Kajetanowicz and Baran emerged as the fastest Polish crew on the Qualifying Stage for Rally Islas Canarias;
Positive start for the LOTOS Rally Team crew in round two of the 2017 FIA European Rally Championship;
Excellent atmosphere and huge crowd – spectacular reception of the best European rally crews by the Spanish fans.
High temperatures, narrow and twisty roads of picturesque Gran Canaria, remarkably strong international field and European Rally Champions undefeated in past two seasons – round two of the 2017 FIA European Rally Championship, Rally Islas Canarias. Kajetan Kajetanowicz and Jarek Baran, representing LOTOS Rally Team, commence another fight for victory. Today they competed on the Qualifying Stage, setting fifth fastest time – the quickest of many Polish crews taking part in this rally.
The event on this sunny island is famous for very rough and abrasive asphalt which destroys the tyres quickly. The competitors are allowed to use limited number of tyre sets, so proper management is crucial. Kajetanowicz, driving at good and steady pace, went fifth fastest on the Qualifying Stage, having completed just one practice run beforehand. The quickest time on 3.5-kms test was set by Alexey Lukyanuk (Russia, Ford Fiesta R5), who beat Nikolay Gryazin (Latvia, Skoda Fabia R5) by 0.631 secs. Third and fourth places belong to local Spanish drivers, José Suárez (+1.335 secs, Peugeot 208 T16 R5) and Luis Monzón Artilles (+1.896 secs, Ford Fiesta R5).
The official Starting Ceremony which draws huge crowds of rally fans, starts at 21:30 CET in the historical centre of Las Palmas and it will be preceded by start order selection. The competition commences tomorrow: there are six special stages on Friday, including two runs of over 25-kms San Mateo test. There are no less than 27 crews in R5 on entry list, so the fight for victory is going to be fierce.
– We started with the Qualifying Stage, having run just once during Free Practice in order to save tyres. The asphalt is very abrasive here and the tyre wear is high, so we are trying to think and draw conclusions from last year. The atmosphere during this rally is fantastic. Even here, in the service park, the crowd is so huge that it is impossible to pass. The fight starts tomorrow, with over 20-kms, very abrasive opening stage. The weather is unpredictable, we are on an island and forecasts are unclear. I think we should stick to our job, stay focused and aim to take right decisions.
The results of the Qualifying Stage ahead of the 2017 Rally Islas Canarias:
1. Lukyanuk/Arnautov (Russia, Ford Fiesta R5) 1:59.674
2. Gryazin/Fedorov (Russia, Skoda Fabia R5) +0.631 s
3. Suárez/Carrera (Spain, Peugeot 208 T16 R5) +1.335 s
4. Monzón/Deniz (Spain, Ford Fiesta R5) +1.896 s
5. Kajetanowicz/Baran (Poland, Ford Fiesta R5) +2.933 s
6. López/Rozada (Spain, Peugeot 206 T16 R5) +3.008 s
7. Grzyb/Zawada (Poland, Skoda Fabia R5) +3.105 s
8. Pernía/Del Barrio (Spain, Hyundai i20 R5) +3.414 s
9. Bouffier/Giraudet (France, Ford Fiesta R5) +4.069 s
10. Černý/Černohorský (Czech Republic, Skoda Fabia R5) +4.098 s
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.facebook.com/EmocjeDoPelna, www.facebook.com/KajetanKajetanowicz and www.twitter.com/Kajto_pl