- Two opening stages of Rally Rzeszów completed;
- Kajetanowicz and Baran set the pace among Polish crews and are in front of the current FIA European Rally Championship leader;
- Stage one winner Alexey Lukyanuk is already out of contention.
Kajetan Kajetanowicz and Jarek Baran set stage times among the frontrunners of Rally Rzeszów, round five of the 2017 FIA European Rally Championship. After two stages the LOTOS Rally Team crew is the fastest among Polish competitors and their advantage over the championship leaders exceeds one minute! One of the main goals for Kajetanowicz and Baran is to defeat their Portuguese rivals.
The opening loop of Rally Rzeszów brought many unexpected plot twists. Alexey Lukyanuk (Russia, Ford Fiesta R5) won the first test but rolled on stage two, dropping out of today’s contention. Also fifth-placed José Maria López (Spain, Peugeot 208 T16 R5) left the road. Fortunately no-one was hurt. Many other crews hit trouble as well. Kajto and Jarek avoided problems, starting the day with fifth fastest time and setting third fastest result on stage two.
After two stages World Rally Championship (WRC) regular Mads Østberg (Norway, Ford Fiesta R5), co-driven by Patrik Barth, leads the rally. Bryan Bouffier and Gilbert Dini (+15.8 s, France, Ford Fiesta R5) hold second position, while Marijan Griebel and Stefan Kopczyk (+18.8 s, Germany, Skoda Fabia R5) are in third place. The LOTOS Rally Team crew moved into fourth position after stage two (+24.3 s), maintaining their position among the frontrunners ahead of the second loop. Top five is completed by Grzegorz Grzyb and Bogusław Browiński (Poland, Skoda Fabia R5) who trail the leaders by 27.7 s.
– We have completed two very fast special stages and our gearbox was too short in some places. I had not predicted this during recce. Apart from that our car works very well. This is an interesting rally and probably nobody expected that so many drivers would have such a great pace. We are leading other Polish crews and I am happy about it. I want to go faster and this is the plan for the second loop. However, I also keep championship points in mind. Our main rival Bruno Magalhães is behind us and it would be good to finish the rally in this order. I enjoy driving despite high temperatures, although the weather is changing now. Everybody faces a tough decision and I am not the only one who has to think hard about tyre choice.
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 SS2 of Rally Rzeszów:
1. Mads Østberg / Patrik Barth (Norway, Ford Fiesta R5) 25:23.4
2. Bryan Bouffier / Gilbert Dini (France, Ford Fiesta R5) +15.8 s
3. Marijan Griebel / Stefan Kopczyk (Germany, Skoda Fabia R5) +18.8 s
4. Kajetan Kajetanowicz / Jarosław Baran (Poland, Ford Fiesta R5) +24.3 s
5. Grzegorz Grzyb / Bogusław Browiński (Poland, Skoda Fabia R5) +27.7 s
6. José A. Suárez / Cándido Carrera (Spain, Peugeot 208 T16 R5) +36.3 s
7. Sylvain Michel / Jérôme Degout (France, Skoda Fabia R5) +50.9 s
8. Josh Moffett / James Fulton (Ireland, Ford Fiesta R5) +1:00.8 s
9. Łukasz Habaj / Daniel Dymurski (Poland, Ford Fiesta R5) +1:03,0 s
10. Tomasz Kasperczyk / Damian Syty (Poland, Ford Fiesta R5) +1:17,6 s