The big surprise of the WRC didn’t expect anything – made a firm stance on a controversial issue

Martins Sesks was the biggest single story and surprise of Rally Poland.
Martins Sesks
Martins Sesks. Photo: M-Sport Ford WRT
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Sesks had an amazing opportunity in Poland, competing for the first time in his career with a Rally1 car. He got to drive a Ford Puma Rally1 car without a hybrid unit.

Sesks immediately demonstrated his speed, finishing fifth in the overall rally. The Latvian even managed to keep Hyundai’s Thierry Neuville, who leads the WRC standings, behind him at the end of the “long competition” on Saturday. By just a hundredth of a second, but still.

Sesks admitted right after the race that he didn’t know what to expect at all.

“Everything started, of course, with very modest expectations,” Sesks admitted frankly.

“We didn’t know at all what our pace would be. But from the shakedown onwards, it felt like we were learning very well,” Sesks continued.

Sesks’s learning journey continues later this month in the Rally Latvia. There, his car will gain more power with the addition of a hybrid unit to the Ford.

“We learned a lot along the way, but of course, there’s still a lot to learn. There are many things we need to consider in the next rallies,” Sesks stated.

Rally Poland returned to the WRC this year after a seven-year hiatus. The last time Poland hosted a WRC event was in 2017, but then Poland lost its WRC status. One of the main reasons for this was the spectators’ behaviour.

Unfortunately, nothing had changed over the seven years. Several special stages had to be either cancelled entirely or paused temporarily over the weekend due to spectators’ behaviour. While the rally was excellent, the event is again at risk of being banned because of the spectators.

“I’ve always liked these roads in Poland, but it’s about whether the spectators can behave. It was a real shame that we had to cancel so many stages. Safety must always come first, and that’s something we really want to respect,” Sesks stated.

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