The World Rally Championship showdown in the WRC2 Challenger category, with Kajetan Kajetanowicz and Maciej Szczepaniak fighting for the title, got underway in Japan. Thursday evening (local time) marked the start of competition – on the opening stage two cars battled head-to-head inside a stadium, thrilling huge crowd of fans with brilliant spectacle. The ORLEN Rally Team crew set second-fastest time in the WRC2 Challenger standings and third-fastest in overall WRC2 classification!
The opening stage of Rally Japan served as an appetiser ahead of real competition which will start in a couple of hours. After short overnight rest, the crews face seven special stages, including famous Isegami’s Tunnel. Additional excitement might be provided by weather – with possibilities of heavy rainfall.
– It’s a fantastic atmosphere during Rally Japan. We have completed the opening stage, inside a stadium. Plenty of fans in the grandstands just proved how popular this sport is Japan. I am happy, as we are close to frontrunners, in second position in the WRC2 Challenger standings and third in overall WRC2 classification. Everything goes on as expected. I will do my best to stay focused in the morning. Now it’s time for completely different stages – the roads will be wet early on, so it’s going to be very tricky. There are plenty of leaves on the surface, it’s dark in the woods, so maybe we should use additional headlights during the day. For sure this kind of rally will be remembered for long. I enjoy these roads, so I am driving with broad smile on my face
– Kajetan Kajetanowicz, the ORLEN Rally Team driver, says after SS1.
The Friday’s loop starts at 23:04 CET (on Thursday night) with SS2 Isegami’s Tunnel 1 (23.67 kms), followed by SS3 Inabu Dam 1 (19.38 kms, at 00:04 CET) and SS4 Shitara Town 1 (22.53 kms, at 01:02 CET). The same set of stages will re-run after midday service break, at 5:36, 6:36 and 7:34 respectively. At the end of the day the crews will return to the Toyota Stadium, to complete another run of head-to-head superspecial (2.10 kms, at 11:35 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.