First title for Kalinecki as Driver of the Year 2012 in British Retro Rallycross
November 2, 2012 by Leo Nulty
As Motorsport.ie readers will know, The Irish based Polish Sportchip.ie Rallycross team have been doing really well in the new for 2012 MSA Retro Rallycross series in the UK. The team went to the final round of the series last weekend in Croft with a strong chance of taking the outright title. when the chequered flag waved at the end of the Final, the Sportchip.ie Lancia Delta Integrale was first across the line to take not only the win but a highly impressive first ever Retro Rallycross title as well!
With atrocious weather conditions not looking like changing after official practise on Saturday, it was obvious that full wet weather tyres would be required just to stay on the circuit, never mind being competitive. Unfortunately, everybody else had the same idea and a queue formed at the Avon truck. Marlena, who looks after all the admin for the team, was despatched to see what she could do and used her charm to good effect, ensuring that the Integrale had a new set of boots fitted before the first heat! Unfortunately this as not enough, as there was a problem with the launch off the line and the car was down on power, finishing well down the field. After the heat, the team members Martin Blitek and Bartek Klukzyk quickly diagnosed and repaired the problem, traced to the throttle cable and the car was again ready for action. The second heat was action packed as Kalinecki became embroiled in a frantic battle with the iconic Metro 6R4 of longtime rallycross competitor Rob Gibson. The pair made contact on a number of occasions ut damage was minimal and the Lancia was ahead when it counted to take a fine win.
Kalinecki also won heat three, taking the fastest time for a further 5 points leaving him heading into the all important final wth one hand on the title.
Starting the final from pole, the pressure was on for the entire team as they watched from he sidelines. Gibson got a better getaway and the 500bhp Metro led into turn one. Not for long though as the Sportchip liveried car was back in the lead half way round the first lap. It didn’t end there though as the experienced Gibson piled on the pressure, closing on the Lancia mid race before Kalenecki re asserted his dominance and pulled away for the all important win- and title!
As ever, the team would like to thank their all important sponsors who supported them during the season- Turbo Tech www.turbo-tech.ie , www.tkccc.ie Cottage Cafe Restaurant and a new sponsor fr the final round- Mactronic Dublin.
The team will be back to defend their hard won title in 2013- this time with Number 1 on the door!