Poland is not only the second-oldest and second-fastest event on the World Rally Championship (WRC) calendar in 2015, but also an emotional homecoming for Pirelli’s star World Rally Championship contender Robert Kubica, driving a privately-run Ford Fiesta RS WRC on the Italian tyres this year.
The route of Rally Poland has been extensively reworked: only the superspecial stage in Mikolajki remains entirely unaltered compared to 2014. However, the fast and flowing nature of the gravel roads, with average speeds close to those of Rally Finland, remain. Adding to the challenge are high summertime temperatures, which only increase the demands on the tyres during round seven of the World Rally Championship.
The longest stage is 39 kilometres, with the shortest being 2.5 kilometres. Following the superspecial stage in the evening of Thursday 2 July, the rally concludes at lunchtime on Sunday 5 July in Mikolajki, with the entire event being run within the Masurian Lakes region this year.
Welcome to the latest edition of Handbrakes & Hairpins, a 15-page issue featuring news from the WRC, the World RX and the South African National Rally Championship >> http://bit.ly/issue332.
As always, enjoy this week’s read!
Mikko Hirvonen’s announced his retirement. Prodrive’s launched a rally Volkswagen Golf VII for the Chinese Rally Championship. Hyundai Motorsport has signed Dani Sordo for another two seasons in the WRC. All is detailed over 23 pages of rally news in this week’s edition of HANDBRAKES & HAIRPINS’ free weekly eZine >>> http://bit.ly/issue330.
The WRC, FIA World Rallycross Championship, the FIA, Petter Solberg, and more are all featured inside this week’s 18-page edition. Download, download, download for FREE: http://bit.ly/issue329
WRC Promoter unveiled its 13-round calendar for the 2015 FIA World Rally Championship. All rallies in the 2014 schedule were confirmed for next year by the FIA World Motor Sport Council at its meeting in Beijing, with some significant date changes in the first part of the season.
January’s opening round at Rallye Monte-Carlo will start a week later than this year, providing a longer end-of-season break and increased preparation time for manufacturers, teams and drivers. The year’s curtain-raiser will adopt Rally 2 regulations for the first time, allowing retired competitors the opportunity to restart the following leg subject to technical approval. Rally 2 is employed by all other rounds.
Portugal’s fixture will return to its traditional fanbase in the north after 10 years in the southern Algarve area and swaps places with Argentina.
The South American round will be in mid-April, when conditions are likely to be warmer and drier, with Portugal moving back to late May. The changes mean Italy’s round will be a week later in mid-June.
Poland, which successfully returned to the championship in 2014 after a five-year absence, retains its place for next season.
“We’re delighted to confirm the 2015 calendar and to retain all 13 rounds for next season. The breadth of events geographically ensures a truly global championship,” said WRC Promoter’s managing director, Oliver Ciesla. “We’ve again blended a mix of classic events that date back to the championship’s origins with newer, but firmly established, rallies. All will offer a challenging variety of roads and conditions to ensure that WRC will provide the ultimate all-round test of driving ability.”
The 2015 FIA World Rally Championship calendar is:
01) Monte-Carlo 22 – 25 January
02) Sweden 12 – 15 February
03) Mexico 5 – 8 March
04) Argentina 16 – 19 April
05) Portugal 21 – 24 May
06) Italy 11 – 15 June
07) Poland 2 – 5 July
08) Finland 30 July – 2 August
09) Germany 20 – 23 August
10) Australia 10 – 13 September
11) France 1 – 4 October
12) Spain 22 – 25 October
13) Great Britain 12 – 15 November
This latest edition of Handbrakes & Hairpins dedicated in memory of Timothy Cathcart, who passed away at the British Rally Championship’s Ulster Rally this past weekend.
Inside we bring you news from Michelin and the World Rally Championship’s new two-year deal, Marcus Gronholm’s Volkswagen Motorsport move, a look at this weekend’s WRC ADAC Rallye Deutschland and a review of the SA National Rally Championship’s Round Five.
Yours free, each week: http://bit.ly/issue326
While a full recovery from the back injury sustained in a heavy landing during Finland’s World Rally Championship round last week is his current priority, Craig Breen’s focus is very much on achieving more FIA European Rally Championship success on Barum Czech Rally Zlín later this month.
Q: It’s an event you last tackled in 2011 but how tough is Barum Czech Rally Zlín?
CB: “It’s a very tough event but it’s similar to what I know from back home in Ireland. The roads are bumpy and quite changeable if it rains. The problem is the shiny Tarmac, which can become very slippery and therefore a big challenge.”
Continue reading Quick Cup of (Irish) Coffee