The LOTOS Rally Team crew completed the opening Friday loop of Rally de España with less than 22-seconds gap to top three in the WRC2 standings. A fierce fight is underway, with Kajetan Kajetanowicz and Maciej Szczepaniak battling against factory crews of three teams: Skoda, Citroen and Volkswagen. The event held in Catalunya is the twelfth round of this year’s World Rally Championship and fourth in the campaign of the Polish duo.
The fight for victory is extremely tight: the gaps between all top ten crews in the WRC2 standings do not exceed 7.5 seconds after covering over 70 competitive kilometres.
– We have finished a long opening leg, but this is just the beginning of this rally. Top ten of our classification is covered by 37 seconds, so the competition level is very high. However, we are driving our own rally. It is difficult to engage in this fight without experience on these stages, although we are beating some competitors who, on paper, should be ahead of us for various reasons. We will try to improve in some places on the second loop. We lose brakes on the longest stage. There is an asphalt section where the brakes are severely loaded. I tried to manage it, and the tyres as well, but to little avail. We are pleased with what we have but we try to stay focused all the time
– commented Kajetan Kajetanowicz, the LOTOS Rally Team driver.
The second loop consists of the same three special stages. The crews begin with Gandesa 2 (7.0 kms, at 15:23 CET), then they will tackle Pesells 2 (26.59 kms, at 15:56 CET) and La Fatarella-Vilalba 2 (38.85 kms, at 17:10 CET). Afterwards the mechanics will take their turn and fight for precious seconds in the evening, having to convert the rally cars from gravel to asphalt specification in just over one hour.
The rally takes place on 25-28 October, with its base in the seaside city of Salou. This is the first outing in this rally for Kajetanowicz. No less than 15 of his WRC2 opponents have at least one start here under their belts. This certainly does not make it easier to achieve the goal of finishing the rally in the highest possible position. The opening leg on Friday consists of gravel stages while on Saturday and Sunday the fight takes place on asphalt.
Starts of Kajetan Kajetanowicz are supported by strategic partner of LOTOS Rally Team – LOTOS Group – as well as Delphi Technologies and Driving Experience. More info about Kajetan Kajetanowicz and the team available at: www.lotosrallyteam.pl and www.kajto.pl, as well as at: www.fb.com/EmocjeDoPelna, www.fb.com/KajetanKajetanowicz, www.twitter.com/Kajto_pl and www.youtube.com/Kajtopl.
Rally de España 2018, unofficial WRC-2 standings after SS4 (top 10):
1. Camilli / Veillas (France, VW Polo GTI R5) 51:41.2
2. P. Solberg / Gulbæk (Norway, VW Polo GTI R5) +5.9 s
3. Kopecký / Dresler (Czech Republic, Skoda Fabia R5) +11.8 s
4. H. Solberg / Minor-Petrasko (Norway, Skoda Fabia R5) +18.4 s
5. Rovanperä / Halttunen (Finland, Skoda Fabia R5) +18.7 s
6. Loubet / Landais (France, Hyundai i20 R5) +26.2 s
7. Tempestini / Itu (Romania, Citroen C3 R5) +26.9 s
8. Solans / Martí (Spain, Ford Fiesta R5) +29.5 s
9. Kajetanowicz / Szczepaniak (Poland, Ford Fiesta R5) +33.7 s
10. Veiby / Skjærmoen (Norway, Citroen C3 R5) +37.0 s