Krzysztof Holowczyc (POL) achieves sensational second place at Baja Poland
Fellow MINI ALL4 Racing driver and Polish compatriot Jakub Przygonski finishes in fourth
Erik van Loon (NDL) places the third MINI ALL4 Racing inside top five
Baja Poland, the seventh round of the FIA Cross Country World Cup, proved once again to be the arena for Polish rally expert Krzysztof Holowczyc to showcase his exceptional driving talent. For Holowczyc, this particular race and fine second place result will be equally memorable as his five previous Baja Poland victories.
The 2016 edition of Baja Poland was a one-off race for Holowczyc – and first major race since his retirement at the end of the 2015 rally season. With fellow countryman Lukasz Kurzeja in the co-driver seat, the pair started Baja Poland in a determined mood.
At one point it looked possible the Polish pairing in the MINI ALL4 Racing could upset the main World Cup chasers until a puncture on the Saturday stage robbed them of time and positions. Despite this, the Polish duo recorded first place finshes in four of the Baja Poland’s seven Special Stages.
“Well, this is rally and it is pointless to speculate what would have happened if not for the flat tyre yesterday,” said Holowczyc. “We were driving on our limits but I am happy because, after a one year pause, I was still able to drive very fast. Huge thanks to all the fans that were supporting us this weekend in Szczecin. It gave us amazing power and energy.”
The second MINI ALL4 Racing inside the top five was that of pairing Jakub ‘Kuba’ Przygonski (POL) with Tom Colsoul (BEL). Consistent driving across the stages in Szczecin, Dobra, Lubieszyn and Drawsko Pomorskie thrilled the crowds but, more importantly saw them position their MINI ALL Racing of ORLEN Team in fourth.
The event’s stones also played a hand in Przygonski’s final position. Punctures and brake damage did their best to undermine his spectacular assault but skill and composure ruled the day.
Przygonski: “This Rally was full of surprises. We got flat tyre twice, and also brake damage, but anyway we were close to the leaders. We’ll fight for a better position in Morocco!”
Dutchmen Erik van Loon and Wouter Rosegaar applied their vast experience to good effect in the hotly contested Special Stages. Always in sight of the leader, they ended Baja Poland with a fine fifth with the MINI ALL4 Racing of team Van Loon Racing.
Boris Garafulic (CHL) and Filipe Palmeiro (POR) in the fourth MINI ALL4 Racing also had a share of bad luck across the 788 km distance of Baja Poland. Their official final position was ninth. Even so, the event experience of this duo and the other MINI ALL4 Racing crews is considered vital to the development of the MINI ALL4 Racing in readiness for the 2017 Dakar Rally. A race so demanding on crews and cars that only the best prepared excel.
2016 Baja Poland : MINI ALL4 Racing final standings
|Krzysztof Holowczyc (POL)||Lukasz Kurzeja (POL)||X-raid Team|
|Jakub ‘Kuba’ Przygonski (POL)||Tom Colsoul
|Erik van Loon
|Wouter Rosegaar (NDL)||Van Loon Racing|
|Boris Garafulic (CHL)||Filipe Palmeiro (POR)||X-raid Team|
Race calendar: 2016 FIA World Cup for Cross Country Rallies
19/02 – 22/02 Baja Russia
02/04 – 7/04 Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge
17/04 – 22/04 Sealine Cross-Country Rally Qatar
23/06 – 26/06 Italian Baja
22/07 – 24/07 Baja Aragón
11/08 – 14/08 HunGarian Baja
25/08 – 28/08 Baja Poland
03/10 – 08/10 Rallye Oilibya du Maroc
21/10 – 23/10 Baja Portalegre 500