Kajetan Kajetanowicz has revealed the secret behind his capture of the FIA European Rally Championship for a record three years in a row.
Kajetanowicz, from Poland, was ERC champion for the LOTOS Rally Team behind 2015-2017.
But although he excelled on the stages, Kajetanowicz “would not have won the three European titles if he had worked on his driving technique only”, according to his team.
“G-forces and temperatures inside our car are sometimes enormous,” said Kajetanowicz. “On top of that the heart rate is quite high. Let me tell you that I lose between 4500 and 6000 calories per one rally day. I would not be able to keep my focus at required level all the time without sufficient preparations. This is why my work with personal coach is so important, in addition to normal testing sessions in the car.
Kajetanowicz relishes new challenges and he hates boring training sessions – so each one is different. Exercises with resistance bands or ladders are quite ordinary but tennis balls and trickboard do not appear in the gym very often. However, the most interesting activity involves driving simulation – blindfolded, with his co-driver’s voice in the background.
Each exercise is well-considered and aimed at improving general physical fitness and efficiency – so important in the rally car.
“Contrary to popular belief, agility in the cockpit of the rally car is extremely important,” said Kajetanowicz. “This is why we choose diverse and unusual exercises, trying to improve motor skills and reach the maximum level of human abilities required to drive the car at competition level. It is all about creating and exaggerating the real rally conditions during our training sessions.
Therefore, we perform coordination exercises which engage my core muscles, at very high heart rate and often with additional distracting elements. We simulate maintaining high levels of focus in these adverse conditions. Everything I have been doing for many, many years is supposed to make me even faster in the rally car.”