He did just what he had promised: Kajetan Kajetanowicz picked up the pace during today’s first loop of Swiss FIA ERC counter. LOTOS Rally Team crew set top three times on all four special stages. Very quick pace of Polish duo resulted in three runner-up spots on mountain stages in the foothill of the Alps and third fastest time on “city” stage in Sion. Excellent performance of Kajetanowicz and Baran enabled them to gain five places and move into fantastic second position in overall standings. Only Esapekka Lappi and Janne Ferm resisted their charge and lead the rally with advantage of slightly more than 14 seconds over Kajetan and Jarek.
This morning greeted the crews competing in Rallye du Valais with cold conditions and ice on windows of cars awaiting the start in parc ferme. Kajetanowicz and Baran did not need time to warm up: they started to climb up the leaderboard on opening stage Sierre-Annivers (14.22 km). On this truly mountain stage with altitude difference of 743 metres Kajto and Jarek went second quickest, right behind Craig Breen (+3.6 seconds), leaving behind Sepp Wiegand, Esapekka Lappi and experienced eight-time Rallye du Valais winner Olivier Burri.
On the next stage – Veysonnaz (13.62 km) – Kajetanowicz and Baran shone again and brilliant drive earned them another second place. Polish crew again defeated Lappi, Wiegand and Burri on the road which climbed to altitude of 1663 metres above sea level – higher than the highest peak in Polish Karkonosze mountains – loosing out only to Breen. Third stage – 12.08 km Nendaz test – confirmed the excellent performance and consistent pace of Kajetanowicz and Baran. Polish crew, driving Ford Fiesta R5 with national white and red colours on roof, again recorded second fastest time and moved into second position in overall standings of Rallye du Valais.
On today’s shortest street test, Caserne, Kajto and Jarek scored another stage podium, for the fourth time in a row and fifth in this rally. After setting third fastest time on 6.18-km stage they remain within striking distance of overall rally leaders Lappi and Ferm.
Kajetan Kajetanowicz This morning surprised us a little… but in a very positive way 🙂 Right from the start we had good pace and right rhythm. We drove fast, using abilities of our car and tyres. Everything worked perfectly, although we came across some surprises such as ice on the road – so this beautiful but also extremely demanding Rallye du Valais has already shown us its true face. I keep in mind that I am competing here as a rookie. This is why I am even more happy, being able to fight against very experienced factory drivers and at the same time I enjoy my driving.
Of course we pay attention to the times set by us and our rivals but the most important thing is to stay focused. There are many slippery places on the road – we start the stage on dry tarmac which quickly changes into wet section which in turn can became icy at any moment. This is why it is so important to read the road conditions and predict everything what can happen around the next corner.
We are ready to fight on the second loop which for sure will not be easy, because the conditions on special stages change all the time. We have to take difficult decisions even before getting out of the service park: we need to choose tyres and set-up for the next four stages. We remain focused and we work on it together with the whole team, so I am sure that our decisions will be correct.
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