Reigning European Rally Champion Kajetan Kajetanowicz set fastest time on the qualifying stage for the round three of the 2016 FIA European Rally Championship, the Acropolis Rally beating championship rival Alexey Lukyanuk by a mere 0.095 seconds over the 3.7-kilometre test near the Service Park in Lamia.
However, it was Ralfs Sirmacis who impressed with third fastest time on his first appearance in the top category of the championship finishing 1.732 seconds off Kajetanowicz in his Skoda Fabia R5.
“The Qualifying Stage was something like the roads what we have in Latvia and that sort of road I can drive fast, but tomorrow is roads in hills, it’s very narrow and it’s very scary for me driving, but I’ll try to do the best and compete for the win,” said Sirmacis after qualifying.
“If I don’t want to win then I don’t have a reason to be here, but if I don’t win I need the best result.”
Jaromír Tarabus was fourth fastest in his Fabia, while Wojciech Chuchała was fifth in his ERC2 Subaru Impreza STI. Raul Jeets took sixth in his Fabia while Lambros Athanassoulas was seventh but reported a strange noise at the end of the stage. The top ten was completed by Jarosław Kołtun, Antonin Tlusťák and Federico Della Casa.
Kajetanowicz chose to start at the back of the ERC pack which means he will start stage one fifteenth on the road and will avoid sweeping the road. Lukyanuk will start tenth while Sirmacis will start eleventh, Jaromír Tarabus, Wojciech Chuchała and Raul Jeets went for fourteenth, twelfth and thirteenth respectively.
David Botka who set eleventh fastest time on the qualifying stage will be first on the road, with the Citroen DS3 R5 driver complaining of a lack of power from his car after qualifying.