Extremely tough conditions caused by heavy rain and perfect performance of reigning Champion Kajetanowicz – this is a brief summary of the opening loop on final day of Rally di Roma Capitale, penultimate round of the 2017 FIA European Rally Championship. The LOTOS Rally Team driver won every special stage and took the lead in the overall rally classification! The Pole, co-driven by Jarek Baran, fights for his third consecutive championship title. His main rival, Bruno Magalhães from Portugal, is currently third.
The day started with the longest stage of the rally, almost 33-kms long Cave-Rocca Santo Stefano test. The road was dirty in many places and – according to the competitors – unbelievably slippery. These conditions did not bother Kajetanowicz, who drove a perfect stage, defeating erstwhile rally leader Bryan Bouffier by no less than 9.1 seconds. He also set the pace on following two stages, extending the gap over his French rival to 3.3 seconds. Top three after nine special stages is completed by Magalhães, who is already over 40 seconds behind. – We are leading the rally in our first outing here, this is fantastic feeling. I think this is one of the most difficult rounds this season, because of many new things and very tough conditions. Just as we expected, heavy rain overnight means that there is mud and water in some places. Now it is drying out but nevertheless the tyre choice will be crucial again. Winning this rally is not the most important goal for me, my target is to maintain the lead in the European Championship. This is what we are aiming for – said Kajetanowicz.
There are just three special stages to go and the last one starts at around 13:46 CET. The fight for victory in round seven of the 2017 FIA European Rally Championship should conclude shortly after 14:00 CET.
Starts of Kajetan Kajetanowicz and Jarek Baran are supported by strategic partner of LOTOS Rally Team – LOTOS Group – as well as CUBE.ITG, Delphi and Driving Experience. More info about Kajetan Kajetanowicz and the team available at: www.lotosrallyteam.pl, www.kajto.pl, www.fb.com/EmocjeDoPelna, www.fb.com/KajetanKajetanowicz, www.twitter.com/Kajto_pl and www.youtube.com/Kajtopl
Unofficial classification after SS9 of Rally di Roma Capitale:
1. Kajetan Kajetanowicz / Jarosław Baran (Poland, Ford Fiesta R5) 1:30:01.8
2. Bryan Bouffier / Xavier Panseri (France, Ford Fiesta R5) +3.3 s
3. Bruno Magalhães / Hugo Magalhães (Portugal, Skoda Fabia R5) +40.1 s
4. Grzegorz Grzyb / Jakub Wróbel (Poland, Skoda Fabia R5) +54.6 s
5. Simone Tempestini / Sergiu Itu (Romania, Citroen DS3 R5) +1:29.4 s
6. Jan Černý / Petr Černohorský (Czech Republic, Skoda Fabia R5) +1:34.3 s
7. Łukasz Habaj / Daniel Dymurski (Poland, Ford Fiesta R5) +1:47.2 s
8. Nikolay Gryazin / Yaroslav Fedorov (Russia, Skoda Fabia R5) +2:24.6 s
9. Stéphane Consani / Salmon Valentin (France, Ford Fiesta R5) +2:25.4 s
10. Tonino Di Cosimo / Paolo Francescucci (Italy, Skoda Fabia R5) +3:23.0 s