I always like this rally, and I started photographing it when my local Auto Club started organising it in 2009, it's a little Dakar on my local streets and off-roads where famous Dakar drivers like Holowczyc or Al-Attiyah come to race against each other.
This year Nasser Al-Attiyah (Toyota Hilux Overdrive) – a winner of Dakar Rally 2011 and 2015 sealed the victory in Columna Medica Baja Poland and grabbed the FIA World Cup in Cross Country Rallies for the second consecutive time and third in his career. The 45-year-old Qatari pilot co-driven by the Frenchman Mathieu Baumel led the Szczecin based event from start to finish.
Krzysztof Hołowczyc (MINI ALL4 Racing) who had a visitor kind outing in Columna Medica Baja Poland was second overall. The Olsztyn driver paired by Łukasz Kurzeja who declared the retirement from cross country rivalry, wasn’t able to win the Szczecin classic for the sixth time in his career. The key moment happened yesterday when during the first passage of the special stage located in Drawsko Pomorskie Hołowczyc had a puncture and was forced to change the wheel on course of the stage.
Third overall was the ORLEN Team duo – Marek Dąbrowski and Jacek Czachor (Toyota Hilux Overdrive) who overtook their team mates Jakub Przygoński and Tom Colsoul (MINI ALL4 Racing). Fifth place was taken by another MINI driver cooperating with the German X-raid team – Erik Van Loon, while sixth position was grabbed by Martin Prokop co-driven by highly experienced Ilka Minor (Ford F150 Raptor). Behind the duo there was a well-known from the Szczecin’s classic Miroslav Zapletal (Hummer H3 EVO VII), while the eight place went to Jes Munk co-driven by Rafał Marton (Toyota Hilux Overdrive). Number 9 was a driver from Chile – Boris Garafulic (Mini ALL4 Racing serviced by the German X-raid team), while the top 10 was closed by the representatives of Columna Medica – Michał Małuszyński in pair with his wife Julita (Toyota Hilux Overdrive).
T2 triumph went to Marcin Sobiech co-driven by Inez Kieliba (Mitsubishi Pajero) while Robert Kufel and Daniel Dymurski (Nissan Navara) were second in a category. Third place went to Klaudia Podkalicka, who drove Mitsubishi Pajero. In T3 the fastest crew turned out to be known from Polish Rally Championship – Aron Domżała and Szymon Gospodarczyk (Polaris RZR 1000).
Columna Medica Baja Poland was also a fifth round of Polish Cross Country Rally Championship. In this case the win went to Krzysztof Hołowczyc, who overtook Marek Dąbrowski and Jakub Przygoński. The overall standings of FIA Central Europe Zone for Cross Country Rallies are the same as Polish.
In Polish Cup for Cross Country rallies in the S1 class the win went to Tomasz Gołka/Filip Gołka crew (Jeep Wrangler), while the S2 has been won by Dariusz Krzywkowski/Bartłomiej Krzywkowski (Mitsubishi Pajero) crew. Among the motorcyclists the triumphants are Maciej Giemza (KTM EXC 450), while the UTV category has been won by Robert Dorosz/Michał Osuch pair (Polaris RZR 1000). In Q2 the fastest was Piotr Serbista (Yamaha Raptor 750), while Q4 – Arkadiusz Lindner (Can-Am Renegade 1000)