Tuesday | 27 Sep 2022

WRC2 star Kajto takes on local chargers down under

Kajetan Kajetanowicz is on a mission to strengthen his WRC2 title bid at Repco Rally New Zealand this week (29 September - 2 October).

He may be fourth in the standings with a 33-point deficit to leader Andreas Mikkelsen, but the Polish driver has a trick up his sleeve. 

Drivers in the premier support category may count their best six scores from a maximum of seven starts - and, while Mikkelsen’s season ended at EKO Acropolis Rally Greece earlier this month, Kajetanowicz’s is only just getting going. 

The 43-year-old has contested just four rounds so far in 2022 and his results include podiums in Croatia and Portugal as well as victory at Safari Rally Kenya. With three rounds remaining - and many of his rivals not competing this week - Kajetanowicz is ready to pounce.

Paddon has local knowledge on his side

"This season is undoubtedly very successful for us but we already face new challenges," said Kajetanowicz, who drives a Škoda Fabia Rally2 Evo. "Definitely, this rally is the biggest logistical challenge for me and my team. 

"In order to compete here, I decided to drop Acropolis Rally from my schedule – a rally I know very well after winning it three times. It was not an easy decision and we face a tough challenge as we enter a completely new rally.

"We are fighting for the world title and in order to win it, we have to set ourselves these ambitious goals. The whole team is ready for this challenge and I am looking forward to the opening special stage."

Kremer swaps his Fabia (above) for a Citroën C3

Home heroes make up the bulk of the entry for New Zealand’s long-awaited FIA World Rally Championship return, with Hayden Paddon expected to lead the local charge in a Hyundai i20 N Rally2. 

Paddon is a three-time winner of the event and also won his category in 2012 when it last featured as a WRC round. Former national champion Ben Hunt fields a Fabia, as does Australian star and WRC debutant Harry Bates - the sole entrant in WRC2 Junior.

Armin Kremer has swapped his Fabia for a Saintéloc-prepared Citroën C3 Rally2 as he bids to take the WRC2 Masters Cup lead, while Škoda stalwart Miguel Díaz-Aboitiz has made the long trip from Spain to Auckland to sample the famous gravel roads.

  • Full coverage from Repco Rally New Zealand will be available on WRC+ All Live here, including every stage broadcast as it happens as well as key interviews, features and expert analysis from the service park. 

More News