The WRC2 crews did not enjoy the full competitive distance on second leg of Rally México. Four special stages had to be cancelled and the competitors spent most of the opening loop on alternative road sections. Kajetan Kajetanowicz and Maciej Szczepaniak, who had started the day with clear ambitions of closing the gap to their rivals, finished the leg in fifth position in the WRC2 category.
Following the crash of Esapekka Lappi and Janne Ferm, who severely damaged their Hyundai i20 N Rally1, SS11 had to be red-flagged. Due to significant delays, only the P1 crews (in Rally1 cars) completed SS 12 and SS13, while P2 cars (including Kajetanowicz and Szczepaniak) were directed to the start of SS14. Their day was shortened by half of its original length, as SS15 was also cancelled. On top of that, the ORLEN Rally Team crew finished SS17 with a puncture, dropping some time to their rivals. They hold fifth position in the WRC2 classification and tenth in overall standings after Saturday.
– It has been a long day and at the same time quite short one, when it comes to driving. Only a few stages were run in a normal rhythm. We were playing a bit with different set-up options, preparing for competition agains factory drivers – this challenge is even tougher than I’d expected. All drivers ahead of us drive for factory teams. Of course I’d love to fight for better positions, I approach every rally with this goal. Maybe we will check some new, completely different set-up things tomorrow, we will see. It is easy to lose your focus when you’re trying different things all the time. Today I missed something in our pace notes and braked too late for a third-gear corner. I bounced off an earth bank, it wasn’t dangerous but one of the tyres went off the rim. We completed the remaining six kilometres with a puncture. I think that right now every driver asks the same question: which tyres would be the best for Sunday. The final day, rally showdown, is just ahead. We have some work to do and for sure we’ll do our job. The atmosphere is great, I am happy to be here
– Kajetan Kajetanowicz, the ORLEN Rally Team driver, commented after Saturday’s stages.
The final leg of Rally México takes place on four special stage. The crews start with fourth run of Las Dunas Superspecial (3.53 kms), followed by a single run of Otates – the longest test in the rally (35.63 kms) – and then they will tackle San Diego stage (12.61 kms). The rally ends with the Power Stage El Brinco (9.59 kms) – round three of the 2023 World Rally Championship should end around 20:30 CET.
Starts of Kajetan Kajetanowicz are supported by titular partner of the ORLEN Rally Team – PKN ORLEN, as well as technical partner Delphi Technologies, Pirelli, ATC CARGO S.A., PLATINUM ORLEN OIL brand, QUAZAR LOTOS OIL brand and SJS S.A.