Reigning FIA European Rally Champion Kajetan Kajetanowicz has completed leg 2 of Rally Rzeszow, round seven of the 2016 European Rally Championship, in his Ford Fiesta R5 with a lead of over half a minute over his French rival Bryan Bouffier who is in a Citroen DS3 R5. The pair enjoyed a good battle as they fought for the lead throughout Friday’s stages.
Kajetanowicz started the event by winning the first stage of the rally on Thursday evening and set about extending his advantage on Friday morning. Drama was to follow however as Łukasz Habaj slid off on the second corner of stage 2 which blocked Kajetanowicz and forced him to lose 13.2 seconds to Bouffier. Habaj would rejoin the stage after his off and eventually recovered to tenth by the end of the day.
Kajetanowicz and Bouffier traded times of stages three and four and the Pole went into service with a narrow lead. Kajetanowicz continued to eat away at his French rivals lead on stage five before his time was amended for SS2 and he ended the test with a lead of 5.3 seconds. The Pole was helped on SS6 when Bouffier spun and lost 20 seconds while Kajetanowicz topped the the day off by winning the final test of the day.
“I enjoy this rally,” said Kajetanowicz, co-driven by Jarek Baran. “It was a good day for us. I like this fight with Bryan and the others. I’m happy because we are leading, but it’s not easy. Inside the car it’s hot and not easy to keep concentration, but we did it.”
Gregorz Grzyb is a long way behind in third, the Pole suffered a puncture on SS3 and finished the day almost two minutes off the lead. Jakub Brzeziński has had a strong day in fourth place despite reporting a loss of power from his Fiesta R5, he is 13 seconds ahead of Filip Nivette in fifth. Nivette is in a good fight with Tomasz Kasperczyk and the pair are separated by just 6.9 seconds.
Seventh is Jarosław Kołtun, who started the day in 19th after a time-consuming spin of his own on the Rzeszow street stage. In the ERC2 category Wojciech Chuchałahas a commanding lead of almost nine minutes over Tibor Erdi Jr and is eight overall. Raul Jeets finished the day in ninth.
In ERC3 Nikolay Gryazin and Tomasz Gryc have been treating fans to a close fight in their Peugeot 208 VTi R2s. The pair have been trading times all day but in the end it is Gryazin who heads into the final day with a lead of 17.4 seconds. Laszlo Nemet is in third over two minutes adrift of the lead.
Saturday is made up of six stages totalling 106.14 kilometres.