Last year was quite difficult for Motorsport Italia, yet also very rewarding in terms of learning and adapting to WRC’s many challenges. Everything they’ve learned will hopefully be put to good use this year. Motorsport Italia will compete in Monte Carlo, led by new team member, Polish driver Michał Kościuszko. Weapon of choice will once again be Mini John Cooper Works Countryman WRC.
In a brief “letter”, Motorsport Italia talks about new challenges both for the team and for Michał, who will need to adapt his driving style to WRC machine, after competing in Group N Mitsubishi in previous years.
Mini and Motorsport Italia had their ups and downs in 2012, but we know the potential behind Prodrive-developed Mini rally car, and Kościuszko is no stranger to solid results. It would be beyond great for this new, rebuilt team to become constant finisher and point scorer in 2013.
Official press release below.
On The Road Again
‘Ciao a tutti Bruno here,
‘Yes, WRC season’s about to start up again and I’m back to let you know what Motorsport Italia’s up to this season, starting with Rallye Monte-Carlo.
‘Our first piece of exciting news is that Polish driver Michał Kościuszko and co-driver Maciek Szczepaniak are joining Motorsport Italia this year to tackle the WRC in a MINI John Cooper Works Countryman WRC. They’ve been running with our sister team Ralliart Italy for the last two seasons, but now will compete for Lotos WRC Team on all thirteen events starting in Monte Carlo next week. For a sneak preview of their new livery / overalls, please see below.
General view – Press Kit Kosciuszko 2013
Racing Suit – Press Kit Kosciuszko 2013
‘It’ll be an interesting step for Michał to move from a Mitsubishi to a MINI. For those of you who don’t know, I’ll explain a bit better exactly what that challenge means. Then we’ll talk more about the excitement of the legendary challenge that is ‘the Monte’ in our Event Preview.
‘It’s a big change from the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X to the MINI, but Michał has an idea what to expect. He competed in a MINI on his home event Rally Poland in 2011, so although it’s his WRC début and is completing a 100km test this Friday in Italy in preparation for the event.
‘The main difference between the Mitsubishi and the MINI is how the car must be treated. The MINI is more or less a prototype, while the Group N Mitsubishi is developed from a showroom specification car. The MINI is designed to allow the driver to be more aggressive, whereas it’s a driver’s job to protect the Mitsubishi, not to make fierce cuts or push the car as hard (try telling that to a driver! ;-))
‘Handling either car well takes skill and time to learn, but the principal advantages of the MINI are its weight and strength. Despite only being 1200kg where the Mitsubishi was 1350kg, it is robust, the brakes are good and the driver can really feel the car dig in ready to tackle any surface or environment.
‘Michał and Maciek are also making the move from the PWRC to the WRC. This change shouldn’t be too hard – and we’ll make it as easy as possible. The cars are different and the programme is fuller, but whichever WRC series you are in the level of competition is high and the drivers who you battle for the title are in cars of the same specification as yours.
‘It will of course help Michał to keep the same co-driver. He and Maciek have a strong partnership and trust each other, which is essential. There are also lots of familiar faces in the team from their Ralliart Italy days. The only person they haven’t worked with before is our Chief Engineer Tomo, but as you all know he’s very experienced so they’re in the safest of hands with him!
‘So, the spotlight will be all for Michał in Monte, but – yes, there’s a but – stay tuned for news on who else might be joining us on upcoming events to complete Motorsport Italia’s 2013 programme. For now my lips are sealed. :-)
‘A presto, Bruno’