Rally Catalunya de España, the penultimate round of the 2022 World Rally Championship, is underway! The opening loop consisted of four special stages, with total length of almost 60 kilometres – including the longest test today, Les Garrigues Altes (22.64 kms). It rained heavily overnight, so tyre choice became crucial. Kajetan Kajetanowicz and Maciej Szczepaniak completed the loop without major problems and avoided mistakes, committed by their chief rivals.
The ORLEN Rally Team crew hold second position in the 2022 WRC2 standings and fight for more points, which would move them closer to the championship title. They started Rally Catalunya de España with cautious and consistent pace. After four special stages they hold eighth position, with narrow gap to the leaders. What is important, they managed to avoid major mistakes which could have caused serious time loss. However, some of their rivals did not enjoy a clean run: for example Emil Lindholm and Reeta Hämäläinen suffered a puncture on the second test, losing almost one minute to the stage winners.
– On the first Friday’s loop basically every crew did not manage to choose the perfect tyres. You had to find a compromise and we all know that rally and compromise do not go hand in hand. I have not competed on asphalt for a long time so it wouldn’t be a good idea to take risks in these difficult conditions, without good feeling. I am still searching for a proper rhythm but I remain positive because I know that we are able to drive a lot faster. We introduced a few changes during the service break and we will see what they bring. I start the second loop with a smile on my face
– Kajetan Kajetanowicz, triple European Rally Champion, commented after the first loop.
The second loop consists of the same special stages: SS5 Els Omells-Maldà (11.05 kms) starts at 15:09 CET, followed by SS6 Serra de la Llena (11.79 kms, at 16:09 CET), SS7 Les Garrigues Altes (22.64 kms, at 17:02 CET) and SS8 Riba-roja (13.89 kms, at 18:02 CET).
Starts of Kajetan Kajetanowicz are supported by strategic partner of the ORLEN Rally Team – PKN ORLEN, as well as technical partner Delphi Technologies, Pirelli, Grupa Sikora and SJS Driving Experience.
RallyRACC 2022, unofficial WRC2 standings after SS4:
- Suninen/Markkula (Finland, Hyundai i20 N Rally2) 35:28,5 s
- Griazin/Aleksandrow (Russia, Škoda Fabia Rally2 evo) +2,3 s
- Rossel/Dunand (France, Citroën C3 Rally2) +7,6 s
- Cachón/Jandrín (Spain, Citroën C3 Rally2) +16,7 s
- Sarrazin/Renucci (France, VW Polo GTI R5) +16,8 s
- Linnamäe/Morgan (Estonia/UK, VW Polo GTI R5) +19,8 s
- Huttunen/Lukka (Finland, Ford Fiesta Rally2) +26,6 s
- Kajetanowicz/Szczepaniak (Poland, Škoda Fabia Rally2 evo) +32,2 s
- Zaldivar/Der Ohannesian (Paraguay/Italy, Hyundai i20 N Rally2) +42,8 s
- Munster/Louka (Luxembourg/Belgium, Hyundai i20 N Rally2) +45,8 s