(15.05.2023) It is Hayden Paddon who will come to Mikolajki as FIA ERC standings leader. In first two rounds New Zealander and his compatriot John Kennard managed to score as many as 58 points. This means that former WRC participants are on their way to keep the lead after Polish ERC counter.

15 placed crews score points in FIA ERC rounds. There are 35 points to win in each rally in the calendar, including 30 for the victory and additional 5 for fastest time on Power Stage. In ORLEN 79th Rally Poland Power Stage will be held on second pass of Gmina Mragowo test (9,4 km).

Hayden Paddon and John Kennard lead the series standings after first two rounds – 36th Rally Serras de Fafe (Portugal, gravel) and 47th. Rally Islas Canarias (Spain, tarmac). Having won in opening round and finished second in Gran Canaria they earned 58 points.

Yoann Bonato/Benjamin Boulloud (Citroen C3 Rally2) hold second in series standings. In Portugal they were 5th overall, while in Spain French crew took the victory. All in all, they have 47 points. Unfortunately, Bonato will not increase this number during Polish ERC counter as he decided not to participate in this event.

Reigning European champions – Efren Llarena and Sara Fernandez (Skoda Fabia RS Rally2) had a bit disappointing start to their title-defence campaign, as they finished 7th overall in Portuguese season-opener. However, they are back in the game clinching third place in Rally Islas Canarias. This result gave them 21 points out of 34 they have in total.

Fourth placed Mads Ostberg and Patrik Barth (Citroen C3 Rally2) have only one points-finish so far in 2023 season. Norwegian driver reached 2nd in Portugal, scoring 24 points, while in Spain he was 17th overall having some technical problems in his car. Georg Linnamae and James Morgan (Hyundai i20 N Rally2) earned as many points as Ostberg and Barth, however they will not compete in Poland.

Since Bonato did not enter ORLEN 79th Rally Poland, only Llarena and Ostberg have a chance to take the lead in the series standings after Polish ERC counter. It is not the easiest task, though. To reach the top of the table, Ostberg needs to score maximum points (35), with Paddon failing to earn a single point on Masurian gravel stages. Meanwhile Llarena needs to score 25 points more than Paddon does in Poland.

It is all clear in ERC Junior. The one who wins in Poland takes the lead in ERC Junior category, as ERC-youngsters start their season in Mikolajki.

FIA ERC standings before ORLEN 79th Rally Poland

1. Paddon/Kennard                         58 pts

2. Bonato/Bouloud                          47 pts

3. Llarena/Fernandez                      34 pts

4. Ostberg/Barth                              24 pts

5. Linnamae/Morgan                       24 pts

6. Wagner/Winter                            21 pts

7. Breen/Fulton                                20 pts

8. Marczyk/Gospodarczyk              19 pts

9. Ares/Pintor Bouzas                     19 pts

10. Franceschi/Escartefigue          17 pts