- Kajetanowicz and Baran fought hard to repair the car damages after rolling it onto its roof during SS1;
- Committed Polish duo win stages even in the damaged car: they went fastest on SS2 of the Acropolis Rally and recorded second quickest time on SS3;
- LOTOS Rally Team crew successfully makes up the precious minutes in overall standings of round 3 of the FIA ERC;
- There are still three long and difficult stages to go today – 52.5 kilometres of ferocious battle for important points.
On the opening loop of this year’s Acropolis Rally Kajetan Kajetanowicz and Jarek Baran showed that not only pure speed, skill or good pace notes but also fighting spirit, great commitment and will to fight until the finish are the things that count in rallies. On the first stage defending FIA ERC Champions found out that the rocky, bumpy, twisty and slippery stages of the Acropolis Rally are punishing also for the rally cars, designed for competition, and they do not forgive even the tiniest mistake. The Polish crew cut the corner a bit too deep and their car rolled onto its roof. Unfortunately there were just few spectators around and many long minutes had passed before more fans appeared and helped Kajetan and Jarek to put the car back on the wheels so that they could finish the stage.
After this incident the LOTOS Rally Team crew rushed to repair the damage and bring the car back to full functionality. Kajetanowicz and Baran started the next stage and continued their battle. They regained the rhythm quickly and astonished everyone with the fastest time on SS2, 14.3-kms Amfissa test. They also impressed on the final stage of the loop: on 12.5-kms Paleohori test the LOTOS Rally Team crew lost just 0.6 second to the stage winner.
Kajetanowicz and Baran reached the service park after the opening three stages and M-Sport mechanics had just 30 minutes to prepare the Ford Fiesta of the Polish duo before the next part of exhausting battle in legendary Acropolis Rally. The competitors still have three stages to go: 52.5 kilometres of fight for precious points.
Kajetan Kajetanowicz We are still in the game although I did a mistake on the first stage. It happens sometimes. I cut the corner and although it was a very slow place, we put the roof of our car into a ditch. It was very difficult to get the car back on the road. We had to wait for several minutes before the fans came, then it took us another few minutes to extract the car. We lost a lot of time, then we continued without power, in dust behind another competitor. It is difficult to count all the tough situations we experienced on that stage. However, we got our act together: we won the second stage and went second-fastest on the third one, losing just 0.6 second to stage winner. I think it shows how difficult this rally is, how focused you have to be – and strong at the same time. It is not easy to win the next stage after such incident. I am happy that we managed to do it. We want to search positive things everywhere. This is not the end of the rally. We will try to enjoy our driving, push further, record good stage times and gather information. We want to do the best job possible. As always.