Day one of this year’s Rally México is done and dusted. Thanks to consistent and effective performance on the afternoon loop, Kajetan Kajetanowicz and Maciej Szczepaniak moved into top position in the WRC-3 standings, closing to a podium position.
The second loop started with a repeat run of the second-longest stage, El Chocolate (31.45 kms). The LOTOS Rally Team crew recorded third fastest time there, moving into fourth position in the WRC-3 standings. After dramatic incident of Esapekka Lappi, whose car caught fire and completely burnt out (good news is that the crew emerged unhurt), stage number eight was cancelled. The next test brought another stage victory for the Polish crew who, despite technical issues with the car, defeated all their rivals in the WRC-3 category.
– The positive thing is that we are able to collect stage wins but this for sure far from satisfactory. Our technical problems with the car continue – however, we are looking ahead with smiles on our faces. This is how you have to react because we are in Mexico, competing in a rally with huge history. We fight on iconic special stages, in great atmosphere created by local fans. People just love this rally. We are awake and in the car for a dozen or so hours and I have to admit that we feel some fatigue. The whole team works very well as we try to fix the technical problems. We try but it is not easy. You need to manage the speed when your car is short on power. On the other hand you lack power when it is needed to save it after a slide. There was a tight spin around a barrel on one of the stages. Usually we deal with this kind of stuff very well, such as during Barbórka Rally in Warsaw. This time there was not enough power to complete the spin in one go. In these circumstances we just grow stronger
– says Kajetan Kajetanowicz, the LOTOS Rally Team driver.
On Saturday there are nine special stages, with just one kilometre more to go than Friday’s total. The Guanajuatito 1 test (24.96 kms) starts at 15:58 CET and it will be followed by Alfaro 1 (16.99 kms, at 17:01 CET) and Derramadero 1 (21.78 kms, at 18:08). After a visit in the service park the crews will tackle the same stages at 21:56, 22:59 and 00:08 CET. This day also ends with some short stages: Autódromo 3 and 4 (2.33 kms, at 01:38 and 01:43 CET) and Rock & Rally León (1.62 kms, at 02:26).
The final leg takes place on Sunday, 15 March. It consists of three stages: Otates (the longest test of the whole rally – 33.61 kms, at 15:38 CET), San Diego (12.76 kms, at 16:56 CET) and El Brinco Power Stage (9.64 kms, at 18:18 CET). The rally finishes at around 19:00 CET.
The 2020 Rally México, unofficial WRC-3 standings after SS12:
1. Bulacia Wilkinson / Bernacchini (Bolivia/Italy, Citroën C3 R5) 1:29:03.5
2. Fernández / Garcia (Chile/Argentina, Škoda Fabia R5 evo) +2:45.5
3. Triviño / Martí (Mexico/Spain, Škoda Fabia R5) +4:13.5
4. Kajetanowicz / Szczepaniak (Poland, Škoda Fabia R5 evo) +8:25.2
5. Linari / Arena (Italy, Ford Fiesta R5) +23:01.6
6. McKenna / Fulton (Ireland, Škoda Fabia R5) +56:04.2
7. Guerra Jr. / Cué (Mexico/Spain, Škoda Fabia R5) +1:17:44.5