This weekend, six MINI ALL4 Racing vehicles will be involved in the Baja Poland. For Nasser Al-Attiyah, the championship leader, it will be the seventh FIA Cross Country Rally World Cup round he is going to contest this year. At the same time, the Baja Poland will be the home event for three other drivers representing the MINI ALL4 Racing colours: Krzysztof Holowczyc, Adam Malysz and Kuba Przygonski who is making his debut at the wheel of the MINI. The MINI line-up will be completed by Erik van Loon and Germany’s Stephan Schott.
Al-Attiyah (QAT) and his French co-driver Mathieu Baumel want to tie in with the success they celebrated in the Hungarian Baja by winning the Baja Poland, too. Would they succeed in doing so they also would extend their lead in the FIA Cross Country Rally World Cup. Currently, the pairing has got 180 points on its tally and holds a nine-point lead over their closest rival.
For Holowczyc who finished third in the 2015 Dakar Rally it’s the first off-road rally of the year. In the past, the Pole already celebrated four wins in front of his home crowd. He is going to contest the event together with his long-term WRC co-driver: Lukasz Kurzeja (POL). And Adam Malysz also is keen on contesting his home race: for the former ski jumper, it will be the fourth rally behind the wheel of the MINI ALL4 Racing. Meanwhile, the Baja Poland also is a special event for his co-driver, Xavier Panseri. He is a Frenchman but has been living in Poland’s capital Warsaw for a long time, now, and also speaks a little Polish.
Kuba Przygonski does not only make his debut in the MINI ALL4 Racing but in the car category too. To date, the young Pole contested off-road rallies on motorbikes. In the Baja Poland he will be supported by the experienced German co-driver and two-time Dakar winner Andreas Schulz. Erik van Loon will cross the starting podium as always with his navigator Wouter Rosegaar and the sixth MINI ALL4 Racing will be raced by German Schott together with his Portuguese navigator Pedro Velosa. For Schott, who also contested the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, it is the second rally he uses as preparation for the 2016 Dakar.
The Baja Poland will be kicked off on Friday evening with a 6.5-kilometre prologue held at a military training ground not far from Stettin. On Saturday, the competitors will have to contest two 144-kilometre special stages and on Sunday, the event will be completed by two 60-kilometre special stages. Altogether, the teams will have to cover a mileage of 706.86 kilometres, with the special-stage distance adding up to 414.50 kilometres.