Friday, 24 April 2015

Female Rally Drivers after 1950: Poland


Magdalena Cieślik and Magda Lukas celebrate

There are now enough Polish drivers on Speedqueens to warrant their own post. This will be added to in future.

Izabela Bzyl - Polish driver active since 2010. She is part of the “Bzylki Sisters” team, with her sister Katarzyna Bzyl as team manager and occasional driver. In 2010 and 2011, her car was a Peugeot 206. Her best result was a 34th place in the Rajd Karkonoski. In 2012, she acquired a Renault Clio, and improved her best finish to 30th, in the Rajd Świdnicki-Krause. Her usual navigator is Jakub Domański. After 2012, the team has struggled for funds, and has only occasionally competed at lower levels, such as a women-only rally in Poznan in 2014.

Magdalena Cieślik - Polish driver most active between 1999 and 2002, although there are records of her beginning her career in 1997 in a Renault 21, and entering some Polish Championship events in 1998. Her major rally entries were mainly in Poland. In 1999 and 2000, she used an N1 Fiat Seicento, in which she had a best finish of 28th, in the Rajd Zimowy. After a brief experiment with a Nissan Micra, she acquired a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IV, later updated to an Evo VI. This marque gave her her best finishes of her career: seventh in the Rajd Zimowy in 2001 and 2002, and ninth in the Rajd Krakowski in 2002. She was also seventh in the 2002 Rajd Rzeszowski-Fuchs, driving an Evo VII. Her last major event seems to have been the 2004 Rajd Barborka in Poland, driving a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VI.

Paula Kucharewicz ("Pajka") – rallies a Vokswagen Polo in her home country of Poland. In 2015, she competed in the Centrum Cup, a club-level championship. 2015 looks to be her first year of rallying. Her best result so far seems to be a sixth place in the Warsaw Rally, out of 23 drivers. She also won her class. In 2016, she earned her first podium position, a third in the Rajd Nowomiejski, in the Polo. She was also seventh in the Warminski Rally, and second in her regional championship, with a class win. Her usual co-driver in Dzienis Bartosz. 

Magdalena Misiarz – rallies a Honda Civic in Eastern Europe. She began in 2014, in the Czech Republic, after several years of navigating for other drivers. Her best result was 40th, in the Železné Hori rally, from 80 drivers. In 2015, she drove in many more rallies, in the Czech Republic and Poland itself. She was particularly strong in the SKJS Rally Masters events; her two finishes were a fifth and a ninth place. In the Czech rallies she entered, she did less well, with a 27th place in the Železné Hori rally her best finish.  In 2016, she was twelfth in the same rally, driving the Civic, but her best finish was sixth, in the first round of the Polish Tarmac Masters. 

Klaudia Temple - Polish driver active in major rallies in Poland since 2011. For her first season, she drove a Citroen Saxo. Her best result was 34th in the Rajd Cieszyńska Babórka. In 2012, she broke into the top twenty on the Rajd Karkonoski, in 19th place, having swapped the Citroen for a Honda Civic. She was later 20th in the Rajd Cieszyńska Babórka. In the same car, she competed around Poland in 2013. Her bet result improved again to 17th, in the Rajd Wisly. She continued to rally in Poland in 2014, still in the Civic. She did not quite manage to get into the top twenty this year, with a best result of 21st, in the Nadwiślański Rally. She was fourth in class. In 2015, she was fourth in her class again, in the Civic. Her best overall result was 27th, in the Nadwiślański Rally. This improved to 25th in 2016, still in the Civic. She did fewer rallies this year. Her usual navigator is Jakub or Kamil Wrobel.

Barbara Wojtowicz – rallied in Poland, on and off, between 1947 and 1963, in a variety of small cars, including a Simca Aronde and NSU Prinz. Among her earliest was a Fiat 1100, which she used in the 1947 Polish Rally. She competed in the Polish Rally on several occasions, throughout her career, and her best result in it was eleventh, in 1963, when she was 45 years old. The car on this occasion was a Renault Dauphine. Barbara was more known for her active role in the Polish resistance during the Second World War. She died in 2009.

Ewa Wójtowicz – best known for rallying a Citroen C2 in Polish rallies. She has driven this car since at least 2009, when she entered the Rajd Barbórka. In 2011, she was very active, and had a best finish of 32nd, in the Świdnicki-Krause Rally. She has continued to compete since then, usually with the Palonka rally team, including in some events in Slovakia, in 2014. One year, possibly in 2011, she was runner-up in class in a Polish rally championship.

(Image from http://www.rajd.rzeszow.pl/wczesniejsze-edycje-rr/)

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