The Barbórka Rally, that is the traditional crowning of a season in motorsports, attracted a whole array of the best Polish drivers, headed by the current champion of Europe, Kajetan Kajetanowicz, or the champion of Poland, Filip Nivette. During this year’s edition organisers planned five special sections. Competitors three times faced the trial in Bemowo and two times drove through the Modlin Track. The culmination of the day was, not counted towards the classification of the entire rally, the section at Karowa Street. Dominykas Butvilas and Renatas Vaitkevičius had as many as 40 rivals in R1 class, i.e. cars with double-axle drive. The representatives of Auto Partner Rally Team began the competition with a gentle pace, and in the first two special sections they got the 8th and 10th place in their Skoda Fabia R5. During the second loop the Lithuanian team clearly sped up which resulted in two fifth times, and climbing the podium in the last drive through “Bemowo” sealed good performance and the 6th place in the final classification of the Barbórka Rally. When the night fell, the eyes of all rally Poland were directed to Karowa Street. This over two-kilometre section is regarded as cult, and the fight for victory on it has always been fierce. In the lights of TV cameras and flashes Dominykas with Renatas shown fluid and almost error-free driving, achieving an excellent, second time. In the struggle decided by fractions of seconds, the Lithuanian duet yielded only to the three-time champions of Europe ‒ Kajetan Kajetanowicz and Jarosław Baran who competed in the newest Ford Fiesta WRC 2017.
Dominykas Butvilas: Barbórka is almost always accompanied by unpredicted and treacherous weather conditions. The same was in this year. Thursday’s snowfall slightly thwarted our plans related to tests which was a bit troublesome in view of a two-week break in racing. On Friday the snow began to melt so we could focus on driving through water and dirt, and all other surprises usually offered by Barbórka. We began the rally placidly, making progress with each kilometre. In the last drive through Bemowo we got the 3rd place and we felt well-prepared to the legendary “Karowa”. The atmosphere in this most famous Polish section was splendid as usual, although traditionally one could feel tension. All fastest drivers were there and each of them had the same goal ‒ to achieve the best time. We tried to approach it as calmly as possible, focusing on pure and precise driving. The reached time shows that it was worth it. At first it was hard for me to believe that we won against nearly all Polish top drivers, giving in by several seconds only to Kajetan and Jarek in the newest “WRC”. It is a great achievement for the whole Auto Partner Rally Team and a perfect final accent on the entire season, especially that we accomplished it in front of fans who came to Karowa in crowds. I already finished third and second in Karowa, hence, I must return in the next year to fight for victory!