A winner of the Polish championship on four occasions, Kajetan Kajetanowicz is applying his considerable pace and ability to the ERC in 2014. Here the LOTOS Rally Team ace looks ahead to his Cyprus Rally debut.

Q:
The Cyprus Rally is unique in that the stages are a mix of asphalt and gravel. How much experience do you have of mixed-surface stages and how much of a challenge will this be?

Kajetan Kajetanowicz:
It is easy to guess that this is a huge challenge for me, especially if I tell you that only once in my career did I start in a similar mixed-surface event. It was last year's Rallye Waldviertel and compared to what is awaiting us in Cyprus I can say that those were just a couple of short Tarmac sections on gravel roads. I think that everything we can expect in Cyprus will be new to us. I heard the gravel there really hits the tyres so this is the next rally in which the word 'compromise' will have new meaning. I can say I am happy because once again I will have a chance to compete on new territory, with new opponents.

Q:
It's another new event for you, how do you prepare for a rally you have no experience of?

Kajetan Kajetanowicz:
Preparation for a new event means gathering information about it - from my colleagues and other teams and from the internet. However, nothing compares to the knowledge we can gain by competing in a rally. On one hand I want to discover these beautiful events and learn new lessons, but on the other hand it is nice to come back and take part in a rally for the second time. Our work is much easier then and we can focus on other things. This year we don't have such a chance - except for J?nnerrallye, which we tackled for the second time. Every round of FIA ERC is new to my team. We don't have baseline set-ups for specific surfaces, prepared for characteristics of each event. And all of them are different; every start is a big adventure. We drive on melting ice, on snow, in 30-degrees heat around Acropolis, then on the slopes of a volcano. This is absolutely unique because we have never experienced such diversity in Poland. Of course our job is not as easy as is the case with some of our opponents - drivers of factory cars and privateers who compete in FIA ERC for some time - but I am happy because it is another challenge for me.

Q:
Realistically, what result can you achieve in Cyprus and if you did win what does a traditional Kajto celebration involve?

Kajetan Kajetanowicz:
In Poland we had practised our celebration to perfection! I know that here we must be patient and always work hard. Above all, we compete because we want to fight and competition itself gives me pleasure - celebration is just an addition. Of course I will do my best, together with my team.
Q:
There hasn't been much time between Zl?n and Cyprus but how have you kept busy?

Kajetan Kajetanowicz:
Well, I am happy that I don't have to wait too long for the next rally! Of course it is a busy period, we have to organise everything and at the same time we must not forget about the media. A couple of days ago I met my fellow competitors and journalists during Rally Wis?y, a round of the Polish championship, which I won last year and is close to my home. I also had a mild cold but now everything is okay and I am back to everyday training. Now I am gearing up for the journey to Cyprus - doing laundry and other ordinary daily activities.
Q:
As well as some regular ERC rivals, you'll also be up against some top drivers from the Middle East championship. What do you know about them and how strong do you think they will be?

Kajetan Kajetanowicz:
Of course the most well-known driver is Nasser Al-Attiyah. I am impressed by his versatility. I am happy that we will fight in the same rally. I have also heard about some other drivers, these are top names in MERC and I suppose they will be quick - just like my fellow rivals with whom I fight in most FIA ERC rounds

 

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