Poland is not only the second-oldest and second-fastest event on the World Rally Championship calendar, but also an emotional homecoming for Pirelli’s star World Rally Championship contender Robert Kubica, driving a privately-run Ford Fiesta RS WRC on the Italian tyres this year.
The route of Rally Poland has been extensively reworked: only the superspecial stage in Mikolajki remains entirely unaltered compared to 2014. However, the fast and flowing nature of the gravel roads, with average speeds close to those of Rally Finland, remain. Adding to the challenge are high summertime temperatures, which only increase the demands on the tyres during round seven of the World Rally Championship.
For Poland, the drivers have the 205/65-15 Pirelli Scorpion KS Reinforced soft compound as the main tyre, with the 205/65-15 Pirelli Scorpion KH Reinforced hard as the option (for hotter or longer stages). These tyres are both based on last year’s K product to make them even more stable and durable for the rally’s 19 stages and 313 competitive kilometres.
These tyres have a specifically designed tread pattern that is capable of rapidly dispersing loose stones and gravel. The K Reinforced also maintains a broad contact patch in all conditions, which helps drivers to maximise grip and roadholding: especially in the many fast sections that are typical of Rally Poland.
The longest stage is 39 kilometres, with the shortest being 2.5 kilometres. Following the superspecial stage in the evening of Thursday 2 July, the rally concludes at lunchtime on Sunday 5 July in Mikolajki, with the entire event being run within the Masurian Lakes region this year.
Leading Pirelli drivers in Argentina:
Robert Kubica, Martin Prokop and Lorenzo Bertelli will represent Pirelli in the leading WRC1 class, with Karl Kruuda heading up a healthy contingent of Pirelli WRC2 entries. In total there will be 19 Pirelli-equipped competitors, with a number of drivers using the event as a warm-up for Rally Finland, such as the 2014 WRC3 winner in Finland, Teemu Suninen. Reigning Production champion Max Rendina also makes a return in Poland, having missed a number of events recently through injury.
14 Robert Kubica/Maciej Szczepaniak (Ford Fiesta RS WRC)
21 Martin Prokop/Jan Tomanek (Ford Fiesta RS WRC)
37 Lorenzo Bertelli/Lorenzo Granai (Ford Fiesta RS WRC)
33 Max Rendina/Mario Pizzuti (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X)
34 Quentin Giordano/Valentin Sarreaud (Citroen DS3 RRC)
38 Karl Kruuda/Martin Jarveoja (Citroen DS3 R5)
42 Valeriy Gorban/Volodymyr Korsia (MINI John Cooper Works S2000)
44 Armin Kremer/Pirmin Winklhofer (Skoda Fabia R5)
45 Julien Maurin/Nicolas Klinger (Ford Fiesta RRC)
47 Jonathan Hirschi/Vincent Landais (Peugeot 208 T16)
50 Jaroslav Koltun/Ireneusz Pleskot (Ford Fiesta R5)
75 Radoslaw Raczkowski/Szymon Gospodarczyk (Ford Fiesta R5)
76 Teemu Suminen/Mikko Markkula (Skoda Fabia S2000)
77 Sergey Uger/Sergey Larens (MINI John Cooper Works S2000)
79 Marco Tempestini/Dorin Pulpea (Subaru Impreza WRX)
82 Fabio Andolfi/Simone Scattolin (Peugeot 208 R2)
83 Giuseppe Testa/Emanuele Inglesi (Peugeot 208 R2)
84 Maciej Oleksowicz/Michal Kusnierz (Ford Fiesta R5)
86 Jaroslaw Pawlinski/Bartosz Bil (Subaru Impreza WRX)
The tyres available and the rules:
The WRC drivers are allowed 24 tyres for the whole rally under the latest regulations (four tyres per tyre change opportunity, plus four spares). They can choose from 24 of the first choice 205/65-15 KS reinforced and 16 of the 205/65-15 KH reinforced. The K pattern is well known for its versatility, being suited to a wide variety of surfaces. The internal part of the asymmetric tread pattern helps acceleration and braking, while the external part puts the emphasis on lateral grip.
Terenzio Testoni, Pirelli product manager: “Poland is almost like a new rally this year, so it is sure to be a very big challenge for all the drivers. We know that the stages will be fast, but there are still some question marks about the specifics of the surfaces and how the tyres will be affected by the weather, which is expected to be hot at this time of year, placing even greater demands on the compounds. Friday in particular will be a tough day, with a long loop of stages totalling nearly 160 kilometres and just one tyre change. Our family of K reinforced tyres offer a very good compromise between strength in rougher conditions, and high-speed stability on smoother and faster surfaces, as we expect to find a lot of the time in Poland. Robert Kubica is very much the local hero on this rally and he feels well prepared after some recent testing. As well as an amazing talent he is a fantastic ambassador for the sport, so we are looking forward to seeing once again what he is capable of in front of his home crowd, having chosen our products this year to give himself the best chance of challenging the factory teams.”
For further information please contact:
Anthony Peacock • +44 7765 896 930 • email@example.com