Holowczyc announces retirement after win in Baja Poland

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Krzysztof Holowczyc has won the Baja Poland for the second consecutive time. The Polish driver took his career fifth win this weekend in Poland and announced his retirement from cross-country rallying. Holowczyc won two stages and took the lead early on from Nasser Al-Attiyah.

Holowczyc’s co-driver Lukasz Kurzeja made his cross-country debut, but the two had a good pace straight on: “It all went really well for us. Until the last moment you don’t know what will happen but in the last part of the final stage, we knew that we had won the rally. We didn’t put a wheel wrong and managed to keep some big names behind.” Holowczyc managed the gap and went on to a special win: “Winning in frond of your home crowd is something special.”

After ten years of rallying, Holowczyc now announces his retirement: “I decided to stop my intense career in Cross Country. During this period I gained a lot of good, and sometimes excellent, results. These ten years were fantastic but also very hard, especially when I suffered some heavy injuries.” The Pole reached the podium in Dakar this year: “From the very beginning it was my dream to be on the Dakar podium and the dream came true this year. It is possibly the best moment to stop.” Holowczyc will not stop entirely from rallying, but will appear now and then on several occasions.

Al-Attiyah lost the lead after a strong first stage and settled for second which helped him to extend his lead in the World Cup by finishing second behind his Mini-colleague. “It wasn’t an easy rally, but obviously we’re happy”, Al-Attiyah told afterwards. “A second place is very good in terms of the World Cup standings, Krzysztof drove really wel.”

Bernhard ten Brinke started his preparation to the 2016 Dakar by finishing third in the Baja Poland. The Dutchman won the first stage on Sunday and was obviously very happy about that: “It was a great rally for us. It’s very hard to compete against Mini which, thanks to it’s diesel engine, has a lot more torque. We have a petrol engine in our Toyota that plays to our disadvantage mainly in a sandy terrain.”

The other Dutchman, Erik van Loon, was unlucky in the last stage. A broken rim caused by a rock wasn’t easy to get off the car, Van Loon and his co-driver Rosegaar lost a possible top-5 position. “To break a rim is just unlucky, it is very dissapointing to leave Poland with this result. We would have been on fourth position and finished the stage with a good result.”

Kuba Przygonski debuted at the Baja Poland in the X-Raid Mini. The former Motorcyclist was happy: “I feel more and more comfortable in the car and I'm losing less and less to the front-runners, so there is a progression. I'm really happy and I would like to thank my co-driver. I really enjoyed driving here and we managed to keep a good pace all the time. The car was brilliant and we had no navigation problems.” Przygonski will continue his campaign to the Dakar with the Morocco Rally in October.

Al-Attiyah extends his lead in the World Cup over Vladimir Vasilyev with two rounds remaining.