Round 10, Poland
Rally Poland, the second oldest rally in the world and the most prestigious motorsport event in the country will celebrate its 69th anniversary in 2012. This widely known and highly regarded European event is to be held on the gravel stages of the Mazurian Lakes District for the eight year running.
Rally Poland is one of the oldest motorsport events in the world. The first edition of Polish classic was held in 1921. All competitors tackled the loop from Warsaw through Bialowieza and back to Warsaw. Tadeusz Heyne (Dodge) was the fastest among the six starters and went down to the history of the event. In the twenties and thirties of previous century there were twelve editions of the event. Later on, it was stopped by the World War II and returned in 1947. Since 1960 the history of Rally Poland as a round of the FIA European Rally Championship has begun and the names like Rauno Aaltonen, Tony Fall, Timo Mäkinen, Jean-Claude Andruet, Walter Röhrl, Bernard Darniche, Antonio Zanini or Sobieslaw Zasada started to be familiar to the entry and the winners' lists. In 1973, right after the launch of the FIA World Rally Championship, the event was once adopted for the series and won by Achim Warmbold codriven by Jean Todt.
Rally Poland was organized in various parts of the country: in Cracow, Wroclaw, and Klodzko. Since 2005 the headquarters of the event is Mikolajki, north-east of Poland. The tarmac stages were substituted by spectacular gravel roads winding along Mazurian forests and lakes.
In 2009 year edition of “Polski” - as it is well known among the drivers and rally fans - was honoured by the status of the FIA World Rally Championship round. Won by Ford's duo Mikko Hirvonen and Jarmo Lehtinen delievered dramatic action and has immediately got enthusiastic opinions and comments by the drivers, the teams and rally fans, who crowded the stages in great number. Organizational standards and concept of the rally were also appreciated by the FIA officials and WRC promoter.
In 2012 Rally Poland will be held in September 28-30 and similarly to many previous editions it will count to European and Polish Championships. The route of the 69th Rally Poland consists of famous fast and narrow gravel stages. Spectacular super-special stage in Mikolajki will be also run on a purpose built rally circuit with 15.000 viewer's capacity. All other stages are close to the host city as well.
The Headquarters of the rally will be located in the famous tourist resort of Mikolajki which once a year, in September becomes the capital of rallying. Mega-Hotel Golebiewski with its excellent Congress Centre will host HQ again. Rally Park with the service area and parc fermé will be situated close to the hotel which offers 650 rooms, 13 luxury suites, restaurants and bars. It is worth to visit the rally for unrivalled action and the beauty of the landscape!