ORLEN Baja Poland 2019: Holowczyc wins, Przygonski scores vital World Cup points

(01.09.2019) On his way to his sixth ORLEN Baja Poland victory Krzysztof Holowczyc won five out of seven special stages, including both runs of 220-kilometre long test at the military range in Drawsko Pomorskie and eventually finished nearly 7 minutes ahead of second-placed Jakub Przygonski. Holowczyc have beaten his own record today, winning Polish World Cup counter for the sixth time. Vladimir Vasilyev was third overall. This result saw driver move up to the top of the series standings.

Short, but spectacular test in the northern part of the city opened the high-speed off-road battle in ORLEN Baja Poland 2019 on Friday evening. Top contenders pushed hard from the very beginning of the event, just like they promised during pre-rally press conference. Przygonski and Gottschalk in MINI John Cooper Works Rally took the first place. 2018 FIA World Cup winner was 2,5 seconds faster than Krzysztof Holowczyc and Lukasz Kurzeja in the same X-Raid-run machinery. Third fastest were the leaders of Polish championship, Czech-Slovak crew Miroslav Zapletal/Marek Sykora in their Ford F-150 Evo pick-up.

Having set second fastest time on super special stage in Szczecin on Friday evening, Holowczyc and Kurzeja decided to go as a first crew on the road during Saturday battle at military range in Drawsko Pomorskie. This tactic paid off, as their rivals could not match their pace. Holowczyc was increasing his advantage kilometre after kilometre, and eventually finished SS2 with a top result. Second placed Przygonski and Gottschalk finished 5 minutes and 20 seconds adrift of stage winners. Vladimir Vasilyev and Konstantin Zhilcov in Overdrive-run Toyota Hilux were third fastest, losing nearly 12 minutes to Holowczyc. FIA World Cup leaders - Terranova and Graue - were forced to retire. Argentinian crew suffered power steering issue and lost the chance to win fourth Baja rally in a row.

Second part of the battle at the military range in Drawsko Pomorskie was a way more equal than first one. After 220 kilometres of fierce competition Przygonski finished the stage only a minute behind Holowczyc, who claimed his second stage victory. ORLEN Team driver had a chance to reduce the gap, but he could not chase Holowczyc due to gearbox issues. Przygonski suffered problems with third gear which is used very often on sandy and soft surface of military range in Drawsko Pomorskie. It was even more likely to outpace the rally leader, as the engine in Holowczyc’s MINI stopped working twice and five-time winner of ORLEN Baja Poland needed to stop to change the wheel after a puncture. This is why Holowczyc was 7 minutes slower in second run of the stage at the military range. Another reason was the condition of the roads, which were seriously destroyed after first pass, with many ruts and stones. Vladimir Vasilyev and Konstantin Zhilcov – clocked third fastest time during both runs of Drawsko Pomorskie test.

In consequence Krzysztof Holowczyc and Lukasz Kurzeja began Sunday’s leg of ORLEN Baja Poland holding a comfortable, 6,5-minute advantage over second-placed Przygonski and Gottschalk. Rally leader was the fastest on first stage, while Przygonski answered with the fastest time on following test. However, stages on Sunday were too short to chase Holowczyc. Przygonski, who fights to win the World Cup, was well aware of that and focused on scoring vital points for his campaign. Holowczyc took the victory on two final stages and claimed his sixth win in ORLEN Baja Poland. Vladimir Vasilyev secured third overall and scored 16 points. Thanks to this result Vladimir Vasilyev moved up to first overall in FIA World Cup standings. Przygonski earned 21 points and is now third overall, 11 points behind Terranova, while Czech Martin Prokop dropped to fourth.

ORLEN Baja Poland 2019 – unofficial final classification (FIA World Cup):
 
1. Hołowczyc/Kurzeja (POL/POL, MINI John Cooper Works Rally) 5:35:52,7 s
2. Przygoński/Gottschalk (POL/GER, MINI John Cooper Works Rally) +6:52,5 s
3. Vasilyev/Zhilcov (Toyota Hilux Overdrive) +20:37,0 s
4. Zapletal/Sykora (CZE/SVK, Ford F150 Evo) +25:12,1 s
5. Małuszyński/Małuszyńska (POL/POL, MINI John Cooper Works Rally) +26:01,2 s
6. Grajek/Brakowiecki (POL/POL, BMW X5) +56:59,1 s
7. Vorobyev/Shubin (Can-Am Maverick X3) +1:16:45,5 s
8. Vilcāns/Vilcāne (LVA/LVA, Toyota Land Cruiser VDJ200) +2:14:55,3 s
9. Cinotto/Dominella (ITA/ITA, Polaris RZR 1000 Turbo) +11:27:02,1 s
10. Abel/Manez (FRA/FRA, Polaris RZR 1000 Turbo) +11:34:32,6 s

FIA World Cup for Cross Country Bajas standings after ORLEN Baja Poland

1. Władimir Wasiliew (Toyota Hilux) 96 pts
2. Orlando Terranova (Argentina, Mini All4Racing) 90 pts
3. Jakub Przygoński (Poland, MINI John Cooper Works Rally) 79 pts
4. Martin Prokop (Czech Republic) 65 pts
5. Fiodor Worobjew 40 pts
6. Krzysztof Hołowczyc (Poland, MINI John Cooper Works Rally) 30 pts
6. Tapio Lauronen (Finland, Mitsubishi Pajero) 30 pts
8. Miroslav Zapletal (Czech Republic, Ford F150 Evo) 28 pts
9. Benediktas Vanagas (Lithuania, Toyota Hilux) 26 pts
10. Santiago Navarro (Spain, Can-Am Maverick X3) 24 pts

ORLEN Baja Poland 2019 – list of special stages winners:

SS1 Szczecin (7,08 km): Przygoński/Gottschalk (POL/GER, MINI John Cooper Works Rally)
SS2 Drawsko Pomorskie (220 km): Hołowczyc/Kurzeja (POL/POL, MINI John Cooper Works Rally)
SS3 Drawsko Pomorskie (220 km): Hołowczyc/Kurzeja (POL/POL, MINI John Cooper Works Rally)
SS4 Krzekowo (18,39 km): Hołowczyc/Kurzeja (POL/POL, MINI John Cooper Works Rally)
SS5 Lubieszyn (10,5 km): Przygoński/Gottschalk (POL/GER, MINI John Cooper Works Rally)
SS6 Krzekowo (18,39 km): Przygoński/Colsoul (POL/BEL)
SS7 Lubieszyn (10,5 km): Hołowczyc/Kurzeja (POL/POL)
 

Organizers

Fundacja BAJA POLAND    PZM

Co-Organizers

Szczecin     Dobra Szczecińska     Drawsko Pomorskie

Honorary Patronage

Pod Patronatem Prezydenta Miasta Szczecina           Pod Patronatem Wójta Gminy Dobra     Pod Patronatem Burmistrza Drawska Pomorskiego

Titular Sponsor

General Sponsors

      

Media sponsors

RMF MAXXXGłos Szczeciński   Moje Miasto Szczecin  WP.PL

Partners

 Mercedes Benz Auto Bogacka