Austria, Czech Republic and Germany welcome the best rally drivers in the world at this weekend’s Central European Rally. The penultimate World Rally Championship round promises plenty of excitement, especially for the Polish fans. Kajetan Kajetanowicz and Maciej Szczepaniak take up the challenge – the ORLEN Rally Team crew currently hold second position in the WRC2 Challenger standings.
The Central European Rally is a brand new addition to the WRC calendar. Over the first two days the crews fight in Czech Republic, before moving to Austrian and German stages. An interesting mix of tarmac stages await them – ranging from narrow and bumpy parts to fast sections with good rhythm. Close distance to Polish border means that huge crowds of Polish fans will line up along the route.
Kajetanowicz and Szczepaniak contest their sixth round in the 2023 championship. All WRC2 crews are able to score points in seven rallies, with six best results counting towards the final standings. The Polish duo notched up fourth position in Mexico, third in Sardegna and victory in Safari Rally. Another two outings brought them sixth place in Greece and, unfortunately, retirement in Chile. The next two events are crucial in their bid to improve their championship standings. The WRC2 Challenger competition is also important for the Polish crew, currently holding second position – while the series leaders have already contested their maximum allowance of seven rallies.
– We return to tarmac after a very long break – we have not competed on sealed surface since Rally Japan, almost a year ago. The Central European Rally is new to everyone but there are drivers who know the characteristics of these roads better than others. I hope that our pre-event testing session in Poland would prove useful and we will be competitive. Plenty of Polish fans will be present at this event so I hope for their support and good fun. Of course we will do our best, with smiles on our faces. It is a great feeling to compete on roads similar to the Polish ones, where we won many championship titles. During our preparations for this event we drove as a course car in Radków – on slippery, treacherous tarmac. Driving in wet conditions might be good, as some of the Central European Rally stages could be wet. I am finding my setup and of course I’d love to get more mileage but I still have positive approach. I will do my best, for sure the whole ORLEN Rally Team will also push to maximum. We are ready, keep your fingers crossed
– says Kajetan Kajetanowicz.
There are still two rounds to go in the 2023 World Rally Championship – the first one, making its debut in the WRC calendar, takes place on 26-29 October in Austria, Germany and Czech Republic. The organisers have prepared eighteen special stages, totalling over 310 kilometres. The opening two stages take place on Thursday, with shakedown being run on Wednesday.
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.