Kajetanowicz joins WRC 2 in Italy

European Rally champion Kajetan Kajetanowicz will make his first WRC 2 start of 2018 at this weekend’s Rally Italia Sardegna (7-10 June) as he steps up to challenge the frontrunners in the 12-car support category entry.

The Pole will tackle the rally in a LOTOS Racing Team Ford Fiesta R5. The event will kick-off his programme of at least four rounds in 2018. His only other start in the category came at Rally Poland in 2016.

The 39-year-old is hopeful of a strong result on Sardinia’s gravel stages but knows he’ll face some strong competition during his first appearance on the Mediterranean island.

“I am aware that our competitors are amongst the favourites,” the three-time European champion explained. “I will do my best to tackle these roads. Sardinia is one of the most difficult rallies when it comes to the road surface, especially on the second loop with deep ruts and large stones on the stages.”

One of Kajetanowicz’s main challengers is expected to be Jan Kopecký who will be aiming for his third win of the season after success in Corsica and Monte-Carlo.

Jan Kopecký has two wins in two starts this year

The Skoda Motorsport driver can’t overhaul team-mate Pontus Tidemand’s 43-point lead at the top of the drivers’ standings, but he can reduce the gap to the Swede who isn’t entered this weekend.

Joining Kopecký in Skoda’s factory Fabia R5 line-up will be Ole Christian Veiby who is making his 30th WRC start in Sardinia. The Norwegian finished second behind his Czech team-mate at last year’s event and will be targeting a similar performance this time around.

Citroën will be keen to build on its third place finish at last month’s Vodafone Rally de Portugal as the French manufacturer enters two C3 R5s this weekend. Stéphane Lefebvre will be joined by Simone Tempestini in the team line-up after the Romanian competed in a Fiesta at the last round.

Lukasz Pieniazek will be aiming for a repeat of his season-best second place in Portugal in a private Skoda. Also competing in Fabias are local hero Fabio Andolfi and Mexico’s Benito Guerra.

Toyota development drivers Takamoto Katsuta and Hiroki Arai will make their second gravel appearance of the year as they tackle the narrow roads in a pair of Tommi Mäkinen Racing-prepared Fiestas R5s.

Completing the entry will be a pair of Hyundai i20 R5s for Pierre-Louis Loubet and Nicolas Ciamin.

Head to WRC+ to watch All Live from Rally Italia Sardegna, including every stage broadcast live, breaking service park news and expert studio analysis.

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