Abarth ace Polonski primed for ERC action

2021-06-16T14:46:46+02:00June 16th, 2021|2021, ORLEN 77th Rally Poland|

Dariusz Poloński is going for more Abarth Rally Cup glory in 2021 and hopes home advantage on ORLEN 77th Rally Poland this week will ensure a strong start to his new campaign.

After finishing runner-up to inaugural title winner Andrea Nucita in 2019, Poloński had high hopes of FIA European Rally Championship category success last year. But a double non-score at the start of the season pegged him back and, although he was the top Abarth Rally Cup finisher on the season-deciding Rally Islas Canarias, fourth in the final standings was his reward.

For 2021, Poloński has a clear plan in mind: “We want to check our pace in comparison to the other ERC2 cars and keep focused to finish the rally. After a very long break we took part in two small Tarmac rallies [and took two class podiums] before we started to prepare for gravel. We can’t wait for Rally Poland.”

When Poland last hosted a round of the ERC in 2019, Poloński finished second of the Abarth Rally Cup runners. He’s therefore aware of the challenge in store.

“The biggest challenge is to avoid problems with the car in the ruts. If you manage to do that the rest is just gravel fun. Gravel rallies are always great fun to drive and Rally Poland is a high-speed event with a lot of crests and jumps. It is just pure rally.”

Poloński can once again count on co-driver Łukasz Sitek and the might of his long-term team, Rallytechnology, which will prepare his Pirelli-equipped Abarth 124 rally throughout the upcoming season.

“The team has been the same for almost 10 years and it’s the third season in the Abarth,” said Poloński. “It always helps when everything is clear, we feel very comfortable in these conditions.”

Big prize fund up for grabs
Dariusz Poloński could win as much as €85,000 by contesting the Abarth Rally Cup in 2020. That’s the maximum a driver can earn if they win all six Abarth Rally Cup rounds and the title courtesy of the round-by-round prize money pool of €24,000 per event, plus an end-of-season bonus of €25,000.

Centenary celebrations revive World Rally Car memories for Poloński
With this year’s Rally Poland marking the event’s centenary, Dariusz Poloński has recalled his favourite memory. “My first Rally Poland was on Tarmac, in the ERC, but during the World Rally Car era of the late 1990s. They were great times, great cars and already as tough a rally as it is now on gravel.”