Poland: Spectators still undisciplined

This year once again the public around the Polish stages stood out for their indiscipline. This phenomenon was feared before the rally and the first stage was nevertheless disrupted by interruptions and two cancellations. This unfortunately has an impact on the general ranking.

Published on 28/06/2024 à 20:13

Loïc ROCCI

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Poland: Spectators still undisciplined

Once again the spectators behaved badly in Poland (Photo: Nikos Katikis/DPPI)

When the 2024 calendar was revealed, the presence of Poland, even for one season, was surprising. The latest coming of WRC 2017 did not leave a good memory regarding the behavior of spectators. A special stage had been canceled due to the poor placement of some people and the country had acquired a bad reputation. He had not appeared in the WRC lineup until this year and immediately doubts reappeared. The editions organized in ERC went well, but attracted a smaller audience. For the 80e anniversary, it was clear from Wednesday that the event would be followed by a considerable crowd. To be sure, all you had to do was be on the roads leading to the shakedown on Thursday morning. The lines of cars were endless and reading the license plates showed that lovers of rally neighboring countries had also made the trip. At the end of this final driving session, pilots were already pointing out the dangerousness of certain locations. The various videos published by spectators also confirmed that all the lessons of the past had not been learned and that the messages concerning safety were struggling to do their job.

This unfortunately proved to be the case again during Friday qualifying. While the organizers had repeated before the event that the 30-minute rule had to be respected (beyond that, no one is allowed to move), the progress of certain sections proved that the path that remains to be to accomplish to avoid certain stupid behaviors is still a long way to go. Some fans wait for the safety cars to pass and position themselves at the edge of the SS at the last moment. However, the cameras on board Rally1 and Rally2 allow them to be seen and after a few competitors, this leads to the interruption of the special. It's usually the work of a very small number of people who deprive the vast majority of the public who pay to see the specials.

In addition to spoiling part of the spectacle, this has an impact on the progress of the race, because the canceled sections give rise to fixed times. In Poland, Andreas Mikkelsen only completed one full special on Friday afternoon and yet it is he who leads the rally before the final superspecial. While the first stage is practically completed, the organizers have not yet made a decision regarding the measures that could be applied on Saturday and Sunday to prevent this type of inconvenience from happening again. What seems certain, however, is that Poland did not score points to one day return to the WRC.

 

 

Loïc ROCCI

Journalist specializing in rallying past, present and future... and with a southern accent

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