- After excellent outing in the Canary Islands, Kajetanowicz and Baran ready for the fight in the Circuit of Ireland (7-9 April);
- European Rally Champions with an opportunity to take the lead in the series;
- 14 special stages and 209.5 competitive kilometres will decide the outcome of 74th edition of the Circuit of Ireland;
- 77 crews on the entry list for round 2 of the FIA ERC, including 38 in top category;
- LOTOS Rally Team crew faces not only the best FIA ERC competitors but also the British Rally Championship crews and last year’s winner;
- Rally edition of “Game of Thrones ” – the best European rally drivers will fight in the scenery of the famous television series.
Almost 210 kilometres of ferocious fight for milliseconds against 76 competitors, including 37 in the fastest R5 and S2000 cars, on the roads just a bit wider than a rally car – this is the challenge which Kajetan Kajetanowicz and Jarek Baran will face in the forthcoming Circuit of Ireland Rally (7-9 April). Just like in the previous outings, the European Rally Champions, currently lying second in the series, will drive a Ford Fiesta R5 prepared by the Polish division of M-Sport and equipped with Pirelli tyres. The LOTOS Rally Team crew will fight for victory in “The Circuit” – as this event is called by the locals – with number 3 on their car.
Last year, in their first outing in the Irish classic, Kajetanowicz and Baran recorded 16 top-three results on 18 special stages. Impressive pace and effective driving gave them runners-up spot, just 6.4 seconds behind local hero Craig Breen, representing factory Peugeot team, and over 1.5 minute in front of the next Irish driver, Josh Moffett.
This edition of the Circuit of Ireland consists of some stages which Kajto and Jarek tackled last season, including Hamilton’s Folly (16.95 kms) – described by Kajetanowicz as one of the best Tarmac stages he drove in his career. The LOTOS Rally Team crew will fight on this stage and on three other tests during Day 2 of the rally – on Saturday, 9 April. On Friday, 8 April, the fight will take place on the roads north of Belfast – on stunningly beautiful, legendary special stages in County Antrim which come back to the itinerary after a break of over 20 years. One of them is The Glens test (31.21 kms), located in the area where the famous “Game of Thrones” TV series was shot. The longest stage of the rally was created by combining two legendary tests of the Circuit of Ireland: Glendun and Torr Head.
After excellent first-ever outing in Rally Islas Canarias – round one of this year’s FIA ERC – the European Rally Champions hold second place in the series, just 9 points behind the leaders. The Circuit of Ireland is also a round of the British Rally Championship this year, so the LOTOS Rally Team crew will fight for the FIA ERC points with a host of experienced and fast drivers. Among them there are Elfyn Evans (Ford Fiesta R5) – factory M-Sport driver with 45 WRC starts under his belt, Irishman Craig Breen (Citroen DS3 R5) – last year’s Circuit of Ireland winner and FIA ERC runner-up, series leader Alexey Lukyanuk (Ford Fiesta R5) and Keith Cronin (Citroen DS3 R5) – triple British Rally Champion. Not only Evans has WRC experience: eleven of the best competitors have 171 WRC starts under their belts.
Kajetan Kajetanowicz We are facing a visit and fight in a lion’s den – or rather not a den with a single lion, but the one full of many hungry lions 🙂 Not only regular FIA ERC contenders, striving for victory over the reigning champion, await us in Ireland – there is also a large group of drivers who fight for the title in the British Rally Championship. We will battle with them not only on the incredible, full of surprises and jumps Hamilton’s Folly test, but also on the stages which are new to us – in the scenery north of Belfast. However, it does not matter how beautiful and picturesque the valleys of County Antrim are, how charming these little towns are and how spectacular the seaside stages are, I want to maintain the highest level of concentration throughout the whole rally and keep my foot to the floor until the last metre. We have worked hard to score as many points as possible here.
The Circuit of Ireland in numbers:
Over 1000 miles: the length of the original rally route around the whole island, in use before the Second World War. This is why this event is called the Circuit of Ireland;
6,4 seconds separated Kajetanowicz and Baran from the victory in their first outing in the Circuit of Ireland last year;
16 out of 18 special stages: the number of top-three times recorded last year by Kajetanowicz and Baran, including two stage victories;
2nd place of Kajetanowicz and Baran in the FIA ERC standings before the Circuit of Ireland;
29 points scored by Kajetan and Jarek in round one of the 2016 FIA ERC;
74th edition of this event takes place in 2016;
6 out of 12 special stages – the LOTOS Rally Team crew have won the biggest amount of stages so far this year;
7 victories in Circuit of Ireland: this is the record of this rally, held by Jimmy McRae;
85 years ago the first edition of the Circuit of Ireland took place: it means that it is one of the oldest rallies in the world;
2nd round of 10 in the FIA European Rally Championship 2016;
1 – start number of Kajetanowicz and Baran in this event;
14 special stages with total length of 209.5 kms in this year’s Circuit of Ireland;
31.21 kms – the longest special stage of the rally – The Glens, in the picturesque valleys of The Glens of Antrim, along the Causeway Coastal Route – one of the most beautiful roads in the world;
Over 80 thousand fans watched the fight between the best European rally drivers in the last year’s rally;
77 crews including 5 from Poland have entered the Circuit of Ireland Rally. 38 of them drive the fastest R5 or S2000 machinery;
171 WRC outings: combined experience of eleven biggest rivals of Kajetanowicz;
In 1991 the Circuit of Ireland was included in the British Rally Championship calendar for the last time: 25 years ago this event was won by future world champion Colin McRae.
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.