The LOTOS Rally Team represented by Kajetan Kajetanowicz and Maciej Szczepaniak embark on another World Rally Championship campaign, starting this season on the tarmac stages of Rally Croatia – a completely new event in the WRC calendar. Round three of the 2021 Championship takes place on 22-25 April. The Polish duo will fight against 14 other crews in the WRC-3 category.
Every WRC outing requires many months of hard work. Kajetan Kajetanowicz completed an extensive testing session ahead of Rally Croatia, driving his Škoda Fabia Rally2 Evo nearby his home town – Ustroń in southern Poland. Although the conditions were more typical for winter than spring, Kajto covered a substantial mileage, setting up his car for specific roads of Rally Croatia – so that he’d be able to battle with his rivals for the best position at the finish.
– We begin our World Rally Championship battle with Rally Croatia. Some very demanding special stages await us, with changeable grip levels. There will be a lot of narrow and bumpy sections, I think we managed to find similar conditions for our pre-event test. We drove in different conditions – maybe we will not encounter similar weather in Croatia but we worked on car set-up which for sure will be useful. We feel strong motivation to fight. I know our Škoda very well but it has some new features and that’s why every testing kilometre was so important to fine-tune the settings
– comments Kajetan Kajetanowicz, the LOTOS Rally Team driver.
There are another 14 crews in the WRC-3 category, with plenty of well-known competitors. Kajetanowicz will fight for victory with Chris Ingram (2019 European Rally Champion), Yohan Rosel (French tarmac champion) and Hermann Neubauer (Austrian rally champion). Strong field promises an exciting battle on special stages of Rally Croatia, which are completely new to majority of drivers.
– I know that our competitors are very strong but I just focus on my job. For me this a dream come true – to be able to compete in rallies. I enjoy driving in the World Rally Championship like a kid in a playground but at the same time I feel a huge responsibility. I always try to prepare myself in the best possible way and it takes a lot of my time. It’s pretty much my whole life – for sure my whole professional life. I am happy that my family support me, so I can push the pedal to the metal. I hope we will not brake too often and our speed will be good enough to fight with the best drivers of the world
– adds triple European Rally Champion.
The crews will have the first chance to warm up their machines on Thursday’s shakedown, starting shortly after 9:00 CET. The real fight starts on Friday, with Rude-Plešivica stage (6.94 kms), followed by Kostanjevac-Petruš Vrh (23.76 kms), Jaškovo-Mali Modruš Potok (10.10 kms) and Pećurkovo Brdo-Mrežnički Novaki (9.11 kms). The second loop on Friday, after service break in Zagreb, starts as 15:01 CET. Saturday – the longest rally day – brings another 122 competitive kilometres, with two loops of four stages: Mali Lipovec-Grdanjci (20.30 kms), Stojdraga-Gornja Vas (20.77 kms), Krašić-Vrškovac (11.11 kms) and Vinski Vrh-Duga Resa (8.78 kms). The Sunday’s leg starts with the longest test, Bliznec-Pila (25.20 kms). The first run begins at 7:20 CET and the second one at 10:11 CET. The stage Zagorska Sela-Kumrovec (14.09 kms) starts at 8:38 CET, with the final run – as the Power Stage – takes place at 13:18.
Starts of Kajetan Kajetanowicz are supported by strategic partner of the LOTOS Rally Team – Grupa LOTOS – as well as Delphi Technologies, Pirelli and SJS Driving Experience.