It’s been a positive beginning of Acropolis Rally for Kajetan Kajetanowicz and Maciej Szczepaniak. The ORLEN Rally Team duo recorded fourth-fastest time in the WRC2 category on the opening stage, on the streets of Athens, next to the famous Acropolis. This short, less than 1.5-kms test, run on tarmac, was a teaser of the forthcoming action over the next three days. Due to heavy downpours in Greece, it’s going to be a really tough challenge!
Greece has suffered plenty of drama in recent days. Heavy rainstorms caused local floods and disturbed the running of round ten of the 2023 World Rally Championship. The organisers were forced to cancel the official shakedown and to shorten SS14 and SS15. The road is covered with water in many places and the crews expect plenty of mud and very slippery surface.
The opening stage, 1.48-kms EKO Super Special Stage, was won by Mikkelsen and Eriksen, who defeated Kajetanowicz and Szczepaniak by 1.1 seconds (fourth-fastest result). The Polish crew set second-fastest time in the WRC2 Challenger classification, trailing Bulacia and Vallejo by just four tenths of a second.
– We have started the competition with a street stage in Athens. It was a great show for huge crowd of rally fans. I am sure that they will also appear along the real stages, in the woods. Today I drove with a completely new differentials and I struggled to get used to them. This car is still a completely new beast to me – however, the result is quite positive. We are already thinking about tomorrow. It will be a very demanding rally, we know it after the recce. It’s going to be a huge lottery but we are ready to fight
– Kajetan Kajetanowicz, the ORLEN Rally Team driver, comments after Thursday.
The shortened route of Acropolis Rally consists of 286 kilometres of gravel special stages. There are five tests on Friday – SS2/4 Loutraki (18.10 kms), SS3 Pissia (16.43 kms), SS5 Livadia (21.03 kms) and SS6 Elatia (28.32 kms) – without a service break between the stages. The cars will return to the service park in the evening.
Starts of Kajetan Kajetanowicz are supported by the title 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.