Written by Cameron Gale, Edited by Harshi Vashee
It was fair to say that ahead of last year's FIA World Rallycross season, not many people had heard of Damian Litwinowicz, a graduate of CEZ and Polish competition. However, last season that also changed as he managed to get four final appearances and one podium and he is aiming to show everyone that he's got more in 2022.
Despite winning three championships in 2019 and 2020 - the Polish SuperTouring (over 2,000cc) twice plus the CEZ Rallycross SuperTouring ( over 2,000cc) title - Litwinowicz arrived in Euro RX3 as one of the most inexperienced drivers on the grid to many of his adversaries, and needing to get to grips with the Audi A1 he was piloting and all the tracks on the calendar. This didn't phase him to the slightest.
He was immediately on the pace and battling with the experienced drivers, the pole made the final six in each of the opening two rounds and he looked set to do it again in France, only for clutch failure at the beginning of Q3 to scupper his chances. Next time out in Belgium, he responded magnificently, posting a brace of top three qualifying times and finding himself elevated from fourth to third in the final by a post-race penalty for Skoda rival Jan Cerney.
He told World Rallycross: “I was very happy with the way last season went and the results we achieved,” he acknowledged. “I felt pretty nervous going to Barcelona for the first round, as I was aware the competition would be really strong and we’d only had [the] chance to do one test with the car, which was in the wet – slightly different to the conditions we then found in Catalunya!
“I knew I would have to learn quickly to be able to fight with the top drivers, and I learnt a lot. If you want to improve and gain experience, you need to race with the best, and that was always my tactic in grid draws – to go up against the fastest guys right from the outset.
“The highlight was obviously finishing third at Spa – that was a fantastic feeling. I was in the paddock afterwards getting changed out of my race suit, when somebody told me I needed to get to the podium as it was starting soon! Prior to the beginning of the season, I hadn’t even dared dream about reaching the final, let alone the podium...
“While the goalposts will naturally shift a bit now going into my second year in Euro RX3, I don’t like setting expectations as I don’t want to put too much pressure on myself. What I can say is that I have a quick car underneath me in the Audi – the A1 was clearly the best in the field last year – and I feel confident.
“It’s nice to be starting the season at Nyirád, too. I raced there in the final round of the Hungarian Championship a few months ago and won, so hopefully we can keep that momentum going. I’m really excited to get back out there!”
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