his first stage win of the ERC counter.
Craig Breen completed the stage with a left-rear puncture and damage to the back of his 207. “We hit something at the rear in a bank and we were very lucky to get to the finish,” said the Irishman, who slips behind Polish legend Krzysztof Hołowczyc as a result of his delay. “We didn’t take enough cuts in the tyre.”
There was more frustration for Peugeot Rally Academy team-mate Jérémi Ancian who lost more than 20 minutes repairing a transmission fault on his 207. Martin Kangur reached the stage finish albeit with damage to the rear of his Fiesta R5 following contact with a pole. The young Estonian also momentarily stalled his car’s engine.
After SS11: Bouffier fights back in ERC Poland battle
Bryan Bouffier clearly won’t be giving up on winning LOTOS 70 Rally Poland without a fight after he outpaced Kajetan Kajetanowicz by 1.3s through the rerun of Biskupiec.
Bouffier, in a Peugeot 207 Super 2000, took 8m07.8s to complete the 15.58-kilometre run as he continues to fight back from the time lost with a broken damper this morning. As a result he has trimmed Kajetanowicz’s overall advantage to 19.3s on round nine of the FIA European Rally Championship with two stages remaining.
“I really pushed like hell and drove as fast as possible,” said Bouffier. “Okay I knew it’s not possible to take much time but I continue like this. You never know what can happen.”
Kajetanowicz said he feared the set-up of his Ford Fiesta R5 was too low for the rutted conditions but remains on course to win his home round of the ERC for the third time: “There are some deep ruts and the car is too low for the roads, which are very bumpy,” he explained.
Michał Kościuszko said he adopted a degree of caution through the opening corners after contact with an object on the first right-hander left him fearing he’d punctured a tyre. After speeding up for the remainder of the run, Kościuszko set the third fastest time, 4.6s down on Bouffier.
Behind Martin Kangur, who climbs ahead of Maciej Oleksowicz into ninth overall, ERC title leader Jan Kopecký continues to strengthen his grip on third after going fifth fastest in his ŠKODA Fabia S2000, which has been fitted with a replacement propshaft following earlier woes. Meanwhile, Jérémi Ancian said he was having trouble changing gear in his Peugeot Rally Academy 207.
Running first on the road, Dominykas Butvilas, who secured the Lithuanian title yesterday, is now 34.2s clear in the race for ERC Production Car Cup honours.
After SS12: Happy Kangur fastest again as Breen takes sixth
Martin Kangur has claimed his second stage win on round nine of the FIA European Rally Championship.
The 20-year-old from Estonia took 8m34.9s to complete the second running of Użranki in his Ford Fiesta R5, which was 1.4s faster than the time managed by Bryan Bouffier, who is still trying to catch Kajetan Kajetanowicz for victory on LOTOS 70 Rally Poland.
“I was happy with my time,” said Kangur, who achieved considerable success in the IRC 2WD Cup in a Honda Civic Type R in the past and is believed to be one of the youngest drivers to win a stage in the ERC.
Bouffier, who trails Kajetan Kajetanowicz by 18.7s, said: “I am really pushing, it is not enough. No change. I feel 100 per cent and I am really pushing as hard as I can, but it is not really enough.”
Kajetanowicz, meanwhile, was 0.6s slower than Bouffier through the stage and insists he’s not taking anything for granted with one stage remaining. “Now we have a good feeling but Bryan is very fast,” he said. “I have to find a compromise between risk and fun. But we have good fun.”
Peugeot Rally Academy’s Craig Breen has moved ahead of Krzysztof Hołowczyc in the battle for sixth place, while Kangur’s stage win means he climbs to eighth overall.
The final stage, Mateuszek, measures 26.02 kilometres in length with live coverage of the event getting underway at 18:00hrs CET.
After SS13: Home ERC joy for Polish hero Kajetanowicz
Kajetan Kajetanowicz has won the final stage of LOTOS 70 Rally Poland to claim victory on round nine of the FIA European Rally Championship live on Eurosport.
The LOTOS Rally Team driver, in a Ford Fiesta R5, took his fourth stage victory on the gravel event to clinch his third win on his home round of the ERC. It was also the first win in the ERC for the new-generation Fiesta R5, while Katejanowicz becomes the fifth different winner in the ERC this season.
By winning the final stage by a margin of 1.1s, Kajetanowicz was 23.3s ahead of Bryan Bouffier (Peugeot 207 Super 2000) at the completion of the 26.02-kilometre Mateuszek test. “It’s one of the best days of my life,” said the 34-year-old. “We have the best team, the best co-driver and the best car.”
Jan Kopecký was second fastest through the stage to move a step closer to the European championship title by finishing third overall in his ŠKODA Fabia S2000. Michał Kościuszko took fourth following a “clean run” in his Fiesta R5 after a left-rear puncture delayed compatriot Michał Sołowow. With Craig Breen also suffering a puncture on his Peugeot, Krzysztof Hołowczyc jumped from seventh to fifth with Sołowow taking sixth and Breen dropping to seventh.
There was frustration for Martin Kangur, who dropped out of the top 10 with broken powersteering and a puncture. Crews are now heading to the ceremonial finish in Mikołajki, which gets underway at 19:40hrs local time.
Next Rnd 10 Croatia - Asphalt 26-28 September 2013
A mainstay of the ERC for several years, the Croatia Rally had been due to run in June but moves to late September to coincide with the country hosting a meeting of the FIA’s World Motor Sport Council. The event is famous for its slippery asphalt and big spectator following and moves to the picturesque holiday resort of Poreč for 2013 when an exciting 14-stage route over a competitive distance of 239.12 kilometres will be run. As well as hosting the event, Poreč is the venue of the 1.7-kilometre Poreč SSS, which forms the opening and closing stages of the rally.