Thu 22 Jun 2023

WRC2 star Kajto hunts down Safari double

Kajetan Kajetanowicz starts this week’s Safari Rally Kenya (22 - 25 June) as the victory favourite in WRC2 having triumphed at the African classic twelve months ago.

The Pole, who finished third in the WRC2 series last year, has only started two WRC rounds so far in 2023 and sits a lowly ninth in the championship standings as a result. Victory here, however, would vault him into the top five of the premier support category.

Kajetanowicz is co-driven by fellow countryman Maciej Szczepaniak and logistical challenges see the pair revert back to their trusty Škoda Fabia Rally2 Evo for this round, the same car used for Guanajuato Rally México earlier this year.

“In theory we know this event, as most stages are the same as last year. However, this is still the most unpredictable round of the whole WRC calendar, that’s why we expect the unexpected,” Kajetanowicz said.

“We know that many things can happen, and we cannot control everything, so we try to foresee as much as we can. You cannot drive a perfect rally but we will do our best – driving well, wisely and cleanly,” he added.

Oliver Solberg is also in action, driving a Fabia borrowed from fellow competitor Daniel Chwist. The Swede, however, has decided not to count this round as a points-scoring one.

Karan Patel and Carl Tundo are the leading Kenyan hopefuls. Fabia man Tundo has won the event five times in total while Patel, who drives a Fiesta R5, is the reigning national champion.

“The level of competition from WRC is much more superior than what we are used to in our local and regional events,” Patel admitted, “but we will have a very clever drive and try to maintain a very good pace.”

Grégoire Munster makes his Safari Rally Kenya debut behind the wheel of a Ford Fiesta Rally2. The British team will also run a similar car for Greek driver George Vassilakis, contesting only his third WRC rally.

Škoda rivals Armin Kremer and Miguel Díaz-Aboitiz compete for WRC Masters Cup honours while locals Aakif Virani and Samman Singh Vohra complete the entry. Piero Canobbio, who was due to drive a Hyundai i20 R5, withdrew prior to the start with terminal engine issues.

Latvia
Starts: Thursday, July 18, 2024 at 4:31:00 AM
Italy
Starts: Friday, July 26, 2024 at 7:00:00 AM
Hungary
Starts: Saturday, July 27, 2024 at 6:00:00 AM