(27.06.2024) The shakedown preceded the high-speed gravel battle in the ORLEN 80th Rally Poland, the seventh round of the 2024 WRC season. One of the event’s top contenders, Estonian crew Ott Tanak/Martin Jarveoja (Hyundai i20 N Rally1 Hybrid), was the fastest on the test stage.

The shakedown is the last opportunity for crews and teams to set the cars up and get into a proper rhythm before the start of event. ORLEN 80th Rally Poland warm up was set on a 5.1 km route from Prawdowo, through Lubiewo, to Stare Sady. The fastest competitors in Rally1 cars, in which the hybrid drive allows a temporary increase power up to 530 hp, averaged 139 kph the stage.

The Estonians Ott Tanak and Martin Jarveoja proved their pace already in the first run. The Hyundai Motorsport crew clocked 2:20.7 s – 0.7 s faster than the British duo Elfyn Evans/Scott Martin (Toyota GR Yaris Rally1 Hybrid). The third result belonged to 2016 Rally Poland winner Andreas Mikkelsen, co-driven by Torstein Eriksen (Hyundai i20 N Rally1 Hybrid). The Norwegians lost 1.3 s to the Estonians. Championship leaders Thierry Neuville and Martin Wydaeghe (Hyundai i20 N Rally1 Hybrid) only managed to set 8th fastest time (+3.1 s) due to loose gravel and sand which they had to sweep as the first crew on the road.

In the second run, the crews already had much better conditions, as the gravel road was also “cleared” by the WRC2 category competitors driving Rally2 rally cars. This was clearly visible on the leaderboard. Once again, the fastest was Tanak and Jarveoja, who improved their result by as much as 6.7 seconds. They were once again followed by Evans and Martin (+1.2 s). Neuville and Wydaeghe benefited from better grip to achieve a third time (+1.8 s).

Tanak cranked up the pace even further on the third attempt setting the best result of the shakedown with 2:12.5 s. Their teammates – Neuville and Wydaeghe – were second in the overall classification of shakedown (+1.1 s), while Adrien Formaux and Alexandre Coria (Ford Puma Rally1 Hybrid) moved up to third position (+1.8 s).

Among the crews in Rally2 cars, the fastest were Nikolay Gryazin and Konstantin Alexandrov (Citroen C3 Rally2), who made their best run at the end of the session. The second result belonged to the Finnish duo Roope Korhonen and Anssi Viinikka (Toyota GR Yaris Rally2, +0.2s). Making their debut in Rally Poland, they made five shakedown passes and achieved their best result during the last one. Mikolaj Marczyk and Szymon Gospodarczyk (Skoda Fabia RS Rally2) lost 0.6 s to the fastest Rally2 crew. The winners of the ORLEN 78th Rally Poland (as a round of the FIA ERC in the 2022 season) covered the 5.1-kilometre-long route two times.

The second fastest crew from Poland was Kajetan Kajetanowicz and Maciej Szczepaniak (Skoda Fabia RS Rally2). However, the three-time winner of the Rally Poland opted for only one run. Three runs were made by Jaroslaw Koltun and Ireneusz Pleskot (Skoda Fabia RS Rally2) achieving the ninth result in the Rally2 category, third among Poles.

Jakub Matulka and Daniel Dymurski (Ford Fiesta Rally3) clocked fastest time in the Rally3 category.

On Thursday, drivers and co-drivers will meet fans three times. At 16:20 an autograph session is scheduled at the main square in Mikolajki, followed by the ceremonial start (17:00) From 18:05 it will be possible to meet the crews in the Rally Fan Park nearby the Golebiewski Hotel in Mikolajki.

The day will end with the first special stage of the ORLEN 80th Rally of Poland, which will be held at the Mikolajki Arena (19:05). The crews will compete in pairs on the 2.5 km-long track.

ORLEN 80th Rally Poland – shakedown results (Lubiewo, 5,1 km):

1. Tanak/Jarveoja (EST/EST, Hyundai i20 N Rally1 Hybrid) 2:12,5 s
2. Neuville/Wydaeghe (BEL/BEL, Hyundai i20 N Rally1 Hybrid) +1,1 s
3. Formaux/Coria (FRA/FRA, Ford Puma Rally1 Hybrid) +1,8 s
4. Mikkelsen/Eriksen (NOR/NOR, Hyundai i20 N Rally1 Hybrid) +2,3 s
5. Sesks/Renars (LVA/LVA, Ford Puma Rally1) +2,5
6. Evans/Martin (GBR/GBR, Toyota GR Yaris Rally1 Hybrid) +2,7 s
7. Rovanpera/Halttunen (FIN/FIN, Toyota GR Yaris Rally1 Hybrid) +3,3 s
8. Katsuta/Johnston (JPN/IRL, Toyota GR Yaris Rally1 Hybrid) +3,8 s
9. Munster/Louka (LUX/BEL, Ford Puma Rally1 Hybrid) +4,7 s
10. Gryazin/Aleksandrov (BGR/ANA, Citroen C3 Rally2) +11,6 s
12. Marczyk/Gospodarczyk (POL/POL, Skoda Fabia RS Rally2) +12,2 s
16. Kajetanowicz/Szczepaniak (POL/POL, Skoda Fabia RS Rally2) +13,8 s
17. Kołtun/Pleskot (POL/POL, Skoda Fabia RS Rally2) +14,4 s
26. Sołowow/Baran (POL/POL, Skoda Fabia RS Rally2) +16,8 s
29. Matulka/Dymurski (POL/POL, Ford Fiesta Rally3) +25,5 s