FIA European Rally Championship 2017: Round 6 of 8
Barum Czech Rally Zlín, 25-27 August
Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler (ŠKODA Motorsport), first position
Alexey Lukyanuk/Alexey Arnautov (Russian Performance Motorsport), second position
Roman Kresta/Petr Starý (Mogul Racing Team), third position
Turning first to Petr Starý, please can you evaluate the rally from your perspective?
We came to enjoy the rally as much as we could and that was actually the point because we managed to do it. The weather was great and the atmosphere in Zlín throughout the rally was great. We managed to finish on the podium by beating Tomáš Kosta on the final stage after a great fight.
Roman Kresta, you must be very satisfied with your podium finish after a great battle?
It was a very, very great race for us and third place is actually an awesome result. I pushed like hell on that final stage and it’s amazing. It’s crazy, I must say I’m crazy I’m too old but I pushed like hell. The car is perfect, the team was great, they prepare very well the car for this event and I am so happy for that.
Second place after a very exciting battle Alexey but how tough was the rally for you given your physical condition?
Before the start I was thinking that I am in a good physical condition and I will be able to give maximum on the stages behind the wheel. But already on the first stage in the city on Friday night I had problems braking because my foot is not strong enough to brake in a proper way. Unfortunately, it continued on the next stages and it was really hard for me not to be able to do the maximum job. I’m happy to be back in rallying and after all the troubles and issues we’ve had – I stayed in the hospital for nearly one month – to be able to do good time on the stages makes me happy.
Turning to Alexey Arnautov, what was the rally like from your point of view?
The Barum Rally is always fast, bumpy and really tricky. We were really happy to be here, not only fighting on the stages and fighting our competitors but fighting Alexey’s health as well. We showed really good pace and maybe we can do better next time. In any case it was a fantastic result and we are happy to be here and to see all the spectators on the stages.
Another year and another Barum Czech Rally Zlín win. How pleased are you?
It was a very long weekend and I didn’t sleep as well or for as long as I wanted to. I thought I wasn’t sleeping too long but Kajetan Kajetanowicz managed to beat me by sleeping for under two hours. It was a really tough race but the organisers managed to prepare the perfect rally and the spectators all around the stages were perfect. I am very happy to win this rally and maybe you will see us next year as well.
Given your success here and in the Czech championship are do you keep motivated to keep coming back and achieving these great results?
I don’t need any more motivation because it’s a really fun rally and I always enjoy this rally. For as long as I am healthy and successful I will continue doing this rally for as long as I can.
Turning to Pavel Dresler, what was the battle like with the two Alexeys?
Firstly, thank you to all the fans all around the stages. We thought it would be a really tough race and actually it was. We had a big fight with Alexey but he was betrayed by his physical condition. After that we managed to finish on the first place.