Friday 13th February 2004
Three-time Polish National rally Champion Janusz Kulig (35) died in a road accident when a train hit his car. The crossing keeper was blamed for the accident. He started his career behind the wheel of a Polski Fiat 126p and during his early years in rally he also drove a Toyota Corolla, a Opel Kadett, and a Renault Clio. He became one of the top drivers while driving Renault Megane Maxi. In this car he also won his first Polish Rally Championship title in 1997. After 2 seasons with Renault, he signed a contract with Marlboro Mobil 1 team. He changed his car to a Ford Escort WRC and in following years to a Ford Focus WRC. Those years were most successful for Kulig. He won another 2 Polish Championship titles and became well known in European and World rally. Kulig spent the 2002 and 2003 seasons competing in the European Rally Championship (2nd place in 2002) and occasional WRC events. In 2002 Janusz Kulig won the Rally du Valais. His biggest success in WRC was 1st place in PCWRC in Sweden 2003 but after the rally he was stripped of his glory by FIA due to illegal modifications in his Mitsubishi Lancer EVO VII (the flywheel had different streak than the one approved by FIA). For the 2004 Polish Championship Season he signed a contract to drive Fiat Punto S1600.