It was a successful weekend for X-raid in the Baja Poland as all the four MINI All4 Racing pairings that contested the seventh FIA Cross Country Rally World Cup round made it to the top 10.
The Polish pairing of Krzysztof Holowczyc and Lukasz Kurzeja was pipped in the battle for the win and finished just 1:21 (minutes) behind the winner, Nasser Al-Attiyah. Fourth place was secured by their compatriot, Jakub “Kuba” Przygonski and his Belgian navigator Tom Colsoul, with the two Dutchmen Erik van Loon and Wouter Rosegaar finishing right behind in fifth position. Boris Garafulic (CHL) and Filipe Palmeiro (POR) came 10th.
The battle for the win virtually ended on Saturday morning when Holowczyz had to stop from a flat tire and lost valuable minutes. Particularly annoying as he later lost more time behind an opponent. He succeeded in winning all the four following special stages but in the end this wasn’t enough for making up for the lost time.
”Speculating where we would have finished without the flat tire makes no sense,” said Holowczycz. “We raced at the limit and I’m satisfied with our achievement. After all, this was my first off-road rally in more than a year.”
Przygonski also had to stop due to flat tires and struggled with technical problems on Saturday afternoon. On Sunday, however, he displayed a lot of fighting spirit and battled his way up from fifth to fourth position. “This rally was packed with surprises,” said Przygonski. “We were stopped twice by flat tires and in addition, we once were hampered by brake problems. Nonetheless, we succeeded in continuing close behind the leaders. Now we once again will go for it in Morocco to try to secure a better result.”
Van Loon also had his problems with the perils of the Baja. After a trouble-free second special stage, he was hampered on Saturday afternoon by heavy understeer. And on Sunday morning, he got lost twice. “We finished fifth in the Baja but you have to take a close look at the special stage results,” stressed van Loon. Then you will see that our performance actually was better and that’s very positive.” The fourth MINI ALL4 Racing pairing, Garafulic and Palmeiro, struggled with problems on Saturday but caught up on Sunday and finished 10th.