ORLEN 77th Rally Poland - 18-20/06/2021
Starts: Mikołajki, June 18
Finishes: Warsaw, June 20
Headquarters: Hotel Gołebiewski, Mikołajki
ERC appearances (since 2004 restructuring): 11 (2004-2008, 2010-2013, 2018-2019)
Stage distance: 202.76 kilometres
Liaison distance: 668.60 kilometres
Total distance: 871.36 kilometres
Free Practice (for priority drivers): 12h30, June 18 (Talty, 3.26 kilometres)
Qualifying Stage (for priority drivers): 15h00, June 18 (Talty, 3.26 kilometres)
Shakedown (for all drivers): 16h30-18h30 (Talty, 3.26 kilometres)
The rally in 100 words: One of the world’s oldest rallies returned to the ERC roster in 2018 after a five-year break as Rally Poland replaced Rally Rzeszow as the country’s round of the European championship for its 75th edition. First run in 1921, Rally Poland’s home since 2005 has been Mikołajki in the picturesque Masurian lake district, a three-hour drive north from the capital Warsaw, where high-speed all-gravel stages are commonplace. And it was in Mikołajki where Kajetan Kajetanowicz first emerged as a major force in the ERC, taking the event win in 2013 prior to beginning his record-breaking title treble sequence in 2015.
Event eligibility: ERC1, ERC2, ERC3, ERC Junior, ERC3 Junior, FIA European Rally Championship for Teams, Abarth Rally Cup, Clio Trophy by Toksport WRT. ERC-MICHELIN Talent Factory incentives available
What’s new for 2021? While the main action will continue to be based around Mikołajki in the Masurian Lake District to the north, the final stage and finish will be held in the capital Warsaw as part of the famous event’s centenary celebrations. And to mark the milestone, the deciding stage on the streets of Warsaw has been named Rally Poland 100th Anniversary in honour of an event held for the first time in 1921.
The route in short
Of the 14 stages, the majority use fast, flowing gravel roads with three layouts all-new for 2021 (SS 2/5, Świętajno; SS 4/7, Wieliczki and SS 13, Przasnysz). The Mikołajki Arena superspecial (SS 1/8) and Mikołajki Max (SS 9/11) are unchanged from 2019 when Rally Poland last took place. Olecko (SS 3/6) and Gmina Mragowo (SS 10/12) are largely similar to the versions used two years ago with Olecko continuing to include the spectacular Rosochackie jump. SS14 (Rally Poland 100th Anniversary) is the event’s only sealed-surface test and runs on Tarmac or cobblestones through the streets of Browarna, Furmanska and the world-famous Karowa Street in central Warsaw.
2019: Alexey Lukyanuk/Alexey Arnautov (Citroën C3 R5)
2018: Nikolay Gryazin/Yaroslav Fedorov (Škoda Fabia R5)
2017: Thierry Neuville/Nicolas Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)*
2016: Andreas Mikkelsen/Anders Jæger (Volkswagen Polo R WRC)*
2015: Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (Volkswagen Polo R WRC)*
1: Run for the first time in 1921 from the capital Warsaw, Rally Poland turned 75 in 2018, making it the second oldest rally in the world behind Rallye Monte-Carlo.
2: A founding round of the world championship in 1973 when current FIA President Jean Todt co-drove Achim Warmbold to victory on what was then a Tarmac event, Rally Poland’s ERC links date back to 1960 when German pair Walter Schock-Moll and Rolf Moll triumphed in a Mercedes-Benz 220 SE.
3: Mikołajki in the picturesque Masurian lake district has been Rally Poland’s base since 2005, which marked the event’s switch from asphalt to gravel stages.
4: A three-hour drive north of Warsaw, Mikołajki is home to the gigantic Hotel Gołębiewski, which doubles as event HQ and has grounds large enough to accommodate the rally’s service park and superspecial stage, the Mikołajki Arena.
5: Pole Sobiesław Zasada, who became outright ERC champion in 1971 after taking two category titles in the 1960s, is the most successful driver in Rally Poland history with four wins.