Recce Updates McKleins Rally Tips have now been updated after our rally recce. You will be able to find the latest insights highlighted, to give you the most up-to-date overview for this rally.
High speed thrills, passionate fans and an enchanting location are the key features of Rally Poland. Its a rally steeped in history, the event first ran in 1921, however it has only been a World Championship round five times. The organisers promote their event with the catchphrase Feel The Gravel and if its hot and dry then people who visit the super-fast stages almost certainly will get to feel it.
The rally HQ and service park are situated in the picturesque city of Mikolajki, the Mazurian Pearl, as it is often referred. Its situated amidst lakes and forests three hours Northeast by car from the countrys capital Warsaw. Mikolajki is a tourist town, so when coupled with the locals love motorsport its no surprise that this rally is mega popular. Huge numbers turn out to spectate, many with campervans, so you can expect some slow traffic on all the rally routes.
Most international visitors will arrive by plane into either of the two main airports in Warsaw, alternatives include Gdansk and the small Port Lotniczy Olsztyn airport (one hour from Mikolajki). Being a tourist town, hotel accommodation is plentiful in Mikolajki and there are also several B&Bs. Many of the hotels and guesthouses are not available to book on the internet, however it is quite easy to find somewhere to stay if you arrive with nothing booked.
For eating out Mikolajki town centre is the only place we can recommend. There are plenty of good restaurants to choose from along the waterfront and in the main town square. There are also restaurants in the nearby towns of Morogowo and Gizycko. Beyond these towns there is nothing we at McKlein have any experience of near to the stages on the rally route, we just buy what we need from mini-markets and petrol stations. Our advice therefore is to stock-up with enough food and drink for the day to take with you for the stages.
The weather in Mazuria in June can be quite fickle. One should expect hot and dry days, but be prepared for rain and with it some cooler temperatures. Do pack some insect repellent as there will plenty of mosquitos in the lake-lands surrounding the stages. And like the stages, they can bite.
Shakedown: Sady, 4.90km
The whole of Thursdays activities take place within walking distance of the service park. The shakedown test has been highly modified from last years stage.
Immediately after the stage start [km 0.1] is a small crest which could be interesting.
From km 0.8-1.2 there is a super-spectating area known as the Nowe Sady Arena. Here you have a few different possibilities for watching the cars over a relatively long distance as they negotiate a fast right and then a fast left. To access this place you can either walk from the Service Park or drive and park in Nowe Sady village. From the village you arrive at km 1.2 on the stage.
SS1/10/19: Super Special Mikolajki Arena, 2.5km
After the ceremonial start in Mikolajki town centre, the rally kicks off with a two-car Super Special. This stage is right next to the service park and features a wide range of corners, a crossover bridge and tunnel. The first corner is a very long left-hander, which is surrounded in grandstands for a good view. There is a small bump/jump at the flying finish. For a great overview McKlein would recommend climbing up the little ski slope opposite the first corner, from there you can see the whole stage.
SS2/6: Chmielewo, 6.52km
This might be a short stage but its an absolute cracker and McKleins favourite on Rally Poland. The first 1.1km are all in a forest that looks very similar to a typical forest stage in Finland because its full of flat-out jumps. There are four good ones, pretty evenly spaced out, under the trees. Then at km 1.3 the stage leaves the forest and immediately there are two more fast jumps, the last one at km 1.4 is massive. As a point of interest there is a giant storks nest on top of a telegraph pole in between these two jumps. We would recommend going to the open area if it were a sunny day, whilst if its raining you could seek shelter in the forest section. To access any of these spots you must come from the East to Chmielewo village, park and walk through the forest track alongside the stage.
If you prefer something other than jumps you can try km 5.0-5.5. Here there is a fast flowing section of stage in completely open countryside. The access is quite simple; you turn off the main highway 16 at Grabówka and drive south for 2km where you arrive at the stage at km 4.1. Continue walking to find your favourite spot.
SS3/7: Wieliczki, 17.30km
Generally this stage is very fast with a couple of interesting characteristics for viewing. There is a very well know spectacular left-hand corner at km11.2 which cuts up and gets quite rutted after several cars. If you go there in the afternoon then you really will feel the gravel. The access is great because there is a road leading directly to this corner coming from the East at Wieliczki village. The other place of great interest on this stage is at km 14.6. Here the cars fly over a railway crossing. Its just an 800-metre walk from Wieliczki village.
SS4/8: Swietajno, 21.140km
In 2015 YouTube video clips of the jump at km 6 made this stage very well known. The jump, known as the Rosochakie Jump, was massive but because both sides of the road were lined with trees there was nowhere to stand and see it. Last year the area was cleared of trees and the action can be viewed safely from a distance. To find the jump you take the road heading southwest out of Olecko for approximately 5km. Km 9 is a location where you can see the cars for quite a long distance as they approach a left-hand junction with lots of loose gravel. The access is from Road 655, West of Olecko, parking in Jaski Village.
SS5/9: Stare Juchy, 13.50km
Theres a decent viewing experience to be found at km 3.7-4.7. The first bit is a high-speed gravel section leading to a square right-hand junction where the surface changes to asphalt. After 300m the asphalt road enters a village via a straw bale chicane, where in 2016 several of the top cars clipped the bales, as the road surface is very slippery in the braking zone. The access to these points is quite simple; you turn south off Road 655 and drive through the tiny villages of Wronki and Polem, then turn right to Gorlowko, where the road will access directly to the straw bales. At km 7.5 there is a fast jump as the road passes between some fields. To get here you must walk-in from the little hamlet of Szczecinowo, which is north of Stare Juchy. The last 600 metres of your walk should be in the opposite direction to the stage.
SS11/15: Baranowo, 15.9km
This is a reconfiguration of the roads used for the Power Stage in the last two years. Some bits are the same, some are run in reverse direction and some are totally new. At km 5.7 there are some fast corners where the drivers cut before a right-hand junction, with easy access, at km 6.2. To get to this place you access from national road number 16 in Baranowo village. An alternative viewing location can also be found if you continue walking to km 7. The stage at this point makes a detour around a farm and its buildings. There are a few corners for options, however they are mainly quite slow turns.
SS12/16: Pozezdrze, 22.24km
This difficult to pronounce stage is completely new to WRC Rally Poland. At km 0.6-0.7 there is a high speed and very long left hand corner over a small bridge, which the drivers will approach at a very high speed. After the bridge the cars must slow down for a tight left hand corner in a wide open landscape, offering great panoramic views. To get here from Pozezdrze take road 65 to Stregielek village (where the stage start is located) and after 4.1km turn right onto a gravel road. Drive for 1km and you will reach the stage.
At km 2.4 the stage passes beside a beautiful lake which characterises this region of Mazuria. This will be ultra high speed and worth seeing for the landscape. You must walk on (1.7km) from the previous location to arrive at the lake.
SS13/17: Goldap, 14.75km
The Goldap stage is a regular feature on Rally Poland and one of the most scenic on the event. We would recommend you take the easy access from the road heading due west out of Goldap. It will bring you to a tiny village called Skoze (km 11.4). 200 metres before this place is a technical section where the rally cars must negotiate a tight left-hand corner which turns onto a narrow bridge over a river. If you walk back a further 1km towards the stage start there is a fast section where the cars must slow down for a 90° left-hand corner before accelerating into a fast right.
SS14/18: Kruklanki, 26.35km
The 2017 configuration of roads that form Kruklanki makes it a completely new stage. It does have great features such as a lake (at km 15) and fast flowing crests which makes it a true and typical Rally Poland test. The best part of the stage for offering a big variation in viewing angles comes between km 14 -15. Its a completely open scenic landscape with the possibility to see a big variation in corner types. At km 15 there is the lake which, if its a hot day, should be tempting for a cooling swim. Slightly further at km 15.8 there is a left hand hairpin on a junction in a very flat, open area.
To get to these three location take the gravel road heading North out of Mazuchófka village and after approximately 2km you will arrive at the hairpin junction [km 15.8]. From here you can walk to your choice of location.
The final option is probably the best one. At km 18.9 you can stand at an elevated vantage point and see a jump and two (a left into a right) fantastic open corners. This is sure to be a popular spot, but really worth it. The access to it comes a short distance (less than a 1km walk) directly from Gawliki village.
SS20/22: Orzsyz, 10.50km
This is another completely new stage to WRC Rally Poland. From km 2.6-3.0 there are a series of crests on a beautiful flowing road. Its a wonderful place to watch the top drivers at full speed; you will see the cars for a relatively long period of time. At km 3.4 is a highly technical stretch of road which will really test the drivers. The cars will be at very high speed when they launch over a crest. As soon as they land they will have to brake really hard to negotiate a tight junction turning left, all this is between some small buildings. To get this point you should park at the dedicated parking area in Kamienskie village and walk to the stage. You will arrive at km 2.5, from there you need to continue for another 900m.
SS21/22 (Power Stage): Paprotki, 15.66km
The first location to suggest has easy access from the North via road 63, turning off at Kleszczewo village. The gravel road takes you directly to km 1.9 which is an open left hand hairpin, which should see plenty of dust. The most dramatic (and popular) spot comes near the finish at km 17.8. Its known as the Gurklo jump, however for 2017 it is run in the opposite direction to normal. There is an easy access to this jump by turning north off Road 16 in Górklo village. When you arrive at the stage you need to walk towards the finish for 700m.