European Rally Championship

Kajetanowicz Leads After Day 1 On Rally Islas Canarias

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Reigning European Rally Champion Kajetan Kajetanowicz started the defence of is title in the best possible way by leading first round of the 2016 FIA European Rally Championship, the Rally Islas Canarias after day one in his Ford Fiesta R5. The Pole finished stage seven to end the leg leading the event by 22.7 seconds.

Russian driver Alexey Lukyanuk won the final stage of the day and lies second heading into the final leg of the event in his Ford Fiesta R5. WRC driver Mads Ostberg had impressed early on before an off on the final stage put him out of the event.

“It is great as we are in the lead after the whole day of competition,” said Kajetanowicz. “The battle with Mads was awesome and it is a pity that he went off because we were fighting for fractions of seconds. Here it is very difficult to achieve such similar times on these long stages, under changeable conditions and different tyres.

It is great that we were winning the stages, he was pushing a lot and it was clear that for sure he was not easing off, he was attacking. I am very happy after this day, a bit tired because the g-forces took their toll on me. We did our job as well as we could. For us the rally is still on, we will fight and try to do our best tomorrow – but first of all we have to get a good sleep.”

Robert Consani is third in a Peugeot 208 T16, he is 10.5 seconds ahead of the local favourite Luis Monzón, who has struggled with mechanical issues in his Citroën DS3 R5 but is hopeful of getting the car fixed overnight and scoring another podium finish at his home event. Jonathan Perez is in fifth.

Six more stages great competitors tomorrow on the final day of the event

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Guest Contributor here at The Checkered Flag who will be predominantly covering the 2015 European Rally Championship I also cover the World Rally Championship on occasion. Can be found on Twitter at @matthewmcmahon5
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