No joy for the J-WRC Suzuki Swift racer in Poland
Last weekend the sixth J-WRC 2009 round in Poland took place with youngsters Michal Kosciuszko and Simone Bertolotti in action with the Suzuki Europe Team. The rally had special meaning for Kosciuszko as it was his home event
and he had been in the spotlight among Polish media.
On Day 1, Dutch young Renault driver, Kevin Abbring was successful in taking lead with his Clio R3 with 2 litre engine, which character is very suitable for Polish high-speed stages with Kosciuszko in second.
For the J-WRC drivers' championship, Kosciuszko needed to win this event but the most important task for him was to beat Citroen driver Martin Prokop.
Kosciuszko held second position from Prokop in third at the end of the day with 7.1s advantage. For Bertolotti, his task was to complete this event and to gain experience.
Kosciuszko drove on Day 2 same as the previous day to be ahead of Prokop but eventually he caught Abbring in the middle of day. Predicted this days' stage character and weather condition, the team had changed the setting of his Swift S1600, which worked well.
On final day, the close contest between Kosciuszko and Abbring continued. However, Kosciuszko hit a rock on SS16 which had been hidden at first run. He went off and hit the tree which caused radiator damage. He kept driving but soon the engine overheated.
Rival Prokop finished in second and at the result two young drivers have scored same points in total, 36 points. Bertolotti had a trouble-free run and finished in fifth position.
“I can't really say how disappointed I am because it was my home rally. I wanted to perform well in my country. The car has been fantastic and I am very sorry for my retirement. I could have good battle with Abbring but I hit a rock and went off, then the radiator lost cooling water. Next Finland Rally is my last event for me. Even Martin has two events but I will not give up the championship title.”
“I am really happy I could finish without any trouble. Polish stages were very fast and fantastic. I tried new driving style during this event and I could learn a lot of things. I am looking forward to trying new driving style in next Finland Rally.”
Yasuhiro Ishii, Suzuki Team Manager
“I am really sorry Michal could not finish in his home rally but it is not the end of the championship. There is still chance for Michal and Aaron to get the JWRC championship title. Clio R3 with 2 litre engine will also perform very well in next event, Rally Finland which has similar character to Rally Poland so I guess we will have close battle again so as we will have test and take the surest measures for it.”