The route of this year’s edition of the Lower Silesia Rally, a classic and one of the oldest rounds in the Polish championships, consisted of nine special sections with total length of over 130 kilometres. The two-day competition began early in the morning on Friday with a test section, organised on an asphalt part of the “Arena” of Duszniki. Representatives of Auto Partner Rally Team, Dominykas Butvilas and Renatas Vaitkevičius, obtained the best time there. They were better than their most dangerous rivals by almost 2 seconds and in good moods they started the proper competition. On the first section of the stage, in a looped test leading through narrow paths of a biathlon course, they got the 2nd place, intending to attack in the next 22-kilometre “Jaworek” which was the longest in the rally. The plan was successfully carried out and Dominykas with Renatas won their first section in the PRCh, becoming the leaders of the Lower Silesia Rally. During an afternoon service settings were adjusted to improve feeling of the car which was already very good. Unfortunately, during another drive through “Duszniki Arena” special section which was opening the second loop the team made a mistake, and a torn off wheel prevented them from continuing the fight on Friday. In the result of intensive work of mechanics, Skoda Fabia R5 was made fully operational again and the team of Auto Partner Rally Team was ready at the start of the Saturday part of the competition. Dominykas and Renatas finished all four special sections in the first fifth, but after the incident during the Friday stage they finished the 51st Lower Silesia Rally without points.
Dominykas Butvilas: The Lower Silesia Rally was a rally of extreme emotions to us. It began very positively with a won test section which reassured me that preparations were successful. This belief was confirmed by the Friday loop. On “Duszniki Arena” section we got the second place, focusing more on the next section which was a classic and demanding trial with length of over 22 kilometres. I was not fully satisfied with my driving, yet we won this section and took the lead in the whole rally. We need to remember that it took place during the first season of Auto Partner Rally Team in a R5 car. Regrettably, in the section opening the second loop I made a mistake and we tore off a wheel. I was very disappointed as I felt we could obtain a high place in this rally. Of course, we decided not to give up and we returned during the Saturday part of the competition, and I hope the travelled kilometres will bear fruit during the start in Kotlina Kłodzka in 2018. Following a mandatory withdrawal on Friday, I met many Polish fans who were saddened by the fact that we dropped out, but at the same time they appreciated times achieved by us. I absolutely do not feel depressed despite the fact we are again leaving a round of the PRCh without points. We are the least experienced among all leading teams, yet our fight with them and achieved times show that we are going in the right direction.