Poland plans a break

by Tim Whittington |

The Automobilklub Rzemieślnik is to make a request to the FIA Off-Road Commission (ORC) to be allowed to withdraw its application for a round of the 2012 European Rallycross Championship. The club has a number of reasons not to run an event next year, but is seeking an assurance that in withdrawing at this stage, it will be able to return to the series in 2013 without the need to first run a candidate race; in other words to be treated in the same way as if it had been dropped from the series on rotation with a waiting applicant.

Club official and Polish ORC member Włodek Szaniawski made the plan known at last month’s ORC meeting and, after Sunday’s event, confirmed that the request would be made. “There was a chance that we might delay the request but we know now that we need to make the changes to the track that we plan and also take a break from organising the European championship event so that the club can put more effort into its car recycling business,” said Szaniawski. Automobilklub Rzemieślnik has previously relied heavily on the market that takes place adjacent the Słomczyn circuit for much of its income but with this now at around one quarter of the size and value it had five years ago, the club has diversified into recycling cars and parts. “The way the club runs is changing and we must pay attention to that. It’s not just the market and recycling business, we have plans to expand the track; the Rallycross will stay but we want to add an asphalt circuit so we can do drifting, track days, training – a wider range of events. We also have to think about the European Football Championships that will take place in Poland next year. Such a big event will make it hard to attract sponsors for our events and at the moment almost all the financial support that a club like ours might get to help redevelop and keep an event is being put into football,” said Szaniawski whose words were echoed by club president Piotr Tonderski, “It’s a difficult decision for us to take, but we think it is the best one for us and also for the championship,” he said.

If the Automobilklub Rzemieślnik is successful in its request and does withdraw from the 2012 championship, its absence will represent a lucky escape for whichever organiser is ranked as eighth of this year’s ten ERC events. Until this point everyone had expected that three of the 2011 rounds would be dropped as there are three events with confirmed applications waiting to rejoin the series next year; Finland, Germany and Hungary all dropped at the end of 2010 but are eligible to return in 2012. If Poland withdraws that automatically makes one space in the calendar, and means that only two events will be forced out, those ranked ninth and tenth at the end of this year.

The Polish ERC round has only ever been run at Słomczyn and first appeared in the championship in 2000. In its 12 runnings eight drivers have won, or possibly nine if you want to include Per Eklund who was first to the chequer in 2000 before being excluded for running tyres with a non-approved tread pattern.


  • ERC round winners:
  • 2000 Jean-Luc Pailler
  • 2001 Michael Jernberg
  • 2002 Kenneth Hansen
  • 2003 Lars Larsson
  • 2004 Lars Larsson
  • 2005 Morten Bermingrud
  • 2006 Lars Larsson
  • 2007 Lars Larsson
  • 2008 Sverre Isachsen
  • 2009 Andréas Eriksson
  • 2010 Liam Doran
  • 2011 Sverre Isachsen


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