- The bar is set very high: Kajetanowicz won the Acropolis Rally last time out;
- 22-points advantage – the LOTOS Rally Team crew comfortably leads the series before the Greek round of FIA European Rally Championship;
- 12 rocky stages, unforgiving for the cars – over 231 competitive kilometres in the Acropolis Rally (6-8 May);
- The European Rally Champions return to fight on gravel after 208 days;
- LOTOS Rally Team leads the Teams’ standings before the third round of the season;
- Record-breaking finish – the longest stage of the 2016 FIA ERC season (33.8 kms) wraps up the fight in this legendary event.
“To finish first, first you have to finish” – there are just a few rallies in the world during which this old rally rule is more important than in the legendary Acropolis Rally. The Greek event, run on twisty gravel roads, full of sharp stones, has always been unforgiving for the cars and has required enormous humility and experience from the competitors. This year the rally returns to the classic stages in central Greece, after a 10-year break. The route consists of six special stages run twice, with total length of 231.5 kilometres, located south of Lamia – the city where the rally is now based. The ceremonial start takes place in Thermopylae, next to the monument of King Leonidas I of Sparta who led the Greek warriors in the battle against the Persian invasion, almost 2.500 years ago. The opening stage begins on Saturday 7 May at 9:08 CET. The fight in round three of the 2016 FIA ERC ends on Sunday with the longest stage of the rally: Elatia/Karya 2 (33.86 kms), with start scheduled at 13:27 CET. The unofficial results of the 61st Acropolis Rally will be known at 14:15 CET.
Heading to Greece, Kajetan Kajetanowicz and Jarek Baran hold a comfortable lead in the overall standings of the FIA European Rally Championship. The leaders enjoy a 22-points advantage over the second-placed crew and LOTOS Rally Team has a 17-points lead in the Team’s classification after two rounds of the FIA ERC. The Acropolis Rally is the first event on gravel for Kajetan and Jarek after a 208-day break. They competed for the last time on loose surface during… last year’s Acropolis Rally, when they wrapped up their FIA ERC title.
Kajetan Kajetanowicz The thing I like the least about rallying is the waiting for the next outing. Sometimes I think that this is the toughest part of this sport [smile]. The good thing is that this year’s European Rally Championship calendar is very busy and the rounds virtually follow each other. There is little time for preparation but for us it is not difficult to work hard, day by day. It is possible when every member of LOTOS Rally Team gets passionately involved in doing what we all love to do. I am aware that before such a demanding rally we should muster up a solid dose of commitment which is necessary to face this challenge. We need it as this year’s Acropolis Rally moves over 100 kilometres north and we will compete on route which is completely new to us, as we return to driving on gravel after a break of more than 200 days.
Jarek Baran The Acropolis Rally is undoubtedly my favourite one. Not only because last year we won it, wrapping up the European Rally Championship title at the same time. This event represents an essence of the gravel rallies. The speed is of course important but still there is plenty of room for caution and experience, while sometimes you also need a bit of luck. The return of this event to the classic WRC stages around Lamia brings back my very warm rally memories. I am looking forward to seeing the roads which captivated me so much fifteen years ago.
Did you know that... Lamia – the city where the rally base is located – is a twin city with Rzeszów: the Polish city which hosts the round of the FIA ERC for the first time this year, just 88 days after the Acropolis Rally.
The 2016 Acropolis Rally in numbers:
1st position of Kajetanowicz and Baran in the FIA ERC standings before the Acropolis Rally;
3rd of 10 rounds of the 2016 FIA European Rally Championship;
231.5 kms – total length of 12 special stages;
38 times the Acropolis Rally was a round of the World Rally Championship;
3rd outing of Kajetanowicz in this event;
1488 kms is the straight-line distance from Warsaw, capital city of Poland, to rally base in Lamia;
33.8 kms – the longest special stage of the rally – Elatia/Karya test on Sunday. This is also the longest stage in the 2016 FIA ERC calendar;
60 points scored by the LOTOS Rally Team crew in two opening rounds of the season;
8 out of 8 – top-three finishes of Kajetanowicz and Baran in their previous outings in the FIA ERC;
19 out of 26 (73%) of the special stages run this year Kajetan and Jarek finished in top three;
22 points – the advantage of Kajetan and Jarek over second-placed crew in the FIA ERC standings;
1st position of LOTOS Rally Team in the FIA ERC Team’s standings before round three. The Polish team enjoys a 17-points advantage;
9 out of 26 special stages run this year in the FIA ERC were won by Kajetanowicz and Baran, this is the best strike rate among all competitors;
208 days between the Acropolis Rally and previous outing of LOTOS Rally Team in a gravel round of the FIA ERC, which was… the last year’s Acropolis Rally;
1st place of Kajetanowicz and Baran in their previous outing in the Acropolis Rally. In 2014, in their first start here, the Polish duo grabbed 3rd place;
SS1 and SS4: two stages with the biggest elevation change – 790 metres;
1442 metres above sea level – the highest point on the rally route, exactly 10.8 kms after the start of the first and fourth stage;
62nd edition of this event takes place in 2016;
5 victories in the Acropolis Rally by the record-holder of this event: the 1995 World Rally Champion, Colin McRae;
In 1973 the Acropolis Rally was included in the World Rally Championship calendar for the first time, since 2014 it is a part of the FIA European Rally Championship.
FIA ERC standings before Rally Acropolis 2016:
1. Kajetan Kajetanowicz (Poland) 60 pts.
2. Aleksiej Łukjaniuk (Russia) 38 pts.
3. Craig Breen (Ireland) 38 pts.
4. Luis Monzon Artilles (Spain) 25 pts.
5. Alastair Fisher (Great Britain) 23 pts.
6. Yonaton Perez Suarez (Spain) 20 pts.
7. Josh Moffett (Ireland) 19 pts.
8. Jonathan Greer (Great Britain) 14 pts.
FIA ERC Teams standings before Rally Acropolis 2016:
1. LOTOS Rally Team 50 pts.
2. C-Rally 33 pts.
3. Botka Rally Team 19 pts.
4. Auto Laca Competition 18 pts.
5. Tlustak Racing 18 pts.
6. Eurosol Racing Team Hungary 12 pts.
7. Tiger Energy Drink Rally Team 10 pts.
8. Sports Racing Technologies 10 pts.
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.