FIA World Rally Championship

Preview: 2015 LOTOS Rally Poland

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The 2015 LOTOS Rally Poland will take place this weekend, and many FIA World Rally Championship drivers are looking forward to the high-speed nature of the Polish stages after a series of slower rallies.

However, the vast majority (around 90%) of the stages will differ from last year’s event, and so fans could be in for some unexpected results as the drivers get to grips with the unfamiliar courses.

Last year’s rally was won by Volkswagen Motorsport‘s Sebastien Ogier, with an eventual lead of more than 1 minute over teammate Andreas Mikkelsen. The reigning champion is looking forward to the challenge awaiting him:

“We had a very good strategy in Italy and varied the speed at the right time and in the right places,” explained Ogier.

“As a result of this win and the lead in the world championship, I’m not going to make any great changes to my way of driving: I want to win in Poland too. And to do that, you have to put your foot down.”

Ogier is dominating the drivers’ standings, but a long way behind him in second place is Citroen‘s Mads Østberg, closely followed by Andreas Mikkelsen, who has made his aim for this weekend clear:

“My goal for the Rally Poland is definitely to regain second place in the drivers’ standings and to build on my performance from last year,” said Mikkelsen.

“The itinerary is probably closer now to that of Rally Finland,” commented Østberg. “The speeds are very high and you can push without worrying too much about tyre wear.

In fifth place is Elfyn Evans of M-Sport, and the Welshman is hoping for a strong finish this weekend.

“I think there have been some real positives over the past couple of rallies, but for various reasons some of the results haven’t quite been what we wanted,” he said. “We need to refocus and concentrate on the positives. I really want to enjoy this one, and hopefully everything will come together for us.”

Rally Poland gets underway tonight (Thursday) at 19:00 CEST (18:00 UK) with SS1.

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Jake covers sportscars for The Checkered Flag, mainly Tudor United SportsCar Championship and World Endurance Championship, along with a variety of other series including World Rally Championship.
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