Saturday’s opening loop of Rally Chile turned out to be critical in terms of tyre management. Challenging conditions on rough roads damaged tyres and many crews suffered multiple punctures towards the end of the third stage. Kajetan Kajetanowicz and Maciej Szczepaniak avoided these problems but right from the beginning they struggled with technical failure of power steering. However, the Polish crew maintained their position and they are still in the mix!
Saturday’s loop of round eleven of the 2023 World Rally Championship consisted of three special stages: Chivillingo (27.19 kms), Rio Lia (21.09 kms) and Maria de las Cruces (28.72 kms). The ORLEN Rally Team crew had to cope with a power steering failure, which appeared even before the first stage. Kajetanowicz and Szczepaniak did their best to continue and despite these problems set sixth-fastest times in WRC2 on two stages, finishing the loop with fifth-fastest result. Thanks to this performance, they kept sixth place in their category and third among non-factory crews (WRC2 Challenger).
– Just as predicted, tyre choice and their wear were the main topics of the day – or at least of the morning. Abrasive gravel caused the rubber to wear out quite quickly and some competitors encountered problems in the final part of the last stage. On the other side, we experienced completely different troubles. Our power steering disappeared on the road section ahead of the opening stage and kept going on and off, still on the road section. During the stage our car was not working 100%, the power steering increased and decreased – but at least it kept working. It was difficult to drive and stay focused. Keeping that in mind, our position is acceptable
– Kajetan Kajetanowicz, triple European Rally Champion, commented after the loop.
The second loop consists of the same set of three special stages – starting at 14:57, 16:01 and 17:05 local time (19:57, 21:01 and 22:05 CET).
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.
Rally Chile 2023, unofficial WRC2 standings after SS9:
- Solberg/Edmondson (Škoda Fabia RS Rally2) 1:52:36.4
- Pajari/Mälkönen (Škoda Fabia RS Rally2) +16.7
- Greensmith/Andersson (Škoda Fabia RS Rally2) +31.6
- Gryazin/Aleksandrov (Škoda Fabia RS Rally2) +38.4
- Lindholm/Hämäläinen (Hyundai i20 N Rally2) +55.3
- Kajetanowicz/Szczepaniak (Škoda Fabia RS Rally2) +1:11.5
- Rossel/Dunand (Citroën C3 Rally2) +1:13.5
- Rosselot/Cañete (Citroën C3 Rally2) +3:34.8
- Fernández/Rozada (Škoda Fabia RS Rally2) +4:00.9
- Zaldivar/Der Ohannesian (Hyundai i20 N Rally2) +4:12.2