Rally Poland 2024 Preview

The championship moved to the next round and a return to Polish roads for the first time since 2017. On that occasion Thierry was victorious from former teammate Hayden and Seb Ogier was third, that being the first year the Frenchman was driving at M-Sport Ford.

The rally has still been run as part of the European championship in the seasons between the last WRC round and this year.

The big news to report on before we talk about the stages and hear from the drivers is that during recce earlier this week Seb and co-driver Vincent were involved in a road crash with a normal vehicle and as a result, they are not going to take part. Instead Kalle and Jonne have been allowed to take their place and will drive the rally for Toyota.

Let’s hear from the drivers then and take a look at the stages.

Hyundai Motorsport

Thierry Neuville

“Rally Poland is an event that I really enjoy. As a fast gravel rally with some prominent jumps and crests, the stages can be really exciting, and we can have a lot of fun. We need to make sure that we have the right setup and good pace notes from the start, as we haven’t done any testing on Polish roads. In terms of setup, we need a lot of grip and traction, but I don’t think it will be hugely different to other gravel rallies we have competed in this season. Starting first could be a huge advantage or disadvantage depending on how much cleaning of the road we will be doing, but we will have to see when we get there. We expect to be consistent and fast to bring home some decent points for all three championships.”

Ott Tänak

“My memories of Poland are great – it’s a rally that I have enjoyed a lot. It has very fast, demanding roads that can change massively depending on the weather, but I am really looking forward to it. I really like the profile of this event, and it’s similar to where I learnt to drive in Estonia. I was really close to winning my first ever rally in Poland, but it didn’t happen. Since then, I have finished on the podium a few times, so I know I can perform well but still have some room for improvement. Hopefully we can find a good feeling in the car to give us the amount of confidence needed to push across the whole weekend.”

2024 FIA World Rally Championship
Round 06, Rally Italia Sardegna
Ott Tanak
Photographer: Austral
Worldwide copyright: Hyundai Motorsport GmbH

Andreas Mikkelsen

“I am very excited to be back with the team in Poland after their recent success in both Portugal and Sardinia. Rally Poland is a super-fast event with a sandy surface, so you can make the most of the ruts in a stable and fast car like ours. I haven’t driven the Hyundai i20 N Rally1 competitively on gravel yet, but with two days in the car before the event I am hoping to find the right setup for the weekend there so I can be ready to take my fight to the front of the field. Road position is also crucial at this event and very dependent on the weather, so it will play a major part in my weekend. I am hoping to be fighting for the important positions throughout the weekend. I have had two podiums and a win here and I would like to replicate these good results once again.”


Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT

Elfyn Evans

“After a difficult couple of rallies for us, we’re definitely hoping to find better form on these faster rallies coming up. Even though they’re quite similar in character, they will each have their own challenges. The overriding memory of Rally Poland from the past is that it’s a pretty fast rally: it will definitely be a change of pace from the last event in Sardinia. It’s also a rally where the roads tended to deteriorate quite a lot, so the second pass can pose a challenge. There will be sections that we’ve driven in the past, but the pacenotes we have been quite old, so in that way it’s more like a new rally and probably quite a busy recce making fresh notes.”

Takamoto Katsuta

“I’m excited to go to Rally Poland for the first time. My pre-event test last week was my first taste of Polish gravel roads, but everything went well. The stages look to be a bit similar to Estonia: very high speed and with a bit of a soft surface in sections. It’s going to be a big challenge, but I like this kind of fast rally, so I’m really looking forward to it. I obviously don’t have old pacenotes, but I can watch some onboards from previous years to prepare. Drivers who were there when Poland was last in the calendar will maybe have an advantage, but I just need to try to do my best. I hope to get a good feeling and solid result, ready to push in Latvia and Finland where my targets will be higher.”


M-Sport Ford WRT

Adrien Fourmaux

“It will be my first time competing in Poland next week, but it will be the first fast gravel event of three, so I want to build on this one to improve our pace for the next two. We plan to get a good result, and to forget what happened in Sardinia. We’ve been working with the team so we can start to meet expectations again and hopefully get back on the podium soon. We’re going to do our best; the only thing I know from this rally is that its quite fast and quite sandy! So there will be a lot of learning, but we can use our experience to support us and see what we can achieve.”

Grégoire Munster

“I’m looking forward to taking on the next three fast gravel events coming up. We had a good pre-event test in Estonia last week, being able to drive the Puma at such high speeds is just unbelievable. It’s really the best way to experience the car, so I can’t wait to start! Poland is going to be important because the set-up we establish there is going to be the base for the next two rallies. The surface in Poland can be a bit softer and there can be some rutting, which we didn’t see on the test, so that will be an interesting discovery.

“I’m happy to be experiencing a new event, this time we will be a bit more on the same level with the other crews in terms of stage knowledge, so it’ll be interesting to see how it turns out!”

Mārtiņš Sesks

“I’m really excited to be back competing in Poland! We have some great memories here, especially after winning the ERC round last year! For sure this year is a completely different game, this will be our first event in a Rally1 car. The testing we did last week was something incredible, and a completely different experience to anything I’ve done before! The car reacts so quickly, and how fast it goes round corners is just so unique and indescribable to anyone who hasn’t driven the car.

“It will be a big challenge to get up to speed, but this is the goal for Poland. We will be driving non-hybrid to get use to the aerodynamics of the car, get to know the team and to get more and more ready to be in good shape for Latvia. The goal is to get the mileage, finish the rally and learn as much as we can.”


Oliver Solberg

“Competing at home is always something really nice and winning Royal Rally was very cool, but there was another part to this plan – and that was to get the head into the right place for the fast gravel. It’s quite a different rhythm, car set-up and, of course, feeling in the car when you come to events like Poland from rallies like Portugal or Sardinia.

“I feel like we’re really in a good shape now after the win. The feeling, especially on the second day in Sweden, was really strong with the car. We know the roads are a little bit different in Poland, they can be softer, sandier and with more ruts on the second pass, but still to be going through the forests and the countryside flat-out is the same.

“I never drove this rally before, but I think everybody knows how incredible the stages can be, Thursday night’s super special is really well known and will be very cool to drive for the first time. I’m also looking forward to the fans and the atmosphere – this is another big aspect of this rally.

“For a result, I think you know me well enough now to know the approach for this season is to push for the wins, but to also have a big eye on the title. Going off the road in Portugal was tough and then not starting in Sardinia – even though we weren’t scoring points – was not so ideal. Winning Royal Rally of Scandinavia was a good reset and it’s given me and Elliott [Edmondson] good confidence going into the second half of this year’s WRC2 series.”

Let’s take a look at the stages.

Rally Poland commences on Thursday morning with Shakedown, followed by SSS1 Mikołajki Arena (2.50km) in the evening.

Friday’s itinerary features two loops of Stańczyki (SS2/5, 29.40km), Wieliczki (SS3/6, 12.90km) and Olecko (SS4/7, 13.20km) before closing with another run of Mikołajki Arena (SSS8, 2.50km).

Saturday has the longest competitive distance of 124.10km across seven stages: Świętajno (SS9/13, 18.50km), Gołdap (SS10/14, 19.90km), Czarne (SS11/15, 22.40km) and SSS12 Mikołajki Arena 3 (2.50km).

Sunday concludes the weekend with four stages, including the Power Stage: SS19 Mikołajki 2 (10.73km).


It is great to have this round back on the calendar and it will be very interesting to how the weekend’s stages deliver the standings at the end of each day and how each crew deal with the challenge of each stage.

Any of the top regular crews could stand on the podium and it will be the crew that is the fastest that keeps out of trouble who wins.


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