9 September 2023

Szeja brothers lead in the Polish Rally Championship

Day two of Rally Silesia 2023 brought a fierce competition for the lead. At the end of the leg Jarosław Szeja and Marcin Szeja emerged on top but their advantage over the following crew was just 0.9 seconds.

Saturday’s leg of Rally Silesia consisted of seven special stages. The competitors completed two runs of three stages: Gmina Jasienica (15.32 kms), Hażlach (12.2 kms) and Jastrzębie-Zdrój (18.2 kms) – without a service break in Chorzów between the loops but with tyre fitting zone in Bielsko Biała. At the end of the day the crews tackled a 1.5-kms test at the Silesian Stadium in Chorzów.

Rally Silesia 2023 delivered plenty of action right from the beginning. Three different crews set the best stage times on three opening stages on Saturday: Dariusz Poloński and Łukasz Sitek (Volkswagen Polo R5), Kacper Wróblewski and Jakub Wróbel (Škoda Fabia Rally2 Evo) and Jarosław Szeja and Marcin Szeja (Hyundai i20 R5). Wróblewski led the standings after the first half of the day, with Poloński just 0.2 seconds behind. Third position belonged to Łukasz Byśkiniewicz and Daniel Siatkowski (Škoda Fabia Rally2 evo), with gap of 2.5 seconds to the leaders.

The second pass of Gmina Jasienica ended with a tie at the top. Wróblewski and Poloński set identical times on the 15.3-kms stage, so the difference between them in the overall standings did not change. Szeja brothers moved up into top three, at the expense of Byśkiniewicz.

Bad luck stroke Poloński on Hażlach test – after sustaining damage to his Volkswagen, he had to retire from the rally. Stage winners Wróblewski and Wróbel extended his lead in the standings, with 9,7 seconds in hand over Byśkiniewicz and Siatkowski, who moved up into second place. Szeja brothers held their third position, trailing the leaders by 11.2 seconds.

Jastrzębie-Zdrój test brought another plot twist. Championship contenders, Grzegorz Grzyb and Adam Binięda (Škoda Fabia Rally2 evo), showed excellent pace and won the stage, moving up into fourth position in the standings. Wróblewski, leading the rally up to this point, suffered from brake problems and lost 19 seconds, dropping back to third place with 5.9 seconds gap to the new leaders. Szeja took advantage of his opponent’s bad luck and took the lead, after setting second-fastest time on this stage – with slender advantage of 0.3 seconds over Byśkiniewicz.

Saturday’s leg ended with a spectacular 1.5-kms test at the Silesian Stadium. Szeja brothers went fastest on this stage, defeating Byśkiniewicz by 0.6 seconds. Sylwester Płachytka and Rafał Fiołek (Škoda Fabia Rally2 evo) recorded third-quickest time.

Jarosław Szeja and Marcin Szeja lead the rally after seven special stages. Łukasz Byśkiniewicz and Daniel Siatkowski trail them by just 0.9 seconds. Top three after Saturday was completed by Kacper Wróblewski and Jakub Wróbel, with 8.3 seconds in arrears. Grzyb and Binięda hold fourth position (+15.4 seconds), with Płachytka and Fiołek right behind them (+16.6 seconds).

Jakub Matulka and Daniel Dymurski (Ford Fiesta Rally3) lead the Rally3 standings right from the beginning, with huge advantage of two minutes over Piotr Krotoszyński and Mateusz Martynek (Ford Fiesta Rally3). The final podium spot belongs to Marek Roefler and Marek Bała (Ford Fiesta Rally3), with 3:15.9 gap to the leaders.

Jacek Sobczak and Mateusz Pawłowski aboard their Porsche 911 GT3 Cup set the pace among 2WD cars, leading Hubert Kowalczyk and Jarosław Hryniuk (Peugeot 208 Rally4) by one minute and 43 seconds. Kowalczyk leads the Class 4 standings after day one, with 36.5 seconds advantage over Gracjan Predko and Michał Jurgała (Peugeot 208 Rally4).

Olchawski and Bosek fastest in the Historic Polish Rally Championship

Grzegorz Olchawski and Przemysław Bosek took their first victory in Rally Silesia. The crew not only maintained excellent and consistent pace in their Audi Quattro S1 but also managed to keep away from problems. After nine special stages they topped the final standings of Motul Historic Polish Rally Championship.

Olchawski started his quest for victory on Friday, setting fastest times on both runs of the superspecial in Katowice. However, on Saturday morning they lost the lead to Robert Luty and Marcin Celiński, who went quickest on the opening Gmina Jasienica test. Unfortunately, the Subaru Legacy crew had to retire on the following test, after their mistake. Top times on SS4 and SS5 (Hażlach and Jastrzębie-Zdrój) belonged to Marek Suder and Marcin Kowalik (Ford Sierra RS Cosworth 4×4) – but they also ended their run prematurely, following a front differential failure on the second loop.

Olchawski could not miss this opportunity and after demise of his biggest rivals he won almost all remaining stages without any problems. His perfect run was spoiled by Krzysztof Głowala and Piotr Mitręga aboard Mazda 323 GTX, who set the best time on the final test at the Silesian Stadium.

Marcin Grzelewski and Krzysztof Niedbała (Ford Sierra RS Cosworth 4×4) finished the rally in second position, in front of third-placed Wojciech Kaszowski and Adrian Kaszowski (Ford Sierra RS Cosworth).

Niemiec and Saganowski on top at the Silesian Stadium

The crews fighting in Southern Rally Championship started their competition with Saturday’s superspecial at the Silesian Stadium. Jerzy Niemiec and Tomasz Saganowski in a Ford Fiesta ST RallyN1 took the lead, nine tenths of a second ahead of Witold Szydziak and Wojciech Kolaczek in a Honda Civic. Szymon Gańczarczyk and Sławomir Parzyk completed the top three in their Peugeot 207 RC RallyN1, while the championship leaders, Marcin Gluza and Robert Sęk (Honda Civic), set a distant ninth-fastest result.

Sunday’s leg consists of two stages – Ochaby (11.4 kms) and Kiczyce (15.4 kms). The final test of Rally Silesia will be run as Power Stage, with bonus points for top five crews in the national championship. There is no service break between the loops and the rally ends at 16:30 at the Silesian Stadium.

Rally Silesia 2023 – overall standings after SS8:

1. Szeja/Szeja (Hyundai i20 R5) 56:43.1

2. Byśkiniewicz/Siatkowski (Škoda Fabia Rally2 Evo) +0.9

3. Wróblewski/Wróbel (Škoda Fabia Rally2 Evo) +8.3

4. Grzyb/Binięda (Škoda Fabia Rally2 Evo) +15.4

5. Płachytka/Fiołek (Škoda Fabia Rally2 Evo) +16.6

6. Kołtun/Pleskot (Ford Fiesta R5 MkII) +40.3

7. Terlecki/Marczewski (Škoda Fabia Rally2 Evo) +1:26.2

8. Sobczak/Pawłowski (Porsche 911 GT3) +2:11.3

9. Kwiatkowski/Kozdroń (Škoda Fabia Rally2 Evo) +2:36.3

10. Matulka/Dymurski (Ford Fiesta Rally3) +3:06.3

Rally Silesia 2023 – information:

Honorary auspices of the competition are held by Jakub Chełstowski, Marshal of the Silesian Voivodship.

The main partner of the Silesia Rally is the Silesian Voivodeship.

The strategic partner of the Rally Silesia is the Upper Silesian and Zagłębie Metropolis, and Kazimierz Karolczak, Chairperson of the Management Board of the Upper Silesian and Zagłębie Metropolis, has assumed honorary auspices of the competition.

The partner of the event is the city of Katowice, and the honorary auspices of the competition were taken by Marcin Krupa, Mayor of the City of Katowice.

The partner of the event is the city of Bielsko-Biała.

 The Rally Silesia is organised in a cooperation with the poviats of Cieszyn, Pszczyna, Bielsko and Bieruńsko-Lędziński, the city of Jastrzębie-Zdrój, as well as the communes of: Skoczów, Jasienica, Hażlach, Pawłowice, Strumień and Dębowiec.

The Rally Silesia is sponsored by Silesia Oil sp. z o.o. – manufacturer of AVIA brand oils, Febi Bilstein and FOB-Decor.

Motul is the title sponsor of the HRSMP. Motowizja is the media partner of the competition. RMF Maxx is the exclusive radio patron of the event.

All information about the Rally Silesia can be found at www.rajdslaska.pl, Facebook @rajdslaska, Instagram @rajd_slaska and Twitter @RajdSlaska.