Kuba Przygoński’s impressive offroad season continues to go from strength to strength following victory at the 25th anniversary edition of the Italian Baja. The Polish rally-raid racer and his Belgian co-driver Tom Colsoul dominated the sixth stop of the 2018 FIA Cross Country Rally World Cup from start to finish.
Przygoński had his Mini purring all weekend as he got the better of what can be a cruel and unforgiving track in the Pordenone province of northeast Italy. Like 13-time Dakar Rally winner Stéphane Peterhansel, Przygoński has switched to four wheels after a distinguished two-wheel rally-raid career. It was this intuitive experience of the conditions that helped the Polish driver get the better of his rivals and repeat last year’s Italian Baja win.
Przygoński took the chequered flag to finish with an advantage of just under four minutes from World Cup rival Martin Prokop of the Czech Republic. Vladimir Vasilyev of Russia picked up a useful fourth overall to maintain his own World Cup title ambitions. However, the clear leaders with five races remaining this season are Przygoński and Colsoul with 216 championship points. Prokop now sits on 158 points and has leapfrogged Vasilyev who has three points less.
« Tom and me were working well together in the car and we really enjoyed the race. On every stage we were trying to go faster and faster, this is my favourite way to race. » Kuba Przygoński
The FIA Cross Country Rally World Cup has always been a great proving ground for crews with ambitions of tasting victory at the Dakar. Previous winners of both titles include Ari Vatanen, Nasser Al-Attiyah and reigning Dakar champion Carlos Sainz. Przygoński was only four places behind Sainz at the last Dakar – a World Cup win will have the Pole believing that the biggest prize in rally-raid racing is just around the corner.
FIA Cross Country Rally World Cup standings after 6 races of 11 : Kuba Przygoński (POL), 216 points ; 2. Martin Prokop (CZE), 158 pts ; 3. ladimir Vasilyev (RUS), 155 pts…
Kuba Przygoński: « The plan was to win this race like last year and we did it. It feels so good to win this 25th edition of the Italian Baja. Tom and me were working well together in the car and we really enjoyed the race. On every stage we were trying to go faster and faster, this is my favourite way to race.
« We were fighting with Martin Prokop until the end because the gap between us was not so big. It was a nice, fair fight between us until the end. The World Cup classification is looking good for us after this race because we’ve been able to gain more points than our rivals. The situation is beginning to feel a bit safer for us now. »