FIA ERC Junior Championship: Driver quotes (pre-event)
Azores Airlines Rallye, Round 2 of 6, 2-4 June
Dominik Brož (CZE) Born: 10 May 1996 Car: Ford Fiesta R2 Co-driver: Petr Těšínský (CZE)
"I am really looking forward to the event. I have seen pictures and videos from previous events and Azorean nature looks fantastic. During the time after Ireland we have completely checked our Ford Fiesta R2 and rebuilt it into gravel suspension. It will be my first gravel rally in my life, until now I have experience with gravel on some short parts of stages in Czech championship with tarmac tyres. So our target for Azores is very simple and same like in Ireland - to gain new experience and do all stages until the finish."
Marco Cid (POR) Born: 11 April 1990 Car: Peugeot 208 R2 Co-driver: Nuno Rodrigues da Silva (POR)
“I have participated in the Azores Rallye in the past two years. It is a rally with beautiful landscape, a high rhythm in places and some treacherous sections. The uncertain weather on the island always make it a lottery with the tyres, and if it rains the stages become very slippery. I expect a better result in the Azores because I already know the stages. I’ve already tested the 208 on gravel and it was positive.”
Diego Gago (POR) Born: 7 August 1991 Car: Peugeot 208 R2 Co-driver: Hugo Magalhães (POR)
“In line with what we did last year, we want to fight for first among the competitors in ERC Junior. We know it's an ambitious goal, because the pace of the frontrunners is very high. We are aware of the difficulties, but we will try to be in this fight. I can’t fail to mention that public support in last year's edition was key to the great rally we did. We look forward again to this fantastic support and being able to return with a good result.”
Marijan Griebel (DEU) Born: 18 May 1989 Car: Opel Adam R2 Co-driver: Stefan Kopczyk (DEU)
"The beautiful Azores offer the best scenery for a rally that I have experienced to date. We were there in 2015 already fast on the roads and I feel well prepared after extensive gravel tests recently in Austria. After renewing our back luck in Ireland there is only one motto that’s true for us: full throttle!"
Nikolay Gryazin (LVA) Born: 7 October 1997 Car: Peugeot 208 R2 Co-driver: Yaroslav Federov (RUS)
"I’m here in the Azores for the very first time, so we arrived in advance to get used to the local conditions. We’ve learned this rally only by onboards and quotes: the roads are really awesome and different, and the main trouble is the totally unpredictable weather. The second question is famous fog: it can cover some stages, and it’s really hard to be fast in these conditions. My plan is to be fast and careful. An advantage is on the side of drivers who drive here even once. Our team did a great job to prepare for this faraway rally. I want to fight for points and gain a new experience."
Chris Ingram (GBR) Born: 7 July 1994 Car: Opel Adam R2 Co-driver: Katrin Becker (GER)
“I travel to the Azores with confidence. I gained valuable additional kilometres in the Opel Adam R2 with gravel testing in Austria and our appearance at the Sachsen Rally. The Azores are a special place, because last year I was able to win the FIA ERC Junior round there and already in 2014 I stood on the second step of the podium. I hope manage to share with Opel a top result in this magnificent gravel event”
Łukasz Pieniążek (POL) Born: 19 September 1990 Car: Opel Adam R2 Co-driver: Przemysław Mazur (GER)
“During the Azores Rallye we’re defending our leading position in ERC Junior. It won’t be an easy task but we’ll do our best. First of all, we want to test our tempo on gravel road in regard to our competitors. Despite the fact it’s my second visit to the Azores, I’m also aware other drivers have more experience. We’ll keep our tempo and we’ll try to surprise everyone again. I’m also happy I’ll have a chance again to race in Portugal, where rallies have an amazing atmosphere.”
Steve Røkland (NOR) Born: 14 June 1992 Car: Ford Fiesta R2T Co-driver: Patrik Barth (SWE)
“We are really feeling ready for the Azores Rallye. Unfortunately have I only done 4,5KM in the car, due bad weather on the test on Monday. But we will do our best and hopefully show the potential of the Ford Fiesta R2T from M-Sport. I am really happy that M-Sport believes in us for a good result here in Azores. The car feels fantastic to drive and I am glad to be back at M-Sport.”
Julius Tannert (DEU) Born: 12 May 1990 Car: Opel Adam R2 Co-driver: Jennifer Thielen (LUX)
“Having been a spectator last year, we’re now thrilled to be able to take these fantastic stages with ourselves behind the wheel. At the same time, it's my first ERC start on gravel. We want to compare well to the strong competition bring back a good result. Certainly this rally forms a highlight in the calendar with the unique tests and the special landscape.”
Joonas Tokee (FIN) Born: 17 September 1994 Car: Peugeot 208 R2 Co-driver: Jani Salo (FIN)
“This is my debut in ERC Junior, so I'm very excited. It is awesome that we have possibility to take part in this championship. I think that we will enjoy every second. I have also a lot to learn, but I will do my best in every event. I don't know a lot of about the Azores Rallye, but my co-driver has given me some information, because he was here in 2014. I have heard that roads are very challenging and it is quite easy to make mistakes. Also, the road surface is very different to my home country. I have also heard how fantastic the atmosphere is. Of course I want to show my strengths, and try to fight for a podium. If everything goes as we have planned, I think it could be possible!”
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