Krzysztof Holowczyc is a rally driver from Poland whose greatest achievement is a title of the European rally champion in 1997.
He also won the Polish Rally Championship three times, recorded 21 starts in the World Rally Championship and ten starts at Dakar Rally, finishing best in the third place at 2015 Dakar Rally.
Starting a rally career driving a Polski Fiat
Born in June 1962 in Olsztyn, he recorded his first attempts in rallying in the mid-1980s, driving a Polski Fiat 125p 1500 or FSO Polonez 1600 in national rally events.
He recorded first international attempts in 1987 in Germany and Yugoslavia, then expanding his schedule to five international events in 1988.
Switching to Japanese cars in 1991, first overall title in 1995
In 1991, Holowczyc switched to Mazda 323 4WD and then to Toyota Celica GT-4 in 1992. Year by year, his results improved and then, in 1994, he captured the Class N national title with Toyota Celica Turbo 4WD. His navigator was Maciej Wislawski.
In 1995, Holowczyc was driving Group A-spec Toyota Celica Turbo 4WD to his first overall championship title. He was also successful in the European Rally Championship, scoring five podiums to finish as a vice-champion behind Enrico Bertone.
1996 – WRC debut and one more Polish championship title
In February 1996, Krzysztof made a debut in the World Rally Championship at Swedish Rally, driving a Toyota Celica Turbo 4WD to 20th-place finish.
He continued to drive that car in the Polish Rally Championship, taking one more championship trophy. At the end of the season, he participated in several events in a Ford Escort RS Cosworth.
European rally champion in 1997 with Subaru
In 1997, Holowczyc switched to another Japanese iconic rally car, driving a Subaru Impreza 555 in the European Rally Championship. He won three times, still sharing a car with navigator Maciej Wislawski, taking the ERC title.
He was also driving Subaru Impreza 555 in his second WRC attempt, at RAC Rally in November 1997. He was in the ninth place overall before retiring on the last stage of the rally because of a bad accident.
Five starts in the 1998 WRC season
In 1998, Holowczyc focused on a part-time schedule in the World Rally Championship with Mobil 1 Stomil Olsztyn team, driving a Subaru Impreza S3 WRC in five WRC events.
He participated at Rally Portugal, Rallye Catalunya, Rally Argentina, Rallye Sanremo and Rally GB. His best result was the 8th place in the British WRC round. That year, he also won Rally Poland (Rajd Polski), a part of the European Rally Championship.
Polish rally champion for the third time in 1999
In 1999, Holowczyc captured his third national title after winning four national events in Wizja TV Turning Point Rally Team's Subaru Impreza S4 WRC. This time, his navigator was Belgian Jean-Marc Fortin. They participated also in three WRC rounds, recording two DNFs and 13th place in Great Britain.
Holowczyc and Fortin stayed with the same team in 2000, switching to a Subaru Impreza S5 WRC. He recorded five more WRC starts in 2000, retiring four times and finishing 16th in Sweden.
Polish vice-champion in 2001 with Peugeot 206 WRC
In 2001, Holowczyc was out of WRC, driving a Peugeot 206 WRC for Sobieski Rally Team in the national championship with three different navigators (Maciej Wislawski, Lukasz Kurzeja, Jean-Marc Fortin). He was a winner two times, losing a title to Janusz Kulig.
In 2002, Holowczyc slowed down his rally activities, participating in just a few national events with different cars (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VI, Subaru Impreza WRX or Seat Cordoba WRC).
A brief return to WRC in 2003
In 2003, Holowczyc briefly returned to the World Rally Championship with three starts in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VII, fighting for Production class points. He was fifth in Sweden, crashed out at New Zealand and retired due to technical problems in Germany.
In 2004, Holowczyc recorded just two participations in the national events with Subaru Impreza STi N10, winning the Rajd Kormoran.
Dakar Rally debut in 2005
In 2005, Krzysztof made a debut in the world's toughest race, the Dakar Rally. The race started in Barcelona and ended after almost 9,000 kilometers in Dakar, Senegal. He was driving a Mitsubishi Pajero, reaching the finish line in 60th place.
Holowczyc returned two more times to African editions of Dakar Rally, in 2006 and 2007, driving a Nissan in both occasions and recording two DNFs.
In rallying, he participated in selected events only, such is Rally Poland. In 2005, he won the rally in a Subaru Impreza STi N11. A year later, in the same car, he retired on the opening stage. At 2007 Rally Poland, he finished second in a Subaru Impreza STi N12B.
Scoring WRC points at 2009 Rally Poland
As a regular entrant at Rally Poland, Holowczyc also took part in 2009 edition, which was a part of the World Rally Championship.
He was driving the #15 Ford Focus RS WRC for Stobart VK Ford Rally Team, with Lukasz Kurzeja as his navigator. They finished in the sixth place overall, earning three championship points.
Dakar Rally regular competitor until 2015
Holowczyc continued to race with Nissan Overdrive in 2009 when Dakar Rally has been moved to South America. He finished fifth, together with navigator Jean-Marc Fortin. He had one more attempt with Nissan in 2010, not finishing the race.
In 2011, Holowczyc joined X-Raid Team to drive BMW X3, finishing again in the fifth place. In 2012, the team switched to Mini-badged off-road cars and Holowczyc recorded four more participations with German team until 2015. In 2012, he scored one stage victory and finished ninth. His greatest success came in 2015 when he finished third overall, behind Nasser Al-Attiyah and Giniel De Villiers. His navigator in that race was Xavier Panseri.
Parallel to Dakar Rally, Holowczyc gained some success in another cross-country races, winning five times at Baja Poland and one time at Silk Way Rally.
Two more WRC starts and an attempt in a rallycross
From 2009 onwards, Holowczyc occasionally participated in different rally competitions, even in the US, where he was third at Rally in the 100 Acre Wood. He was regular entrant at Rally Poland, recording also two starts in that event as a part of the World Rally Championship. In 2014, he retired at Rally Poland in a Ford Fiesta RS WRC and then, in 2015, he was 10th in the WRC2 category in a Ford Fiesta R5.
In 2016, Holowczyc recorded two starts in the European Rallycross Championship with Lotto Team's Ford Fiesta Supercar. He was tenth in Belgium and eleventh in Norway.
Racing and rallying as a business
Currently, Holowczcy is out of racing but he leads a business connected to racing. His company Holowczyc Management offers different programs for professionals and amateurs.
Outside rallying, Holowczyc spent some time as a member of the European Parliament, representing Civic Platform list from 2007 to 2009.