Kosciuszko shows class-winning speed with podium on Rally Mexico
Polish driver Michal Kosciuszko and his co-driver Maciej Szczepaniak proved themselves as the fastest Super 2000 crew on the Rally Mexico, at the wheel of their all-new Ford Fiesta S2000 run by Belgian
firm Symtech Racing.
The Dynamic World Rally Team duo strung together an astonishing series of nine stage wins on the all-gravel event, which included one eighth-fastest time overall on Saturday. Unfortunately a couple of teething problems with the brand new car meant that they had to resort to super rally, but even with this handicap Kosciuszko still finished third in class to open his points-scoring account on his debut in this year's FIA Super 2000 World Rally Championship.
On Friday, Kosciuszko won four out of the first five stages, before he was forced out of the lead with an alternator belt failure on SS6 that deprived the car of electrical power. He rejoined on Saturday and promptly won another four stages before stopping on SS14 as the result of a damaged propshaft. Returning for the final day on Sunday, he was unlucky enough to pick up a puncture that cost a minute on the opening stage, but undeterred he then set another fastest stage time on SS21 en route to an extremely well-deserved podium.
Michal Kosciuszko commented: "I'm lost for words; it's been an amazing event! We had less than 100 kilometres of testing before this rally started, so to come in and set the times that we have with a new car is a fantastic achievement from everyone. Of course we had a couple of small teething problems as well but I am really not bothered about those: the main thing is that we have been instantly competitive. I find the Ford Fiesta very easy and enjoyable to drive, although the altitude in Mexico meant that every car was down on power. I had no particular plan before the rally as everything was new to me, but I think we have answered a few questions about our pace. Thanks to our sponsor, Lotos Dynamic, I know that we have a really good chance this year and I'm going to grab this opportunity with both hands! Now I'm just really looking forward to our next event, which will be the Rally Jordan at the start of next month."
Symtech Racing's Wim De Boeck added: "We're absolutely delighted with our pace here and Michal's obvious talent. The problems we encountered are completely normal for a brand new car so we're not concerned, and we'd like to thank M-Sport for all the invaluable technical support that we have received. The main thing is that we have come away with valuable points through a podium on our first-ever event. Mexico was an extremely tough rally, with high temperatures, some very rough sections of road and variable grip levels. It's clear though that we have a very good level of performance in even the most difficult conditions, so now we will concentrate on improving even more as the season goes on."
Rally Jordan, the next of the 10 WRC rounds that make up the FIA Super 2000 World Rally Championship, takes place from April 1-3 on sand and gravel.