Nikodem Wierzbicki won both races of the third round of the Hankook-powered Unitel Mazda MX-5 Cup Poland to return to the overall standings for the first time since the season opener in May.
The 19-year-old won qualifying by a hair, beating second-placed Jacek Cichopek by just eight thousandths of a second. During the first Friday race, however, his opponent was the leader of the table, Konrad Czaczyk, starting from fifth place. The two played a thrilling battle with each other again, but the roles were reversed for the June round and it was Wierzbicki who defended himself. At the finish line, both competitors were only 38 thousandths of a second, which is a record in the two-year history of the cup.
On Saturday, just before the race, it started to rain heavily, which brought a lot of new things – for the first time the competitors were using Hankook’s new rain tires, and they had protective housings specially made for such conditions on their heads .
Unable to keep pace, Wierzbicki was second out of nowhere and needed just two laps from fourth to take the lead. This year’s rookie quickly built a good advantage, which grew to almost four seconds before the safety car left – it ended the race early after the accident of Konrad Czaczyk.
“The first race was dry, and in the second race we were hit by rain, which was new for me, I had never done a single lap in wet conditions on a tire like this before.” – Wierzbicki said in an interview with ŚwiatWyścigów.pl.
“You could say that I had a very successful weekend. Now we have one race left with Konrad, so I’m more calm, because we’re in a similar situation, and I even got him in the goal, so it’s very good “.
Wierzbicki already has four wins this season against one Czaczyk and Cichopek, who have 18 and 21 points respectively. According to the rules of the circuit, competitors will be able to reduce the worst results at the end of the season, assuming that all ten scheduled races have been played. This would increase the advantage of Wierzbicki, who insists, however, that he is still learning to race with a Mazda rear-wheel drive.
“I am happy with this rain. I could have gone a little faster, but I didn’t want to risk too much, because I’m always learning this car, but it’s okay. which separates the car a lot. I was driving everywhere and trying to gas up as fast as possible – you had to be careful not to overdo it and not to turn, but I managed to work perfectly in this race and I managed to win”.
After three rounds at Tor Poznań, the Unitel Mazda MX-5 Cup Poland driven by Hankook drivers will now go to Slovakia Ring, where they will compete on August 19-21.