(29.06.2024) The three fastest crews of the ORLEN 80th Rally Poland are separated by just 2.7 seconds after 12 special stages. Having won three out of four stages in first loop, Kalle Rovanpera and Jonne Halttunen (Toyota GR Yaris Rally1 Hybrid) climbed up to first overall. Moreover, Finnish duo shone at Mikolajki Arena, setting a new record of 2,5-kilometre-long track.

Saturday’s itinerary for the ORLEN 80th Rally Poland features seven special stages of total length of 124.1 km. During the morning loop, crews competed on the Świętajno (18.5 km), Gołdap (19.9 km), and Czarne (22.4 km) stages, and just before midday service they raced at Mikołajki Arena (2,5 km). And, just like on Friday evening, the times posted at track near the Gołębiewski Hotel changed the situation at the top of the leaderboard.

It was a thrilling battle between Rovanpera, Evans, and Mikkelsen. Just two seconds separated them before the start of Saturday’s stages and the two-time world champion was the first to attack, winning the Świętajno and Gołdap stages to lead the rally. Mikkelsen responded with fastest time on the Czarne special stage, second fastest test today. The Mikolajki Arena was again a stunning drive by Rovanpera, who have set a new track record of 1:40.8 s.

After 12 special stages, Rovanpera and Halttunen are 0.4 seconds ahead of second-placed Elfyn Evans and Scott Martin (Toyota GR Yaris Rally1 Hybrid). Mikkelsen and Eriksen are third, 2.7 seconds adrift from the leaders. Adrien Fourmaux and Alexandre Coria (Ford Puma Rally1 Hybrid) are the fourth crew in current standings (+15.9 seconds).

World Rally Championship leaders Thierry Neuville and Martjin Wydaeghe (Hyundai i20 N Rally1 Hybrid), who lost a lot of time opening the first leg’s stages, are fighting to score as many points as possible after Saturday’s special stages. They moved up to sixth place after the first loop, and are 15.8 s behind the fifth-placed duo Martin Sesks/Renars Francis (Ford Puma Rally1). Ott Tanak and Martin Jarveoja (Hyundai i20 N Rally1 Hybrid) decided not to compete during second loop. After yesterday’s collision, the Estonians lost the chance to fight for Saturday’s points. Therefore, they have chosen to focus on pushing for super Sunday points.

Sami Pajari and Enni Malkonen (Toyota GR Yaris Rally2) earned a healthy margin in the WRC2 category. They are 32.6 seconds ahead of Robert Vivres and Aleks Lesk (Skoda Fabia RS Rally2). The Polish duo Kajetan Kajetanowicz/Maciej Szczepaniak (Skoda Fabia RS Rally2) dropped out of contention for victory in WRC2. On the Czarne stage, they severely damaged their suspension and reached the finish of this test losing more than 23 minutes. After Saturday’s morning loop, the fastest crew from Poland is Miko Marczyk and Szymon Gospodarczyk (Skoda Fabia Rally2), who are in seventh place in WRC2.

Jakub Matulka and Daniel Dymurski are Leaders of the WRC3 category (Ford Fiesta Rally3). They lead by 21,6 s.

During the afternoon loop, the crews will tackle the Świętajno (18.5 km), Gołdap (19.9 km), and Czarne (22.4 km) stages for the second time.

ORLEN 80th Rally Poland – overall standings after SS 12:

1. Rovanpera/Halttunen (FIN/FIN, Toyota GR Yaris Rally1 Hybrid) 1:31:18,3 s
2. Evans/Martin (GBR/GBR, Toyota GR Yaris Rally1 Hybrid) +0,3 s
3. Mikkelsen/Eriksen (NOR/NOR, Hyundai i20 N Rally1 Hybrid) +15,9 s
4. Formaux/Coria (FRA/FRA, Ford Puma Rally1 Hybrid) +7,5 s
5. Sesks/Renars (LVA/LVA, Ford Puma Rally1) +30,7 s
6. Neuville/Wydaeghe (BEL/BEL, Hyundai i20 N Rally1 Hybrid) +46,5 s
7. Munster/Louka (LUX/BEL, Ford Puma Rally1 Hybrid) +56,2 s
8. Katsuta/Johnston (JPN/IRL, Toyota GR Yaris Rally1 Hybrid) +1:06,8 s
9. Pajari/Malkonen (FIN/FIN, Toyota GR Yaris Rally2) +3:57,5 s
10. Virves/Lesk (EST/EST, Skoda Fabia RS Rally2) +4:30,1 s
15. Marczyk/Gospodarczyk (POL/POL, Skoda Fabia RS Rally2) +5:04,4 s
24. Kołtun/Pleskot (POL/POL, Skoda Fabia RS Rally2) +9:19,6 s
26. Matulka/Dymurski (POL/POL, Ford Fiesta Rally3) +11:11,4 s
30. Sołowow/Baran (POL/POL, Skoda Fabia RS Rally2) +12:36,2 s

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