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Rally Poland boss hits back at critics of WRC round

Robert Kubica, Rally Poland 2014

Rally Poland boss Jaroslaw Noworol has spoken out against criticism of the itinerary for his World Rally Championship event last week.

The seventh round of the WRC was slammed by drivers and team principals for 18-hour days and cancelled stages, but Noworol pointed to the championship's own sporting and commercial restrictions as the reason for the negativity.

The rally's opening day proper was cut short with SS5 trimmed due to the road surface before the start.

Stages seven and eight were subsequently canned after one run, when the sandy roads were left with foot-deep ruts, meaning 37 of the proposed 55 Lithuanian miles were lost.

Citroen driver Kris Meeke said: "What pisses me off is the people who went to inspect the stages in Lithuania; what did they do? Go for a night's holiday?

"All they needed to do was tap a metal rod into the ground to know it wasn't suitable, but they ruined it for us, the spectators and for the people of Lithuania."

Noworol said: "We have an agreement with the FIA and with the promoter that our rally should be in two countries - in Lithuania and Poland - and we did everything that was in the agreement.

"The Lithuanians were responsible for the time in their country. They proposed stages to us, but the distance was too big."

Events are encouraged to ensure at least 25 per cent of their total route mileage is competitive; Poland was 21 per cent, which is why Lithuanian stages had to be as close as possible to the border.

Noworol said the use of Lithuanian stages would be discussed by the organisers with the FIA and WRC Promoter shortly after that rally - they are not expected to return next year.

WRC Promoter's Oliver Ciesla said: "When we do these things we do them to bring the rally to additional fans.

"If it's worthwhile, we accept the extra costs and the extra efforts. It is up for discussion; it has to be re-evaluated."

There was uniform dislike for what Volkswagen team principal Jost Capito labeled a "crap" itinerary, but Noworol said this was a byproduct of the day in Lithuania.

"I know how the teams felt, we also had to work these hours," said Noworol.

"If Rally Poland is only in Poland, this will be changed."

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