A new season of FIA European Rallycross Championship (EuroRX) starts this weekend in Mettet, Belgium. We have recently caught up with Poland`s Krzysztof Hołowczyc to talk about his upcoming debut in a 600 bhp beast that is a rallycross supercar.
How did you spend the winter break, how have your preparations for the upcoming rallycross season been going?
"It was different this year as I didn’t go to Dakar for the first time in many ages. The winter wasn’t boring, though. We had two weeks of proper freezing and snow in Poland so we got to ride over 1000 km on frozen lakes, doing power sliding at 160 kmh. It was a really cool time. Then I also went to Morocco for a bit off-road rallying with my friends. I still can’t fully give up on what I had been professionally doing for over last ten years of my career."
What are your main goals for this season - what place in the EuroRX overall standings are you aiming at?
"This is going to be another new season for me because I have switched from the Lite class to the Supercars, which makes me very happy, though. As a professional sportsman I’d like to win every time but I try to be a realist and I know it will be a new season in a new car which always means lots of work – new tracks to discover and a new car to learn. However, after our first tests I believe this may be “my car” in terms of handling and power. I feel so much better having too much power under my right foot and therefore being able to help myself in some corners with acceleration, not only with the steering wheel. I should be competitive but having checked the line-up of Euro RX for 2016 I know it won’t be easy this year with all those experienced young guns such as the young Gronholm, Eriksson, Hansen, all of them in great cars. The competition in the Euro RX is very strong but I chose this programme as it’s not as long as the whole WorldRX series and therefore we’ll have enough budget to complete the whole season."You've already done some tests of your new RX car - is the difference between the RX Lites and Supercar class so big? How do you fell your new Ford Fiesta?
"A rallycross supercar has an unbelievable acceleration, you have to change gears in tens of seconds. I first thought, what a short gearbox, then I realised I was already doing 180 km/h. The acceleration of my new car does literally squeeze you in your seat all the time you keep pushing on the acceleration pedal. For a change, in the Lites I had fantastic braking, even better than in the Supercars – thanks to the engine located in the rear of a car I could break like in a Porsche. The power was pretty limited there, though – 320 bhp can’t give you as much fun as 600, can it? It’s a massive change then but Supercars are much closer to some old school WRC cars I used to drive earlier in my career – just way more powerful."
Do you plan any rallies this year or is rallycross your main focus now?
"I’d still like to do a few rallies and to be honest at this stage of my career it would be purely for my own fun and pleasure. I haven’t missed the Rally of Poland for ages but this year I won’t be able to make it due to the Euro RX round in Sweden at the same weekend. We are doing a full season of Euro RX so I’ll have to be in Sweden which won’t be easy for me. Thankfully, one week before me and my friends will get to compete in the Warmiński Rally, a more local event preceding the WRC round in Poland. I’m going to take out from the garage my old Subaru Impreza and have some fun. I love rallying and I can’t give up on it. I also plan to take part in the cross-country rally Baja Poland to win it once again."
The popularity of rallycross and knowledge about this sport has been growing in Poland since you started racing in RX - do you think there`s a chance to bring the WorldRX series to Poland one day?
"I’m glad to hear that. The WorldRX series is organised by the guys who also organise Speedway GP so those events can be very spectacular. I think that the Polish Motorcycle Federation will realise that soon. The Polish RX Championships have been reactivated recently too and will be organised by some cool people with a true RX passion. I’m really happy about that as rallycross is quite easy to broadcast, unlike rallies – not long stages, vast areas and so on. Fingers crossed for rallycross development in Poland!"
Your favourite Monster after racing?
"As one of Monster Energy veterans I bleed green – the original one."