What can the Irish drivers expect in Poland this weekend

Step into the unknown for Irish drivers

Two Motorsport Ireland Rally Academy crews are in action in Poland this weekend (Josh McErlean and John Rowan and Aoife Raftery and Claire Williams) – what can they expect

Based in Mikołajki in the Masurian lake district, a three-hour drive north from the capital Warsaw, the next ERC round in Poland will count 16 special stages on gravel and the total distance travelled will be 182 km. The 79th Rally Poland is the oldest event of the FIA ERC 2023 calendar and will be a mix of familiar stages coming from previous editions and completely new stages.

Photos by Red Bull Content Pool

The 79th running of Rally Poland will be a step into the unknown with the new Barczewo and Biskupiec stages located west of Mikołajki forming part of the Sunday route and coming complete with a “good, hard gravel surface” according to the event organisers.

At 18.58 kilometres, Świętajno, which is run twice on Saturday, is the rally’s longest while tweaked versions of Markowskie and Wieliczki are included on the itinerary, which also features the purpose-buillt Mikołajki Arena super special stage when drivers battle in pairs.

Quality and quantity: strong ERC entry is Poland bound
Fifty-eight crews will be in contention for FIA European Rally Championship points with the total 62-car main entry including 31 Rally2 cars, 16 Junior ERC drivers and the international-level debut of the all-new Renault Clio Rally3, which will go up against the Ford Fiesta Rally3 Evo from M-Sport Poland.

Rally Poland also forms the opening round of the Hankook-equipped FIA Junior ERC Championship, which is giving 16 young talents the opportunity to build their experience for future career progression in Rally4 and Rally5 cars – Aoife Raftery competes in this section.

Rally info courtesy of ERC media team

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