- LOTOS Rally Team crew hold second position in unofficial standings after Leg One of Rally Rzeszów;
- Kajetanowicz and Baran are the highest-placed Polish duo;
- On three stages the Ford Fiesta R5 crew set second fastest times and they follow the rally leaders closely;
- Kajto and Jarek closed the gap to the championship leaders to just eight points!
Kajetan Kajetanowicz and Jarek Baran finished Leg 1 of Rally Rzeszów on a high note. Double European Rally Champions hold second position in unofficial standings and they will commence tomorrow’s stages with narrow gap to the leaders. Kajto will also get points for his position after Day 1 which will allow to significantly reduce his gap to the FIA ERC leaders!
The second loop began with another pass of Grudna test (23.83 kms). Kajto and Jarek recorded second best time, losing just 3 seconds to Bouffier/Dini (France, Ford Fiesta R5). Gryazin and Fedorow (Russia, Skoda Fabia R5) lost 3.6 seconds; Griebel and Kopczyk (Germany, Skoda Fabia R5) trailed the stage winners by 4.6 seconds while the rally leaders, Østberg and Barth (Norway, Ford Fiesta R5), lost 7.0 seconds. On the following stage (Pstrągowa, 24.56 kms) the LOTOS Rally Team crew went second fastest again, moving up into second position overall.
Day 1 ended with an entertaining stage in the centre of Rzeszów, crowded with fantastic Polish rally fans. Kajetan and Jarek, spurred by their support, completed a spectacular run and set an excellent second fastest time, trailing the stage winners by less than a second.
Frenchman Bryan Bouffier (Ford Fiesta R5) remains in the lead of Rally Rzeszów and his gap over Kajetanowicz is just 15.6 seconds. Third place belongs to Russian driver Nikolay Gryazin (+18.6, Skoda Fabia R5), Marijan Griebel (+31.5, Germany, Skoda Fabia R5) is fourth and another Frenchman Sylvain Michel (+35.1, Skoda Fabia R5) completes the top five.
Tomorrow the competitors face even longer day, with over 310 kilometres to cover, including six special stages with combined length of 113 kilometres. The final leg starts with 22-kms Lubenia stage (at 8:45 CET) and should finish after 15:00 CET.
– I am happy that I can compete in this rally, in front of our home crowd. They give me strength and some extra speed. I don’t feel any pressure although I had feared it a bit. It was a tough day for us and for our car. It was difficult to stay focused in such high temperatures and the stages were challenging for the car. Plenty of jumps, very high loads, generally high grip but also some slippery places. We finished Day 1 in top three and it is a reason to be happy. We are pursuing our main goal which is to fight with Bruno Magalhães, our competitor in the FIA ERC standings. He is my main rival and the plan is to be ahead of him. Hopefully tomorrow our mood will be just as good as it is today and the fans will keep their fingers crossed, supporting us as they did today. Thanks! 🙂
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
Unofficial classification after SS5 of Rally Rzeszów:
1. Bryan Bouffier / Gilbert Dini (France, Ford Fiesta R5) 54:06.4
2. Kajetan Kajetanowicz / Jarosław Baran (Poland, Ford Fiesta R5) +15.6 s
3. Nikolay Gryazin / Jaroslav Fedorov (Russia, Skoda Fabia R5) +18.6 s
4. Marijan Griebel / Stefan Kopczyk (Germany, Skoda Fabia R5) +31.5 s
5. Sylvain Michel / Jérôme Degout (France, Skoda Fabia R5) +35.1 s
6. Mads Østberg / Patrik Barth (Norway, Ford Fiesta R5) +38.0 s
7. Grzegorz Grzyb / Bogusław Browiński (Poland, Skoda Fabia R5) +56.5 s
8. José A. Suárez / Cándido Carrera (Spain, Peugeot 208 T16 R5) +1:29.7 s
9. Łukasz Habaj / Daniel Dymurski (Poland, Ford Fiesta R5) +1:51,6 s
10. Josh Moffett / James Fulton (Ireland, Ford Fiesta R5) +1:59.5 s