Kołodziej. I am looking forward to another season in Unia

Janusz Kołodziej. fot. Jędrzej Zawierucha
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The 2022 season will be the sixth season in a row for Janusz Kołodziej for Fogo Unia Leszno. The 37-year-old is in the process of preparing for the tournament, but he does not hide that he would be happy to appear on the track. In an interview, he tells us why he has been quickly deciding to stay in the Leszno team for a long time, he declares that he will be helping very young representatives of the Bulls’ youth formation, and also talks about an unusual element of his preparations.

There are only two months left until the season. What do you focus on the most while preparing?

The season will actually start soon, so I try to do my best in training, because I want to be in good shape in the next competitions. I also try, just like my mechanics, to fasten new elements in the workshop. I visit a lot of sponsors and other people who help me, because this is the time to build support.

The hunger for driving is already bothering you?

I am really looking forward to our trip with Unia Leszno to Spain. What we love will start there. It will be cross-country skiing in fine weather. Eventually, you will be able to take some natural vitamin D, that is, the sun. For me, the longer the winter, the more cruel it is. When there is the first snow and frost at the beginning, it is still cool, but now I am full of it and I am waiting impatiently for this trip and the subsequent sunny days in Poland.

I saw that you are also racing with car models. What elements of these competitions help you speedway?

RC models are a great deal. People are used to adrenaline, so when there is no longer a speedway competition, I replace these emotions with these races. The competition in which I take part lasts five minutes. You have to be very cool during this time. The track only seems wide at first glance. However, when driving very fast, it is very narrow. We also have mates on the track and you have to be able to race with them. During a race, even the blink of an eye is undesirable. It is necessary to focus on your model as much as possible. So it is a great training of many elements useful in speedway. We have a nice group in Tarnów. My colleagues take part in the same races and can advise me. Just like speedway, there are a lot of settings and riding options here. If not for the help of my colleagues, it would probably be difficult for me to race in it. By the way, I would like to add that on February 11 and 12, competitions will be organized in Koszyce Wielkie near Tarnów and I cordially invite everyone to them.

You had a lot of hardware problems last season. Have you found the reason why this was happening?

The beginning of the season was good for me. I had no major problems. Mid-season my engines started to run out of power a bit. When you feel that you do not have what you want in the equipment, it later passes to your head. He has no faith in himself and in his abilities. It must have been quite a handicap. We work all the time with my environment to change something, we try new things so that it does not happen again. I hope that the tuners will prepare me good engines for this season. All this changes every year, a lot of new technologies are introduced. I believe that it will be the best.

Another year awaits you in Unia Leszno. There have not been many changes to your team’s senior roster, but one particular one. David Belego comes after Emil Sajfutdinow. What can you say about the new teammate?

Emil is not here and it is a pity, because he rode very well with him. I haven’t had the opportunity to meet David and watch him yet, but as far as I know, he will be with us at a camp in Spain. I hope that we will get a nice first contact there and have longer talks. Later the season will start and there will be more of this time together. Hope we all help each other.

The club’s authorities now want to bet on the younger ones. Hence the transfers of Kacper Pludra and Krzysztof Sadurski. So do you feel that this year you will have to help a lot of young people on the track and in the parking lot?

It is even good for me that I will have to suggest hints, because I like it a lot. Giving advice and sharing experiences gives me joy. Young people may or may not benefit from it. I think the guys we have are really fun to drive. I have watched them many times and I am full of optimism for the next season. If only there were no injuries, it would be all right.

For years it has quickly become clear that you will stay in Leszno for another year. What is it caused by? After all, offers appear.

I feel good in Unia Leszno. I don’t feel the need to change. Everything works great. There are great people in the club and we have good conditions. The successes of Unia Leszno in recent years prove that this is not a coincidence. If someone only wants to ride speedway, it is only in such a team. I wish it wouldn’t change. Time and life will show how it will be. If I’m not at the right level in a while, I just won’t be fit. I hope we will fight as hard this season as we did in previous years. I am glad that I am about to start another season in Leszno.

Janusz Kołodziej w rozmowie z Piotrem Baronem. Foto: Marcin Kubiak, Unia Leszno


Your club colors will not change, but what’s new is that you are not on the list of members of the Polish national team. You were disappointed by the lack of nominations for the staff?

As far as I know, the line-up has been tightened this year. The best players from the Polish leaders were selected. The lack of an appointment is not a surprise to me. It is known that everyone would like to ride in this team and are happy to get this calling, because it is amazing. Lately, it has been so recently that I was in the frame, and not in competitions, so I don’t feel disappointed. I wish everyone to enjoy this ride in the national team and to do their best. I had my chances, now others have.

Finally, I will ask you a question about the second Union that is in your heart, that is the Union of Tarnów. Marek Cieślak is to help there. Do you think this is a good move?

This is a trainer with great authority and experience. For me, this is the best decision. I remember Marek Cieślak’s previous stay in Tarnów. Then a lot of cool things happened. It was very good. I believe that this is a good move for the Union. I hope that Marek will also find himself well there. I believe that Tarnow will only get better.