Jul 02

All the Rally Poland action in eight questions to Michal Kosciuszko and Taddy Blazusiak

Thierry Neuville and Nicolas Gilsoul celebrating victory at Rally Poland 2017

Thierry Neuville and Nicolas Gilsoul celebrating victory at Rally Poland 2017Polish Red Bull TV presenters Michal Kosciuszko and Taddy Blazusiak are not only old school friends, but also motorsport stars in their own right, with Michal winning his class several times during his WRC career, and Taddy becoming an enduro bike champion. Reunited to commentate on their home round of the World Rally Championship, they witnessed one of the closest and fastest rallies so far this year. Catch the final highlights show at 22:00 tonight or on-demand on redbull.tv/wrc.

It was an event full of drama and incredible action, with insane speeds on wet and slippery roads, and lots of unexpected twists involving every one of the leading contenders. In the end, Thierry Neuville claimed his third rally win of the season to close the gap to championship leader Sebastien Ogier (who finished third) to 11 points with five rallies to go. The Hyundai driver’s victory was assured on the second stage of the final day – which had an incredible average of 125kph – when his closest rival Ott Tanak went off and heavily damaged his Ford Fiesta, forcing him into retirement.

So, what did our Polish commentator duo make of it all? We devised our very own quick-fire quiz to find out:

What surprised you most about Rally Poland this year

MK: “My role! I never really wanted to come back to a WRC event without a rally car to drive. But here I am as a co-commentator! And it was much more fun than I expected.”

TB: “The grip level on Mikolajki Arena, when I did the challenge against Michal for the TV show: he was in a four-wheel drive buggy and I was on a bike. Or rather, the lack of grip!” (You can watch the full feature of the off-road racing challenge between Michal and Taddy in the Red Bull TV Saturday show, now available in replay).

Which driver put in the best performance this weekend?

MK:  “I think Thierry Neuville has shown his potential so many times this year that he deserves to be called the star of the first part of the season. We still have some rallies to go, but with the speed that he is showing all the time, the championship fight is going to be exciting. “

TB: “Rally always keeps you guessing until the finish, as we saw when Ott Tanak went off on Sunday morning. That’s a shame as up until then he had been doing an amazing job: I like his style.”

Thierry Neuville/Nicolas Gilsoul on Saturday 1 July, Rally Poland 2017

Ott Tanäk/Martin Jarveoja on Saturday 1 July, Rally Poland 2017
Which team impressed you most?

MK: “We’ve all been impressed with Toyota’s performance. I don’t think anyone at the beginning of the year would have bet on them becoming as good as they are so quickly: it’s a totally new team with a totally new car. Congratulations to the team manager Tommi Makinen and all the team for putting the pieces together in such a short time. Finns just seem to have a natural feeling for rallying.”

TB: “The Hyundai looks awesome: fast everywhere. That’s a serious piece of kit.”

Which rally car in Poland would you have liked to co-drive this weekend?

MK: “Generally being a co-driver is so insane that I can’t even imagine wanting to do that. Basically, I would never get in a rally car to co-drive! But if I had to, I would choose Seb Ogier, just to see his driving skills.”

TB: “Every single one in the top 10. I would have loved to experience at least one stage in all of them!”

What did you do during your evenings off in Mikolajki?

MK: “I went to bed very early and set my alarm for 07:00. Every morning, I woke up at around 5:30 when I heard the first engines starting. I jumped out of bed immediately and started looking for my racing overalls! I guess first reactions stay with you after all those years of rallying…”

TB: “Early nights for me too: we had long days as part of the Red Bull TV crew! At the end of each day, we tended to just go back to service, eat there, have some meetings and go to bed.”

Which was your favourite stage?

MK: “I liked the Kruklanki stage, run twice on Saturday. It’s fast and very typical of Rally Poland, with some nice jumps.”

TB: “Baronowo, the live stage, as it’s the only one I watched from start to finish. It’s so great that people can see it live.”

Who do you think will be WRC champion this year?

MK: “I really hope Seb Ogier will win another title in a row. That would be a great story after all the drama with Volkswagen quitting and Seb searching for a new team at the very last moment. I believe he can do it. “

TB: “Too early to say, but I think Seb Ogier is the favourite.”

Tell us something we don’t know about your co-commentator…

MK: “Taddy is an amazing go kart racer. Once we were together on a racing track, practising a bit with pro go karts, and he did better times than some of the other competing pro drivers.”

TB: “Michal is a great cook. Seriously.”

Finally, a bonus question: what’s the best Polish food?

MK: “Pierogi z mięsem! It means dumplings with meat. It’s our national, typical food: simply lovely!”

TB: “I agree with Michal: definitely pierogi!”


Final highlights show today 2 July at 22:00 local time (CEST). All other programs now available as VOD.

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source: redbull.tv/wrc