Saturday’s leg of Croatia Rally is well underway. Excellent pace of Kajetan Kajetanowicz and right tactical decisions have brought great results. The Polish crew started the day in second position and launched a proper attack right from the beginning. The LOTOS Rally Team duo won two special stages and finished two other tests with second-fastest results – taking the lead in the WRC-3 standings! On top of that Kajetanowicz and Szczepaniak gained some places in the overall classification and in the Rally2 field, where they compete against factory crews.
The sun continues to shine over the stages of Croatia Rally and the weather conditions are consistent. The first part of Saturday’s competition consisted of four special stages, with combined length of over 60 kilometres. Kajetanowicz and Szczepaniak recorded second-fastest times on two opening tests, keeping a few seconds’ gap to the leaders. On the remaining two stages they put on a great performance, beating the whole WRC-3 field and taking the lead. Yohan Rossel, the previous leader and Rallye Monte Carlo winner, ran into trouble and slipped into fourth position, losing over three minutes.
– It was a very demanding loop. We are leading the rally, fighting and beating most of the factory crews. For me the most pleasing thing is that I finally feel the car on dry asphalt – I had no chance to try it during our pre-event test. I enjoy my driving but I have to maintain high level of concentration, as the stages are really fast, with plenty of dirt which can make a nasty surprise. We did not manage to mark every slippery part in our pace-notes but this is normal, because this is a completely new event to everyone. We gather experience and do our best to enjoy the competition as much as possible. The pandemic did not prevent the fans from enjoying the rally, of course with all safety procedures. There are really many spectators here but I also remember about our fans back in Poland – thanks to your support we feel additional motivation to drive even faster. Back at home, in my family town of Ustroń, a little girl, our loyal supporter – my daughter Oriana – has her fourth birthday today. I want to dedicate my performance to her. I love you Ori, happy birthday and take care together with you Mom and little brother Gracjan!
– comments Kajetan Kajetanowicz, the LOTOS Rally Team driver.
After service break the crews will complete the same set of four stages: SS13 Mali Lipovec-Grdanjci (20.30 kms, at 14:29 CET), SS14 Stojdraga-Gornja Vas (20.77 kms, at 15:17 CET), SS15 Krašić-Vrškovac (11.11 kms, at 16:10 CET) and SS16 Vinski Vrh-Duga Resa (8.78 kms, at 17:08 CET). Another service break (45 minutes) takes place in the evening, ahead of the final leg on Sunday.
Starts of Kajetan Kajetanowicz are supported by strategic partner of the LOTOS Rally Team – Grupa LOTOS – as well as Delphi Technologies, Pirelli, SJS Driving Experience and Grupa Sikora.
Croatia Rally 2021 – unofficial WRC-3 results after SS12:
- Kajetanowicz/Szczepaniak (Poland, Škoda Fabia Rally2 evo) 1:37:42.0 s
- Lindholm/Korhonen (Finland, Škoda Fabia Rally2 evo) +40.4 s
- Ingram/Whittock (Great Britain, Škoda Fabia Rally2 evo) +1:54.9 s
- Rossel/Coria (France, Citroën C3 Rally2) +3:01.7 s
- Ciamin/Roche (France, Citroën C3 Rally2) +3:25.4 s
- Zaldivar/del Barrio (Paraguay/Spain, Škoda Fabia Rally2 evo) +6:16.7 s
- Miele/Beltrame (Italy, Škoda Fabia Rally2) +7:03.6 s
- Keferböck/Minor (Austria, Škoda Fabia Rally2 evo) +7:30.7 s
- Raith/Winter (Austria, Ford Fiesta Rally2) +8:23.1 s
- Bedoret/Walbrecq (Belgium, Škoda Fabia Rally2) +11:18.1 s