The offroad action was wet and wild this weekend on the treacherous terrain of the Hungarian Baja. Making a splash on the 2018 FIA Cross Country Rally World Cup leaderboard was Polish driver Kuba Przygonski. The championship pace-setter was able to extend his advantage in the series thanks to another display of serious speed.
Przygonski and his Belgian co-driver Tom Colsoul got their weekend off to the best possible start. The duo set the fastest time over Friday night’s 12-kilometre prologue stage. Then came Saturday’s four timed special stages which measured over 400 kilometres combined.
An intense battle emerged between Przygonski and his fellow MINI driver Nani Roma of Spain. The splits were nip and tuck throughout Saturday’s special stages. Eventually it was former Dakar Rally bike and car winner Roma who took the chequered flag, just 15 seconds ahead of his Polish team-mate.
« We had a great battle with Nani and came close to winning the event. He is extremely experienced and it was great that we were able to match his pace. » – Kuba Przygonski
Although Przygonski and Colsoul were disappointed not to pick up a fourth win of the season they did get the better of their closest World Cup rivals in Hungary. Vladimir Vasilyev of Russia came third overall while Martin Prokop of the Czech Republic finished fifth.
The results in Hungary have seen Przygonski and Colsoul open up a gap of more than 50 points over the second placed World Cup crew for the first time this season. With three rounds of the 11-race championship remaining the pair have one hand on the trophy.
Next up in a fortnight’s time is Przygonski’s home race, the Baja Poland. A good result would represent a massive step towards securing FIA Cross Country Rally World Cup success this year.
2018 Hungarian Baja final results – Top 5
1. J. Roma (ESP) / A. Haro (ESP) MINI JCW Rally – 3h 48m 22s
2. J. Przygonski (POL) / T. Colsoul (BEL) MINI JCW Rally – 3h 48m 38s
3. V. Vasilyev (RUS) / K. Zhiltsov (RUS) Toyota – 3h 58m 20s
4. X. Pons (ESP) / R. San Juan (ESP) Toyota – 3h 58m 39s
5. M. Prokop (CZE) / J. Tomanek (CZE) Ford – 4h 03m 35s
2018 FIA Cross Country Rally World Cup standings – Top 3
1. J. Przygonski (POL) / T. Colsoul (BEL) MINI JCW Rally – 258
2. V. Vasilyev (RUS) / K. Zhiltsov (RUS) Toyota – 201
3. M. Prokop (CZE) / J. Tomanek (CZE) Ford – 184
Kuba Przygonski: « It was a rather demanding event with a lot of water. We had a great battle with Nani (Roma) and came close to winning the event. He is extremely experienced and it was great that we were able to match his pace. The points we scored by finishing second were important but now I’m looking forward to the Baja Poland. »