Kajetan Kajetanowicz and Jarek Baran – winners of the first round of 2015 season – will again challenge the best crews of European Rally Championship on the first weekend of February. After spectacular victory in Jännerrallye LOTOS Rally Team crew begins Rally Liepāja as FIA ERC leaders, having scored maximum amount of points. Thanks to convincing performance in Austria, where he set 17 fastest times on 18 stages, „Kajto” is on pole position for winter European Rally Championship crown. Polish driver enjoys 76-points advantage in FIA ERC Ice Master standings, with two rounds counting towards this classification: Jännerrallye and Rally Liepāja.
- Kajetan Kajetanowicz / Jarek Baran, Internationale Jännerrallye powered by GaGa Energy 2015 (©Marcin Snopkowski)
Second round of FIA European Rally Championship will bring us hard fight for each tenth of a second on amazing special stages in Latvian region of Courland. Rally Liepāja, run on extremely fast gravel roads covered with snow and ice, is the only round of European Championship in which the crews use winter tyres with long studs. Four-time Polish Rally Champion will drive on these tyres for the second time in his career.
The route prepared by organisers is 806 kms long. Fight for the best times and points counting towards championship classification will take place on 12 special stages with total length of 205,68 kms. An exceptional challenge will be brought by 37-kms Kuldīga stage, longer by almost five kilometres than last year’s record-breaking test, Les Cols (32,13 kms) of Swiss FIA ERC counter, Rallye du Valais. The competition will end with a new, spectacular super special city stage in downtown Liepāja, right on Baltic Sea coast. Liepāja, where the rally base is located, has great rallying tradition: this is where 50 years ago the first rally in Latvia was organised. This year Rally Liepāja counts towards FIA European Rally Championship for the third time in history.
Kajetan Kajetanowicz: – Driving with maximum pace on snow and ice should warm up not only us but also the spectators. Our motivation before this rally is even greater because hard work of the whole LOTOS Rally Team brings amazing results. However, we have to remember that in case of this rally it is very difficult to predict my relative pace, comparing to my opponents. I am not used to driving on tyres with over 1500 long studs. It looks like just another winter rally but these tyres work in a completely different way to those we used on our way to victory in opening round of FIA European Rally Championship. Long studs give good grip on ice and after many years of driving my brain was programmed in completely opposite way. I was used to avoiding ice. This is why during Rally Liepāja I will exceed the limits of my knowledge and experience. When you drive on long studs, you have to change your thinking, habits and reactions. It is not possible to learn these things while driving on other types of tyres. We drive at high speeds so the margin for error is very small and my Latvian experience from last year for sure will help. I have to give everything in order to think about victory. It is great that so many Polish crews want to test themselves in FIA ERC. This is fantastic championship and I believe that Polish national colours will dominate on special stages.