Al-Attiyah wins Poland Baja | Federation Internationale de l'Automobile
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Al-Attiyah wins Poland Baja

Qatari ace extends his lead in the FIA World Cup for Cross Country Rallies with fifth win of 2016
FIA, Motorsport, Mobility, Road Safety, F1, WRC, WEC, WTCC, World RX

Nasser Al-Attiyah (Toyota Hilux Overdrive) sealed the victory in Columna Medica Baja Poland and grabbed the FIA World Cup in Cross Country Rallies last weekend (26-28 August). The 45-year-old Qatari pilot co-driven by the Frenchman Mathieu Baumel led the Szczecin based event from start to finish winning for the second consecutive time and third in his career.

Krzysztof Hołowczyc (MINI ALL4 Racing) who was making a one-off outing in Columna Medica Baja Poland was second overall. The Olsztyn driver paired by Łukasz Kurzeja who declared the retirement from cross country rivalry, wasn’t able to win the Szczecin classic for the sixth time in his career. The key moment happened on Saturday when during the first passage of the special stage located in Drawsko Pomorskie Hołowczyc he had a puncture and was forced to change the wheel mid-stage.

Third overall was the ORLEN Team duo – Marek Dąbrowski and Jacek Czachor (Toyota Hilux Overdrive) who overtook their team mates Jakub Przygoński and Tom Colsoul (MINI ALL4 Racing). Fifth place was taken by another MINI driver cooperating with the German X-raid team – Erik Van Loon, while sixth position was grabbed by Martin Prokop co-driven by highly experienced Ilka Minor (Ford F150 Raptor). Behind the duo there was a well-known from the Szczecin’s classic Miroslav Zapletal (Hummer H3 EVO VII), while the eighth place went to Jes Munk co-driven by Rafał Marton (Toyota Hilux Overdrive). Number nine was a driver from Chile – Boris Garafulic (Mini ALL4 Racing serviced by the German X-raid team), while the top ten was closed by the representatives of Columna Medica – Michał Małuszyński in pair with his wife Julita (Toyota Hilux Overdrive).

T2 triumph went to Marcin Sobiech co-driven by Inez Kieliba (Mitsubishi Pajero) while Robert Kufel and Daniel Dymurski (Nissan Navara) were second in a category. Third place went to Klaudia Podkalicka, who drove Mitsubishi Pajero. In T3 the fastest crew turned out to be known from Polish Rally Championship – Aron Domżała and Szymon Gospodarczyk (Polaris RZR 1000).

Columna Medica Baja Poland was also a fifth round of Polish Cross Country Rally Championship. In this case the win went to Krzysztof Hołowczyc, who overtook Marek Dąbrowski and Jakub Przygoński. The overall standings of FIA Central Europe Zone for Cross Country Rallies are the same as Polish.

Winners of special stages of Columna Medica Baja Poland:

SS 1 – Al-Attiyah

SS 2 – Al-Attiyah

SS 3 – Hołowczyc

SS 4 – Hołowczyc

SS 5 – Hołowczyc

SS 6 – Al-Attiyah

SS 7 – Hołowczyc

Leaders of Columna Medica Baja Poland

SS 1 – 7 – Al-Attiyah

FIA World Cup for Cross Country Rallies overall standings after 7 rounds:

  1. Al-Attiyah - 210
  2. Al-Rajhi – 93
  3. Hirvonen – 78
  4. Wasiliew – 74
  5. Dąbrowski – 56
  6. Menzies – 55
  7. Domżała – 40
  8. Sazonow – 34
  9. Przygoński 32
  10. Seaidan – 32

Drivers comments after Columna Medica Baja Poland:

Nasser Al-Attiyah (Toyota Hilux Overdrive): What a fantastic day! I feel great. This afternoon I already knew the special stages, so I was able to push even harder. We have won all five rounds of the World Cup and managed to grab the title in Szczecin. A perfect weekend.

Krzysztof Hołowczyc (MINI ALL4 Racing): Well, this is rallying and it is pointless to speculate what would have happened if not for the flat tyre yesterday. We were driving on our limit and I am happy, because after a one year break I was still able to be very fast. Huge thanks to all the fans who were supporting us this weekend in Szczecin. It gives us an amazing power and energy.

Marek Dąbrowski (Toyota Hilux Overdrive): We are on the finish line, but last kilometers we didn’t take too many unnecessary risks. The conditions were harsh and the organizers had to shorten last stage by half.

Jakub Przygoński (MINI ALL4 Racing): Fourth place, it would be fine to say, we didn’t have a lot of luck during this rally. On the other hand, I am pleased with the pace, which let us drive in top 3 on particular stages. Now we have to work with the car and prepare ourselves for Dakar.

Erik van Loon (Mini ALL4 Racing): We are finishing the rally Columna Medica Baja Poland in fifth place, but if we look closer on each stages results, we’d see our pace was much better than this. This is positive.

Miroslav Zapletal (H3 EVO VII): It is not the result of my dreams, but we are happy to bring the car home in one piece. I really like the Szczecin’s rally, although it ended so quickly!

Martin Prokop (Ford F150 Raptor): Yesterday it was much better for me, on Sunday’s special stages it was too harsh sometimes. Sixth place for the beginning of new adventure with the car is optimistic.

Jes Munk (Toyota Hilux Overdrive): It was a great rally, I really like the Polish World Cup round. I am pleased with the result.

Tomas Ourednicek (H3 EVO I): One stage before the finish we had a flat tyre, but at this point we had no chance for a great result, so we managed to enjoy the ride itself. It was very hot and the air-con was not working.

Michał Małuszyński (Toyota Hilux Overdrive): We are very exhausted, so the first task after the rally will be to improve physical fitness. Amazing experience, which gives us space to work on. Many thanks to my wife, Julita, who has done a great job as my co-driver. I am speechless. 

Marcin Łukaszewski (BMW GPR Series 1): We did everything we could. It’s good to be on the finish line, but we have to forget about this rally as soon as possible. Another lesson and valuable experience.