Kajetan Kajetanowicz is the 2015 FIA European Rally Champion after winning the Acropolis Rally in his Lotos Rally Team Ford Fiesta R5.

Extreme weather conditions, including a big thunderstorm and torrential rain in the Loutraki region, caused the event's final three stages to be cancelled but as 69% of the event had been completed full points were awarded. That meant Kajetanowicz grabbed his third ERC victory of the season to clinch a maiden title.

An overjoyed Kajetanowicz says it is 'a dream come true' to become the third Polish driver to claim the coveted title after fighting off Craig Breen in Greece.

"We did it, it's been an amazing day," Kajetanowicz said. "What can I say? Thanks to my team like always. To be honest it was a really hard year for us but we did it, we're European champions. It's amazing.

"It's a big, big, really big day, probably the best day in my life. I don't know - how can I say it? We did it with winning Acropolis Rally. It's also a big thing, one of the most difficult rallies in the world, not only in European championship.

"I want to say thank you to my parents, mum and dad. They believe in me every time, everywhere. I have no time for them but I want to change it because they are very important for me. They are always with me, and they are always in my heart."

His nearest challenger Breen needed to win the rally and hope Kajetanowicz finished third or lower to keep the title battle going to the season finale in Switzerland, but starting the final day in third place, 14.7 seconds behind leader Lambros Athanassoulas, it was always going to be an uphill battle.

In incredibly muddy and foggy conditions, the Irishman drove brilliantly to set fastest times on SS4 and SS5 to carve out a lead by 33.7s. But luck wasn't on his side as his bonnet flew open during SS6, blocking view and ultimately dropping down to second place behind the champion-elect.

Athanassoulas achieved his target of scoring an ERC podium finish on his first gravel rally for four years and first time out in a Fabia R5 with just 15.3s separating the rostrum trio.

The FIA European Rally Championship continues this month in the mountain of Switzerland close to Lake Geneva, with Rallye International du Valais running from 30th October to 1st November.

Top 10 positions (after 6 stages, 126.23 kilometres)

1. Kajetan Kajetanowicz (POL)/Jarek Baran (POL) Ford Fiesta R5 1h32m11.1s2. Craig Breen (IRL)/Scott Martin (GBR) Peugeot 208 T16 +10.0s3. Lambros Athanassoulas (GRE)/Nikolaos Zakcheos (GRE) ?KODA Fabia R5 +15.3s4. Jarom?r Tarabus (CZE)/Daniel Trunk?t (CZE) ?KODA Fabia S2000 +3m12.5s5. D?vid Botka (HUN)/P?ter Mihalik (HUN) Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX +3m54.5s6. Raul Jeets (EST)/Andrus Toom (EST) Ford Fiesta R5 +4m30.9s7. Dominykas Butvilas (LIT)/Kamil Heller (POL) Subaru Impreza WRX STI +4m40.6s8. Anton?n Tlus??k (CZE)/Ladislav Ku?era (CZE) ?KODA Fabia S2000 +8m48.2s9. Petros Panteli (CYP)/Constantinos Constantinou (CYP) Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X +11m44.0s10. Jourdan Serderides (BEL)/Frederic Miclotte (BEL) Citro?n DS3 R5 +11m45.8s

FIA ERC2: D?vid Botka (HUN)/P?ter Szeles (HUN) Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IXColin McRae ERC Flat Out Trophy: Craig Breen (IRL)

 

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