Kajetan Kajetanowicz and Maciej Szczepaniak show excellent pace on the opening loop of Rally de Portugal. The LOTOS Rally Team crew set third-fastest time on two stages and hold third position in the WRC2 standings, fighting against factory drivers. It is an extremely difficult day, with eight special stages – without a traditional service break between both loops.
For Kajetanowicz this is his second outing in this year’s World Rally Championship campaign and second in Portugal. He won here last year, competing in the WRC3 category. Now he fights against undoubtedly more experienced drivers: rally leader Suninen competes here for the seventh time and second-placed Mikkelsen for the eighth time. However, the Polish driver is doing an excellent job, staying in front of Oliver Solberg and reigning world champion Yohan Rossel.
– We have completed the first real loop of Rally de Portugal. The conditions are extremely difficult, we are fighting right among the frontrunners. Twice we encountered plenty of dust behind another car, which suffered a puncture. We were driving more or less one minute behind and I think that two-minutes starting gap is just too small. However, we managed to push and remain in top three. This rally is generally a lottery. We lose some time in risky places, where it is very easy to catch a puncture, but some drivers probably take a risk in rocky sections. Our tactics usually pay off, although it is not possible to avoid every stone. It is very hot, over 30 degrees, but we are happy!
– says Kajetan Kajetanowicz, triple European Rally Champion.
After a short break to change tyres, the crews will complete another run of three stages – Lousã (12.03 kms), Góis (19,33 kms), Arganil (18,72 kms) – followed by Mortágua (18,16 kms) and Lousada (3,36 kms).
Starts of Kajetan Kajetanowicz are supported by strategic partner of the LOTOS Rally Team – Grupa LOTOS, technical partner Delphi Technologies, as well as Pirelli, SJS Driving Experience and Grupa Sikora.
Rally de Portugal 2022, unofficial WRC2 standings after SS4:
- Suninen/Markkula (Finland, Hyundai i20 Rally2) 38:25.1
- Mikkelsen/Eriksen (Norway, Škoda Fabia Rally2 evo) +11.0
- Kajetanowicz/Szczepaniak (Poland, Škoda Fabia Rally2 evo) +34.3
- Solberg/Edmondson (Sweden/Great Britain, Hyundai i20 Rally2) +38.3
- Rossel/Sarreaud (France, Citroën C3 Rally2) +41.8
- Ingram/Drew (Great Britain, Škoda Fabia Rally2 evo) +58.2
- Marczyk/Gospodarczyk (Poland, Škoda Fabia Rally2 evo) +1:03.9
- Pietarinen/Linnaketo (Finland, VW Polo GTI Rally2) +1:11.0
- Linnamäe/Morgan (Estonia, VW Polo GTI Rally2) +1:13.7
- McErlean/Fulton (Ireland, Hyundai i20 Rally2) +1:25.9