As predicted, Safari Rally turns out to be a real challenge for crews and their cars. Some teams lost significant amount of time, damaging the cars in deep ruts or getting stuck in sand. Kajetan Kajetanowicz and Maciej Szczepaniak started the competition in great style, adding two stage wins to their tally. The LOTOS Rally Team maintain consistent and careful pace, avoiding problems – however, they extended their advantage over second-placed WRC2 crew to over one minute!
The opening loop on Friday consisted of three special stages: Loldia (19.17 kms), Geothermal (11.68 kms) and the longest test of the whole rally, Kedong (31.25 kms). Kajetanowicz and Szczepaniak started the day with another stage win, beating Prokop and Jůrka by over 13 seconds. On the following test they recorded second-fastest time, trailing Gill and Morales by 1.8 seconds. They set blistering pace on the final stage, defeating runners-up, Johnston and Kihurani, by over 20 seconds. Gill and Morales, holding second position in the WRC2 standings until this stage, did not reach the finish line.
– We are leading Safari Rally, this is a fantastic result and a dream come true but I approach it with great humility. The conditions are really tough and this event has shown its brutal face already during the first loop. It hasn’t rained for a while, so the roads are dry and lots of dust float in the air, getting stuck in every slot of the car. Deep ruts appeared on the first loop, with hidden big rocks which are very dangerous for our tyres. Some crews suffered from various problems. The situation can change quickly but we maintain our pace, driving with caution. So far, so good. The car works faultlessly, we avoid trouble and let’s continue like this until the end
– says Kajetan Kajetanowicz, triple European Rally Champion.
The second loop of today’s leg will be run on the same set of stages: Loldia (19.17 kms, at 12:09 CET), Geothermal (11.68 kms, at 13:27 CET) and Kedong (31.25 kms, at 14:2 CET). All tests will be run twice.
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.
Safari Rally 2022, unofficial WRC2 standings after SS4:
- Kajetanowicz/Szczepaniak (Poland, Škoda Fabia Rally2 evo) 46:17.5
- Johnston/Kihurani (USA, Citroën C3 Rally2) +54.9
- Prokop/Jůrka (Czech Republic, Ford Fiesta Rally2) +1:16.8
- Patel/Khan (Kenya, Ford Fiesta Rally2) +2:26.3
- Gomes/Gomes (Zambia, Ford Fiesta Rally2) +7:23.1
- Rai/Panesar (Kenya/Great Britain, Škoda Fabia Rally2 evo) +8:17.4
- Gill/Morales (India/Brazil, Škoda Fabia Rally2 evo) +10:24.2