- Kajto and Jarek won the most special stages: three out of six over the course of Leg 1 of Acropolis Rally;
- The LOTOS Rally Team crew holds podium position in round three of the 2017 FIA European Rally Championship;
- Kajetan Kajetanowicz raised his tally of FIA ERC stage wins to 108;
- The crews face even longer final leg tomorrow, including almost 34-kms Elatia/Karya test.
The second loop of Saturday’s leg of Acropolis Rally proved how difficult and unpredictable the Greek event is. One of the oldest rally in the world is an enormous character test in which one has to employ perfect tactics while driving at one’s best. Kajetan Kajetanowicz and Jarek Baran stood up to this challenge, winning the most special stages – the Polish duo set the pace on three out of six tests, making up the ground lost during the opening loop, forcing their way into top three!
The afternoon loop started with the second run of Gravia test (24.81 kms), won by Nasser Al-Attiyah. Kajetanowicz recorded fourth fastest time and repeated this result on the following stage, finishing it with a puncture. Despite flat tyre, back-to-back European Champions lost just over 5 seconds there. In turn, there were no problems on the final test of the day, Paleohori (12.43 kms), and the LOTOS Rally Team driver notched up another stage win and it means that we won half of today’s test.
Just ahead of the final stage the rally leader Nikolay Gryazin had to retire as a result of car failure and fire on road section. Both crew members are okay, but this meant an end to their rally. Double WRC-2 champion Nasser Al-Attiyah (Qatar, Skoda Fabia R5) currently leads the rally, enjoying 8.4 seconds advantage over the FIA ERC points leader Bruno Magalhães (Portugal, Skoda Fabia R5). Kajetan Kajetanowicz and Jarek Baran trail the leaders by only 29.5 seconds and hold third position overall. Top six is completed by the Greek driver Socratis Tsolakidis (+1:02.2, Skoda Fabia R5), Murat Bostanci (+2:16.7, Turkey, Ford Fiesta R5) and reigning Polish Champion Grzegorz Grzyb (+2:44.8, Poland, Skoda Fabia R5).
Sunday’s leg of round three of the 2017 FIA European Rally Championship consist of over 325 kilometres, including no less than 126.88 competitive kilometres, divided into six special stage. The longest one, Elatia/Karya, is almost 34 kilometres long. The weather is supposed to be hot again, so the conditions will be even more demanding.
– Our pace was good today, basically enforced by our competitors, but we are able to keep up with them. We won the most stages, however we are in third position rather than in the lead. Two punctures have changed our position in overall standings a bit, but it does not matter. I am happy, I enjoy my driving. It was a hard day of this iconic rally and podium position is a success. Somebody could say that we are a bit crazy – how can we still keep smiling in such difficult conditions, with extreme heat, road full of holes, jumps and bumps? When we get out of our rally car, we already think about possible improvements. Big thanks to my LOTOS Rally Team, tomorrow we will be ready to fight for the highest position possible. I would like to win this rally, but it is very difficult event and not everything depends on us.
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
Classification after SS6 of Acropolis Rally, round three of the 2017 FIA ERC:
1. Al-Attiyah/Baumel (Qatar/France, Ford Fiesta R5) 1:20:31.9
2. Magalhães/Magalhães (Portugal, Skoda Fabia R5) +8.74 s
3. Kajetanowicz/Baran (Poland, Ford Fiesta R5) +29.5 s
4. Tsolakidis/Dimos (Greece, Skoda Fabia R5) +1:02.2 s
5. Bostanci/Vatansever (Turkey, Ford Fiesta R5) +2:16.7 s
6. Grzyb/Wróbel (Poland, Skoda Fabia R5) +2:44.8 s
7. Philippedes/Mahaeras (Greece, Skoda Fabia R5) +2:48.6 s
8. Tsouloftas/Giraudet (Cyprus/France, Citroen DS3 R5) +3:10.9 s
9. von Thurn und Taxis/Degandt (Germany/Belgium, Skoda Fabia R5) +5:10.4 s
10. Halkias/Kontos (Greece, Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X) +6:38.6 s