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  • Third place for Kajetanowicz and Baran – the Polish duo among the frontrunners on the Qualifying Stage for Barum Czech Rally Zlin;
  • Reigning European Rally Champion picks his starting position for tomorrow’s stages of the Czech ERC counter as third driver in the field;
  • Rally opening with huge crowds: the fight in round eight of the 2016 FIA ERC starts tonight on a city stage, attracting 40 thousand fans;
  • Today’s result marks ninth consecutive and 18th overall top-three FIA ERC Qualifying Stage finish for Kajetan and Jarek.

The biggest event in Czech motorsport and round eight of the 2016 FIA ERC – 46th edition of Barum Czech Rally Zlin – started today with almost 5-kilometre Qualifying Stage. This test consisted of well-known parts of Komarov stage which features in Barumka’s itinerary every time since the first running of this event. Just like last year, this time the competitors fought for the best results in sunny, stable conditions. Kajetan Kajetanowicz and Jarek Baran clocked third-fastest time. Only the second-placed crew of the 2016 FIA ERC, Alexey Lukyanuk and Alexey Arnautov, and four-time Barum Czech Rally Zlin winners, Skoda factory crew Jan Kopecky and Pavel Dresler. Reigning European Rally Champions defeated, among others, Ralfs Sirmacis (third-placed in the FIA ERC), reigning Polish Champion Łukasz Habaj, former Czech Champion Pavel Valousek and Bryan Bouffier (runner-up in the FIA ERC).

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Kajto and Jarek continue their successful qualifying streak in the Czech FIA ERC counter. The LOTOS Rally Team duo scored their ninth consecutive and 18th overall top-three Qualifying Stage finish. This result means that Kajetan Kajetanowicz earned the right to choose his starting position for Leg 1 as the third driver in the field. The start order selection ceremony takes place in Zlin at 15:30 CET. Half an hour later, also on the main square of Zlin, the crews competing in the Czech FIA ERC round pass through the starting ramp and officially begin the 46th edition of Barum Czech Rally Zlin.

The fight for victory in round 8 of the championship starts with a spectacular superspecial stage on streets of Zlin, literally filled with spectators. According to the organisers, this city test is watched live by 40 thousand excited fans every year. This year the crews and spectators have to cope with slight changes to this stage: due to redevelopment of some streets in Zlin, part of this test runs in opposite direction, compared to previous seasons.

Tomorrow the best European rally crews face the longest leg of this event, which lasts no less than 14 hours and consists of eight special stages, totalling 118.44 competitive kilometres. They tackle, among others, the longest test of the rally – 22-22-kms Kosiky – and 11.74-kms Brezova, which is a modified version of last year’s Slusovice. Interestingly, on SS Brezova the drivers fight not only for the best time but also for the longest jump on “At Johan’s” crest. For many years the best jumpers were awarded by the owners of a local restaurant, after which the jump is named. Also this year the winners in this category will receive a gift – a roasted pig. The itinerary of Leg 2 consists of two loops of three stages – 102.2 competitive kilometres on bumpy and rough Tarmac roads in Moravia.

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Kajetan Kajetanowicz We have completed the first kilometres of Barum Czech Rally Zlin: free practice and the Qualifying Stage. I am happy with our times, the feeling is OK. However, I think it should be a bit better if we want to improve or at least to equal our position from last year. On the other hand it is not the most important thing in this rally. We have to think about the championship. We keep it in mind during each rally but now we enter the crucial part of the season. The European Rally Championship title is very important for us, we want to achieve our goal again. It remains to be seen whether we will win it. For now I try to focus on my work and to do my best. I would like to enjoy my driving because these stages enable it. However, I know that it will not be easy because we fight with very fast drivers on really demanding stages: no less than 40% of the route is completely new to me. I have never raced on those parts and this means an additional challenge. This is why I will try to drive as usual – quickly, efficiently and without mistakes.

Jarek Baran This year’s “Barumka” consists mostly of classic and very demanding stages but the organisers have reached to very old editions of this rally and prepared some parts which are new to us. All sections are equally difficult and challenging – there is no single place where you can catch the breath.

The results of the Qualifying Stage for Barum Czech Rally Zlin – round 8 of the 2016 FIA ERC:
1. Lukyanuk/Arnautov (Russia, Ford Fiesta R5) 2:52.1
2. Kopecky/Dresler (Czech Republic, Skoda Fabia R5) +0.3 s
3. Kajetanowicz/Baran (Poland, Ford Fiesta R5) +1.3 s
4. Sirmacis/Simins (Latvia, Skoda Fabia R5) +2.5 s
4. Kostka/Kucera (Czech Republic, Ford Fiesta R5) +2.5 s
6. Habaj/Woś (Polska, Ford Fiesta R5) +2.6 s
7. Tarabus/Trunkat (Czech Republic, Skoda Fabia R5) +2.7 s
8. Odlozilik/Turecek (Czech Republic, Ford Fiesta R5) +3.4 s
9. Kreim/Frank (Germany, Skoda Fabia R5) +3.7 s
9. Botka/Szeles (Hungary, Citroen DS3 R5) +3.7 s

Barum Czech Rally Zlin in numbers:

  • 1st place of Kajetanowicz and Baran in the FIA ERC standings before Barum Czech Rally Zlin;
  • 8th of the 2016 FIA European Rally Championship;
  • 405 kms is the straight-line distance from Warsaw, capital city of Poland, to rally base in Zlin;
  • 3rd outing of Kajetanowicz in this event;
  • 132 crews from 20 countries entered for 46th edition of this event. This is the strongest field in the 2016 FIA ERC season;
  • 7 crews from Poland take part in the Czech FIA ERC counter;
  • 3 European Rally Champions (Kopecky, Rossetti and Kajetanowicz) and 2 runners-up (Bouffier, Tlustak) on the entry list;
  • 22.22 kms – the longest special stage of the rally – Kosiky;
  • 160 points in six rallies – the LOTOS Rally Team crew comfortably leads in the 2016 FIA ERC standings;
  • Four victories in Barum Czech Rally Zlin by the record-holder Jan Kopecky – three-time Czech Rally Champion and 2013 European Rally Champion;
  • In 1983 Barum Czech Rally Zlin for the first time was a round of the European Rally Championship;
  • 46th edition of the most important event in Czech motorsport;
  • 294 journalists from 20 countries were accredited for the last year’s edition of Czech classic;
  • In 2011 the smallest gap separated the winner from the runner-up: just 1.2 second;
  • The first edition of Barum Czech Rally Zlin took place in 1971;
  • 229.94 kilometres – combined length of 15 special stages;
  • Around 40 thousand fans watch the opening superspecial stage on the streets of Zlin;
  • 18 outings in this event for double winner and multiple Czech Rally Champion Vaclav Pech Junior;
  • 1 – starting number of the LOTOS Rally Team crew in this event;
  • 3rd place scored by Kajetanowicz and Baran in last year’s edition of Barum Czech Rally Zlin;
  • 40% of the route has been changed this year compared to 2015;
  • 76 points – the advantage of Kajetanowicz over second placed driver – Russia’s Alexey Lukyanuk;
  • Podium places for Kajetanowicz and Baran in 5 out of 6 FIA ERC outings this season;
  • 14 hours – the length of Saturday leg, the longest of Barum Czech Rally Zlin;
  • 12 out of 15 stages in last year’s rally Kajetanowicz and Baran finished in top three;
  • 29 out of 82 stages (35%) – the amount of stage wins for Kajto and Jarek in their six FIA ERC outings this year, this is the best ratio among all competitors;
  • 1st place of LOTOS Rally Team in championship standings, ahead of round eight the Polish team enjoys healthy advantage of 58 points;
  • 64 out of 82 stages (78%) of the 2016 FIA ERC finished in top three by the LOTOS Rally Team crew;
  • 26 points scored by Kajto and Jarek last year in the Czech rally;
  • 3 Polish Rally Champions – Kajetanowicz, Bouffier and Habaj – take part in Barum Czech Rally Zlin 2016.

Schedule of Barum Czech Rally Zlin – round 8 of the 2016 FIA ERC (all times are CET):

Friday 26 August (1 special stage; 9,30 kms):

07:30 – Free Practice
09:15 – Qualifying Stage  (Pohorelice, 4,71 km)
15:30 – Start Order Selection  (Zlin)
16:00 – Ceremonial Start (Zlin)

21:00 – OS 1 – Zlin (9,3 km)

Saturday 27 August (8 special stages; 118,44 kms):

07:28 – Service A – 30 mins (Otrokovice)
08:46 – OS 2 – Brezova (11,74 km)
10:14 – OS 3 – Kosiky (22,22 km)
11:29 – Service B – 30 mins (Otrokovice)

13:02 – OS 4 – Hostalkova (13,75 km)
13:35 – OS 5 – Semetin (11,51 km)
15:03 – OS 6 – Brezova (11,74 km)
16:23 – Service C – 30 mins (Otrokovice)

17:31 – OS 7 – Kosiky (22,22 km)
19:09 – OS 8 – Hostalkova (13,75 km)
19:42 – OS 9 – Semetin (11,51 km)
20:55 – Service D – 45 mins (Otrokovice)

Sunday 28 August (6 special stages; 102,20 kms):

07:55 – Service E – 15 mins (Otrokovice)
09:08 – OS 10 – Kasava (19,42 km)
09:56 – OS 11 – Pindula (18,43 km)
10:39 – OS 12 – Majak (13,25 km)
11:49 – Service F – 30 mins (Otrokovice)

13:17 – OS 13 – Kasava (19,42 km)
14:05 – OS 14 – Pindula (18,43 km)
14:48 – OS 15 – Majak (13,25 km)
15:21 – Service G – 10 mins (Otrokovice)
16:25 – Ceremonial Finish – Zlin

The 2016 FIA ERC standings ahead of Barum Rally:
1. Kajetan Kajetanowicz (Poland) 160 points
2. Alexey Lukyanuk (Russia) 84 points
3. Ralfs Sirmacis (Latvia) 79 points
4. Craig Breen (Ireland) 38 points
5. Freddy Loix (Belgium) 38 points
6. Raul Jeets (Estonia) 38 points
7. Jarosław Kołtun (Poland) 38 points
8. Ricardo Moura (Portugal) 37 points
9. Bryan Bouffier (France) 37 points
10. Wojciech Chuchała (Poland) 34 points

The 2016 FIA ERC Teams standings ahead of Rally Rzeszów:
1. LOTOS Rally Team 126 points
2. C-Rally 68 points
3. Sports Racing Technologies 66 points
4. Tiger Energy Drink Rally Team 46 points
5. Tlustak Racing 46 points
6. Botka Rally Team 37 points
7. T&T Czech National Team 30 points
8. Peugeot Belgium Luxembourg 25 points
9. Lacaris Foundation Team Greece 18 points
10. Gemini Clinic Rally Team 18 points

Starts of Kajetan Kajetanowicz and Jarek Baran are supported by strategic partner of LOTOS Rally Team – LOTOS Group – as well as CUBE.ITG and Driving Experience. More info about Kajetan Kajetanowicz and the team available at: www.lotosrallyteam.pl, www.kajto.pl, www.facebook.com/EmocjeDoPelna, www.facebook.com/KajetanKajetanowicz and www.twitter.com/Kajto_pl