- Next stop on the FIA European Rally Championship map: Barum Czech Rally Zlín;
- Championship leaders Kajetan Kajetanowicz and Jarek Baran top the entry list with starting number one;
- One of the opponents of the LOTOS Rally Team crew is Jan Kopecký – six-time winner of this event and 2013 European Rally Champion;
- Almost 250 crews entered the rally, including historic rally competitors!
- Interesting facts about the event and third part of our rally glossary – at the bottom of this press release.
Traditionally, the end of August can mean only one thing for all motorsport fans: Barum Czech Rally Zlín. The Czech rally feast takes place for 47th time and almost 250 cars have been entered for this extremely popular event. Record number of 151 crews will fight in joint round of the Czech Republic and European Championships. Most importantly, the entry list is topped by the LOTOS Rally Team duo of Kajetan Kajetanowicz and Jarek Baran. Reigning European Champions fight for their third consecutive title – a record-breaking feat, never achieved by anyone.
This year’s FIA ERC rivalry is very evenly matched and the results bring a sufficient proof. There were different winners in each of five rounds held so far: Bruno Magalhães (Azores Rallye), Alexey Lukyanuk (Rally Islas Canarias), Kajetan Kajetanowicz (Acropolis Rally), Nasser Al-Attiyah (Cyprus Rally) and, most recently, Bryan Bouffier (Rally Rzeszów). The consistent strategy and assured, fast pace put Kajetanowicz at the front of the pack – the Polish driver is the only competitor who have won special stages of each rally and he enjoys 13-points advantage over his nearest rival. Third-placed driver trails him already by over 50 points.
No less than 37 R5 cars
Apart from Kajetanowicz, the entry list features, among others, second-placed driver of the FIA ERC standings Bruno Magalhães (Portugal), third-placed Marijan Griebel (Germany), round two winner and fourth place holder Alexey Lukyanuk (Russia) and Bryan Bouffier (France), who won the previous round. Thirty seven drivers of the top R5 category cars promise fierce battle which could last until the final few metres. In 2011 the gap between top finisher and runner-up was one of the closest in motorsport: it was just 1.2 seconds!
The Czech event, round number six, is the penultimate one held on asphalt. Although the distance from the rally base to his home area of Silesia in southern Poland is the closest of all season, Kajetanowicz has taken part in this rally just three times. He scored his best result here in 2015 when he grabbed the final podium position in overall standings.
Fight against local drivers
Czech Republic is famous not only for delicious dumplings called “knedliki” but also for very fast drivers of international fame. Jan Kopecký, in particular, deserves special attention among them: he is a sole record-holder of victories in this rally, having no less than six under his belt. Starting number seven belongs to Václav Pech Junior, who scored eight podium finishes in overall standings, including two visits to the top step. Although 21 different countries are present on the entry list, almost 70% of the crews are local.
204 kilometres of asphalt battle
Among 15 special stages there are famous tests called Pindula, Maják, Semetín and Troják – the longest one of the rally, at almost 23 kilometres. The battle starts with superspecial on the streets of Zlín, where huge crowds of rally fans cheer the crews to fight till late hours. According to data from previous years, the amount of supporters on this stage exceeds 40 thousand!
The knowledge of special stages and their characteristics always play into the hands of local drivers who feature prominently on the entry list. It is not only a challenge but, above all, additional boost to fight which will take place over eight tests on Saturday and six on Sunday. We should get to know the rally winners on Sunday before 16:00 CET.
– The temperatures do not decrease and it seems that after hot Rzeszów similar conditions awaits us at Barum Czech Rally Zlín. The atmosphere is going to be heated not only because of significant Celsius readings on the thermometer – there are always huge crowds of fans from Poland who come over to the Czech Republic, turning up the emotions with their vigorous support. As the Championship leaders we will compete with “one” on our car and this position brings additional motivation to work even harder across the whole LOTOS Rally Team. The rallies run so far this season have shown how difficult it was to climb so high and how fierce the competition is. The season enters its final, crucial phase. I believe that with the support of our partners and fans we are able to do so much.
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
The 2017 FIA European Rally Championship standings after Rally Rzeszów (round 5 of 8):
1. Kajetan Kajetanowicz (Poland) 108 points
2. Bruno Magalhães (Portugal) 95 points
3. Marijan Griebel (Germany) 50 points
4. Alexey Lukyanuk (Russia) 46 points
5. Nasser Al-Attiyah (Qatar) 45 points
6. Grzegorz Grzyb (Poland) 41 points
7. Bryan Bouffier (France) 41 points
8. José Maria López (Spain) 27 points
9. Alexandros Tsouloftas (Cyprus) 26 points
10. Panikos Polykarpou (Cyprus) 26 points
The 2017 Barum Czech Rally Zlín in numbers:
- 1st position of Kajetan and Jarek in the overall FIA ERC standings ahead of Barum Czech Rally Zlín;
- 6th round of the 2017 FIA European Rally Championship;
- 405 kms is the straight-line distance from Warsaw, capital city of Poland, to rally base in Zlín;
- 4th outing of Kajetanowicz in this event;
- 245 crews (including 151 in the European and Czech championships and 94 in historic rally) on entry list of this year’s event;
- 22.87 kms – the longest special stage of the rally, Troják;
- 108 points in five rounds run so far this season – the LOTOS Rally Team crew leads the standings;
- Six wins in Barum Czech Rally Zlín by its record holder Jan Kopecký: triple Czech Rally Champion and 2013 European Rally Champion;
- In 1983 Barum Czech Rally Zlín became a part of the European Rally Championship calendar for the first time;
- 47th edition of this event takes place this year;
- 1.2 seconds – the smallest gap between winner and runner-up in Barum Czech Rally Zlín, recorded in 2011.
- In 1971 Barum Czech Rally Zlín took place for the first time;
- 214.65 kilometres – combined length of 15 special stages;
- Around 40,000 rally fans gather in Zlín to watch the superspecial on the city streets;
- 19 Barum Czech Rally Zlín starts by the record holder Václav Pech Junior: double winner of this event and multiple Czech Rally Champion;
- 1 – starting number of the LOTOS Rally Team crew;
- 13 points – the advantage of Kajetanowicz over second placed driver: Bruno Magalhães from Portugal;
- Four Polish Rally Champions – Kajetanowicz, Bouffier, Habaj and Grzyb – will take part in the 2017 Barum Czech Rally Zlín;
- 116 – the number of stages won by Kajto in the FIA ERC so far;
- 37 crews entered for Barum Czech Rally Zlín in top R5 cars;
- 21 nationalities represented on the entry list, including eight crews from Poland;
- In their 21 previous FIA ERC outings Kajto and Jarek scored points.
Rally Glossary – all about rallies
Part 3: Different classes in the FIA ERC
The 2017 FIA European Rally Championship standings are divided into seven different classification and three main categories have separate classifications for drivers and co-drivers.
Let’s start with the most important one: overall standings (ERC Drivers and ERC Co-drivers). After five rounds there are 42 i 44 classified competitors respectively – the difference is due to the fact that some drivers worked with different co-drivers and each of them is included in the standings. The most important thing for us is that Kajetan Kajetanowicz and Jarek Baran lead both classifications.
Furthermore there are ERC2 (for so called production cars, with limited modifications – for example Subaru Impreza STI or Mitsubishi Lancer Evo) and ERC3 (front-wheel drive cars) categories. The Junior classes have been refreshed this season. ERC Junior U27 (for drivers under the age of 27) is for R2 cars (front-wheel drive) while ERC Junior U28 (for drivers under the age of 28) is for the strongest R5 cars (four-wheel drive).
ERC Teams category have been modified as well: each outfit may nominate three crews and two highest-placed drivers are eligible for championship points (only one crew could score in past seasons). There is also a separate classification for women drivers which has been held for some years. However, ERC Ladies’ Trophy is not very popular: just three ladies are classified so far this season.
Schedule of the 2017 Barum Czech Rally Zlín (all times are CET):
Friday 25 August:
07:30 – Free Practice
09:15 – Qualifying Stage (Žlutava, 4.55 kms)
14:30 – Press conference (Zlín, Rally Office)
15:30 – Selection of start positions (Zlín, Náměstí Míru)
16:00 – Starting ceremony (Zlín, Náměstí Míru)
21:30 – SSS 1 – Zlín (9.51 kms)
Saturday 26 August:
08:28 – Service A – 30 mins (Otrokovice)
09:46 – SS 2 – Biskupice 1 (8.85 kms)
10:54 – SS 3 – Semetín 1 (11.55 kms)
11:27 – SS 4 – Troják 1 (22.87 kms)
13:17 – Service B – 30 mins (Otrokovice)
14:35 – SS 5 – Březová 1 (11.47 kms)
15:33 – SS 6 – Biskupice 2 (8.85 kms)
16:41 – SS 7 – Semetín 2 (11.55 kms)
17:14 – SS 8 – Troják 2 (22.87 kms)
18:54 – Service C – 30 mins (Otrokovice)
20:12 – SS 9 – Březová 2 (11.47 kms)
21:05 – Flexi Service D – 45 mins (Otrokovice)
Length of special stages, Leg 1: 109.13 kms
Sunday 27 August:
07:55 – Service E – 15 mins (Otrokovice)
08:38 – SS 10 – Maják 1 (8.15 kms)
09:11 – SS 11 – Pindula 1 (17.32 kms)
10:24 – SS 12 – Košíky 1 (22.09 kms)
11:49 – Service F – 30 mins (Otrokovice)
12:47 – SS 13 – Maják 2 (8.15 kms)
13:20 – SS 14 – Pindula 2 (17.32 kms)
14:33 – SS 15 – Košíky 2 (22.09 kms)
15:21 – Service G – 10 mins (Otrokovice)
16:16 – Ceremonial Finish (Zlín, Náměstí Míru)
Length of special stages, Leg 2: 95.15 kms
Length of special stages, Barum Czech Rally Zlín: 204.25 kms