Organisers of the PZM 75th Rally Poland have said the route of this year’s all-gravel FIA European Rally Championship counter will “challenge” crews.The 15-stage event covers 214.92 competitive kilometres from 21-23 September and marks the Mikołajki-based rally’s return to the ERC schedule for the first time since 2013 when Kajetan Kajetanowicz took his breakthrough international victory.
Following a day of testing on Tuesday and two days of reconnaissance on Wednesday and Thursday, the 75th edition of the world’s second oldest rally begins in earnest on Friday 21 September with a packed schedule. Up first in Talty from 07h30 local time is Free Practice and the Qualifying Stage for ERC priority drivers followed by shakedown for all other crews. The fastest 15 drivers in qualifying will select their starting positions for leg one from 14h10 in Mikołajki’s main square, which is also the venue for the ceremonial start from 15h00. Two hours later, the purpose-built Mikołajki Arena hosts SS1 with crews competing in pairs.
Eight stages make up Saturday’s action with just the 19.60-kilometre Świętajno run unaltered from 2017. The stage includes the famous Rosochackie jump. Paprotki, which gets underway at 07h30 as the first stage of the day, and Stare Juchy run in opposite to last year with Paprotki shortened in length. Mikołajki MAX is all-new for 2018. It begins in Zelwagi and concludes in the Mikołajki Arena, venue of the rally’s first stage on Friday evening.
The deciding leg two features three repeated stages for a competitive distance of 97.90 kilometres. The all-new Pozedrze stage is up first at 08h05 followed by Gołdap, the most remote stage on the itinerary, longer than before at 19.90 kilometres and run in an opposite direction to last year. The renowned Baronowo test, which is also run in reverse, closes the morning loop and is also the final stage of the rally ahead of the finishing ceremony in Mikołajki’s main square at 18h20.
Source: ERC Photo: Dominik Kalamus/Rajdpolski.pl