Five podiums and one win in seven rounds of the World Rally Championship 2019. More than 1,840 kilometres of fighting in 89 special stages, of which 20 won and as many as 52 finished on the podium. 28 days of racing in the rally, nearly 40 with test days. A total of almost 21 hours of continuous, extremely fast time racing, the result of which was decided on many times by fractions of seconds. The phenomenal, first full season of joint starts of Kajetan Kajetanowicz and Maciej Szczepaniak in the WRC 2 category has come to an end. The representatives of LOTOS Rally Team summed it up with a great third place in the RallyRACC Catalunya!
– It was a great rally, third place, fifth podium finish this year for seven starts – something amazing. The dreams are coming true once again, but this is the result of hard work. It’s nice that there were lots of fans on the track. There was an amazing atmosphere. We are here for the second time, but last year there weren’t so many of them. However, I’m not hiding that we have a lot of work ahead of us if we want to compete for the world championship. At the moment we are in second place. I hope that this will not change, because for us this season is coming to an end, we are not flying to Australia. This is really a situation in which we can be proud of ourselves – the whole team and each of the members separately, because they did a lot of great work. Once again I would like to thank the fans from Poland and other countries who supported us, and thanks to that it was easier to push on the gas
– said Kajetan Kajetanowicz, the three-time European Rally Champion.
Kajetanowicz and Szczepaniak’s season began with the asphalt Tour de Corse, held at the end of March. They made a great debut in Volkswagen Polo GTI R5, taking the third place on the podium. The next stop on the map was South America and Rally Argentina, which unfortunately did not run as our duo had intended. Poles led the way, but after the breakdown of the suspension they were forced to withdraw from the competition. In mid-June the cavalcade of World Rally Championship moved to the Italian island of Sardinia. Kajto and Maciek, using the regulatory possibilities, moved to Škoda Fabia R5 and made another phenomenal debut, ending the competition on the second position.
After a short break in the calendar, our duo returned to the struggle on the asphalt routes of the Rallye Deutschland. Here, too, they did very well, bringing home the cups for the third place. The LOTOS Rally Team did not slow down and already two weeks later they competed on extremely demanding and difficult sections of the Rally Turkey. The result? The first joint victory of Kajetanowicz and Szczepaniak in WRC 2!
At the beginning of October, the Poles competed also in Wales Rally GB. For the Ustroń citizens it was the first start in this event. Although a car failure prevented them from achieving a good result, they gained a lot of valuable experience. The season ended in sunny Catalonia, where they stood on the podium again – fifth time this year. Thanks to their points for third place, Kajetanowicz and Szczepaniak were promoted to second place in the season’s classification. It was the last of seven rallies in which the Poles could collect points. The exact distribution of positions on the podium will be decided by the November Rally Australia (14-17.11.2019).
Rally de España 2019, unofficial WRC 2 classification:
1. Camilli/Veillas (France, Citroën C3 R5) 3:16:28,8 s
2. Lindholm/Korhonen (Finland, VW Polo GTI R5) +1:40,7 s
3. Kajetanowicz/Szczepaniak (Poland, VW Polo GTI R5) +1:56,5 s
4. Veiby/Andersson (Norway/Sweden, VW Polo GTI R5) +3:10,3 s
5. Loubet/Landais (France, Škoda Fabia R5 evo) +3:42,6 s
6. Andolfi/Inglesi (Italy, Škoda Fabia R5) +3:53,3 s
7. Suarez/Inglesias (Spain, Škoda Fabia R5) +3:54,7 s
8. de Mevius/Wydaeghe (Belgium, Citroën C3 R5) +6:23,4 s
9. N. Solans/Martí (Spain, VW Polo GTI R5) +7:41,1 s
10. J. Solans/Barreiro (Spain, Ford Fiesta R5 MK2) +7:58,1 s
Kajetan Kajetanowicz’s starts are supported by LOTOS Rally Team’s strategic partner – Grupa LOTOS, as well as Delphi Technologies, Driving Experience and Pirelli.