Driver roars to record breaking success in Warsaw rally race

A highlight of the season, the St Barbara's race brings the thrills of rally racing to Warsaw. Leszek Szymański/PAP

Streets in Warsaw echoed to sound of thousands of untethered horsepower over the weekend as rally cars took part in the annual St. Barbara’s Day rally.

The rally, held in three stages, is one of the highlights of the Polish rally season, and is famed for its crowd-pulling twisting last leg, held on Karowa Street, in the capital’s Powiśle district. It is also regarded as chance for the drivers and their teams to thank their supporters.

This year rally, the 56th, was won by Kajetan Kajetanowicz and his partner Maciej Szczepański, who won each of the three stages held, with a fourth being cancelled owing to an accident that resulted in one member of the public being taken to hospital with minor injuries after a car struck a safety barrier.

Kajetan Kajetanowicz and his partner Maciej Szczepański celebrate their victory.Leszek Szymański/PAP

It is the sixth time in a row that Kajetanowicz, who is also a three-time European rally champion, has triumphed at the rally, an achievement that brought him level with Tomasz Kuchar in terms of the number of wins, and marked him out as one of the greats of the event.

 “I’m feeling fantastic because it was a great challenge,” he said after the rally. “I am very happy being here and winning for the sixth consecutive time, nobody has ever done something like this. In spite of the temperature being very low, the competition was watched by crowds of fans, for that I thank them.” 

It was the Kajetanowicz's sixth victory in a row at the rally.   Leszek Szymański/PAP

The pair beat the Skoda Fabia R5 driven by Miko Marczyk and Szymon Gospodarczyka by the narrow margin of 4.18 seconds. Third place went to Łuaksz Byśinkiniewicz, driving a Hyundai i20 R5.

The rally started early in the morning with a stage at the Bemowo Autodron before moving on to the Tor Modlin.