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GP Week : Issue 52
SnIPPEtS FRoM PoLAnD ... n 64 year-old Maciej Wislawski only started co- driving at the age of 32, and 20 years later he was European champion co-driver alongside Krzysztof Holowczyc. He is still as enthusiastic as ever, competing this year in both the Polish and the USA national championships. For the Poland Rally he partnered Radoslaw Typa, who is less than half his co-driver’s age! n Olivier Quesnel, Citroen Racing’s Director, was not fazed by Sebastien Loeb’s mishap in Greece. “He normally makes one mistake a year”. Oh dear, spoke too soon … n The day on which Jari Matti Latvala, the driver who has already won two World rallies, surprisingly crashed on the final stage in Poland, he was 24 years and 86 days old. That by a bizarre coincidence was exactly the age at which the next youngest driver (the late Henri Toivonen) won his first ever World rally (Lombard Rally of GB, 1980). n Championship tyre manager Mario Isola mentioned that Pirelli is following with interest the performance of the eco friendly tyres on the Greenerways Rally in Britain. “The benefit of these experiments can be useful for all gravel rallying, including the WRC. These tests were carried out on tyres prepared for Group N use. Obviously it would take a lot of work to prepare a new generation of tyres suitable for World Rally Cars, but we will look carefully to see if we can prepare eco friendly tyres when the championship is run for future Super 2000 World Rally Cars.” n Former rally driver Mikael Ericsson, winner of two World Championship rallies in 1989, came over from Sweden to drive one of the zero cars on the Rally of Poland. n The FIA is considering ordering that normally- aspirated 2 litre Super 2000 cars cannot be homologated after the end of 2010, so that from January 1, 2011 (1/1/11!) all such cars will be fitted only with 1.6 turbocharged engines. Considerable attention is now being paid within the FIA to how this fits in with the future World Rally Car plans, the proposed wider bodywork cars and the extent to which the “Mark 2 World Rally Cars” integrate with cars for privateer motor sport. n Friends in important places. Beata Bublewicz, a lady member of the Polish national Parliament and the deputy minister for Sport, attended the Poland Rally to wish the organisers well. Her father was the late Marian Bublewicz, a five times national Polish champion, who died at the wheel of his Ford Sierra 3 n Three times European rally champion Sobieslaw Zasada travelled to Mikolajki to drive a restored rally Mercedes at the event’s Ceremonial Start, but unfortunately the car had trouble so his lap of honour was not possible. n It was lucky the rally moved up to the Mazurian lakes district of north Poland. When the rally was being held in the new area, the Lower Silesia area around Wroclaw where the Polish Rally used to be held was suffering severe flooding. n Krzysztof Holowczyc’s eventual sixth place meant he was the first Polish driver to gain World Championship points since Maciej Stawowiak finished 10th in a Polonez in the Rally of Portugal in 1980. Holowczyc had also finished seventh in Argentina in 1998 ¬– but that year the Drivers’ championship points extended only to sixth place. When Stawowiak finished third on the Polish Rally in 1973, it was six years before the FIA introduced Drivers’championship points. n It was unusual for Sebastien Loeb to run under SupeRally rules. His previous instance was in Jordan 2008 after his celebrated head-on collision with the C4 WRC of Conrad Rautenbach. n Comment after Latvala’s incident from his team chief Malcolm Wilson: “All our team were watching the Superspecial. I always used to go to watch stages in the old days but something disastrous always seemed to happen! Anyway, Latvala will still start Rally Finland in a BP Ford car. We have invested in Jari Matti for a long time.” Cosworth 4x4 on a winter rally in 1993. One of Marian’s regular co-drivers had been Grzegorz Gac, Rally Poland’s general manager. Until recently, the Stobart driver Krzysztof Holowczyc had been a member of the European Parliament, specialising on road safety initiatives. n The two Citroen Total cars had strange windscreen stickers, written in Chinese language alongside the usual word CITROEN written in normal language. This was to promote the launch of a new range of Citroen cars in that country. JW