Kajetanowicz Dominates in European Rally Opener – 2015 Internationale Janner Rallye Report

This week marked the start of the 2015 European Rally Championship with the Internationale Janner Rallye, based in Austria. The entry list for this event was a mixture of national drivers and the more established international stars, with Craig Breen being seeded as the top runner for this event.

The first day saw extreme weather conditions that affected cars all the way down the field; the heavy snow meant that the aim for many was keeping the car on the road. Breen was the first into the opening stage, and the first to hit problems; he became lodged in a snowbank and consequently had to retire from the rally. He wasn’t the only one in trouble. Stephane Lefebvre spun and was forced to stop for over a minute to clear snow from the radiator, whilst Swiss star Jonathan Hirschi spun no less than three times in the same stage. Clearly, running at the front of the field didn’t necessarily mean that there would be problem-free runs.

From the start though, it was the Ford Fiesta R5 of multiple Polish rally champion Kajetan Kajetanowicz who was in complete command, quickly moving into a healthy lead. He finished the opening day nearly four minutes clear of second-placed Robert Consani after winning all ten stages. However there was a huge battle going on for second place between Consani’s Peugeot and the Skoda Fabia of Raimund Baumschlager, with just three seconds separating the pair at the end of the day. The similar car of Jaromir Tarabus ran fourth whilst Alexey Lukyanuk fought his way up from 23rd, following a misfiring engine, to fifth at the close of day one. Lefebvre survived to end the day down in 9th overall, but 6th in the ERC, since many of the national drivers were not eligible for points.

The second and final day went much the same as the opener; Kajetanowicz dominated and won every stage bar the last to finish the rally as the clear winner. The gap to second place Baumschlager in the end was six and a half minutes. Consani drove a steady final day to finish in third place on the road but second in the ERC, due to Baumschlager’s ineligibility. That meant taking home the final podium place for ERC cars would be Lukyanuk, who also won the Colin McRae Flat Out Trophy following his endeavours to climb up the order following his earlier misfortunes. He also won the final place to prevent Kajetanowicz from getting a clean sweep. Tarabus finished fourth whilst the top eligible local Martin Fischerlehner collected fifth in an aging Mitsubishi Lancer. Hirschi was another one to recover from first day dramas in sixth place, less than three seconds ahead of Antonin Tlusak. The only two finishing ERC2 cars came next; class winner Vojtech Stajf beating David Botka by more than 2 minutes, with the final point being taken by Jean-Michel Raoux in a Ford Fiesta R5. Lefebvre was extremely unlucky in the end when mechanical problems forced his retirement on the last stage from 5th place, whilst Craig Breen restarted on the second day to grab bonus points for finishing 5th on the day. Slawomir Ogryzek won the ERC3 category in a fine 11th overall ahead of Simone Tempestini.

Janner Rallye1

32. Internationale Janner Rallye 2015 Results (ERC)

Pos. Driver Co-Driver Car Time
1 K. Kajetanowicz J. Baran Ford Fiesta R5 2:50:52.6
2 R. Consani M. Vilmot Peugeot 207 S2000 +7:07.4
3 A. Lukyanuk Y. Chervonenko Ford Fiesta R5 +8:28.1
4 J. Tarabus D. Trunkat Skoda Fabia S2000 +8:48.8
5 M. Fischerlehner T. Unterweger Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX +22:38.6
6 J. Hirschi V. Landais Peugeot 208 T16 +27:26.9
7 A. Tlustak L. Kucera Skoda Fabia S2000 +27:29.7
8 V. Stajf F. Rajnoha Subaru Impreza STI +28:18.6
9 D. Botka P. Mihalik Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX +30:38.5
10 J-M. Raoux T. Escartefigue Ford Fiesta R5 +35:00.5

ERC Standings After Round One

Pos. Driver AUT Pts
1 K. Kajetanowicz 25 + 14 39
2 R. Consani 18 + 10 28
3 A. Lukyanuk 15+ 10 25
4 J. Tarabus 12 + 10 22
5 M. Fischerlehner 10 + 4 14
6 J. Hirschi 8 8
7 A. Tlustak 6 + 2 8
8 V. Stajf 4 4
9 C. Breen 0 + 3 3
10 D. Botka 2 2

ERC2 Standings After Round One

Pos. Driver AUT Pts
1 V. Stajf 25 + 13 38
2 D. Botka 18 + 11 29
3 K. Hideg 0 + 7 7
4 L. Kabacinski 0 + 4 4

ERC3 Standings After Round One

Pos. Driver AUT Pts
1 S. Ogryzek 25 + 14 39
2 S. Tempestini 18 + 12 30
3 K. Klausz 15 + 8 23
4 R. Pita 12 + 8 20
5 S. Varkonyi 10 + 6 16
6 G. Sikorski 8 + 3 11
7 O. Bisaha 0 + 4 4
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