Great Amber, Liepāja, 20h00, Friday 16 September 2016
Ralfs Sirmacis, Sports Racing Technologies ŠKODA Fabia R5
Frank Tore Larsen, Ford Fiesta R5
Chris Ingram, Opel Rallye Junior Team Adam R2
Mārtiņš Sesks, LMT Autosporta Akadēmija Peugeot 208 R2
How are you feeling at this moment, leading the ERC Junior standings into the deciding round?
I’m feeling really excited. I’m not that nervous because it’s awesome to be here and it’s going to a great rally; I much prefer it here when it’s warmer. The stages look great and it should be good. There’s a lot of fast local guys and as long as my team-mate doesn’t win then I’ll be the champion, so hopefully I’ll win or one of the young locals will win, so bring it on.
You’ve been here before in winter, but does that give you any advantage or is this totally different?
The style of the stages is the same but obviously it looks totally different. I’m pretty confident. I’ve made some good pace notes, the team have done a great job so I’m really looking forward to it.
You are a truly local driver, so how does it feel to make your ERC debut here in your home city?
It’s a big opportunity, but it’s also a big challenge to make my debut in the ERC here at home.
You have been a part of the ERC Junior Experience this year. How useful has that been as you prepare for your ERC debut?
It means I’ve done my homework! I’ve been able to watching these guys all season long, so we’ll see how it goes.
We know that as a Norwegian you would have loved to have been able to drive these stages on snow, but you must still be very excited to be back in the ERC here?
Yes, it’s my first time here in Latvia and only the second time in the ERC so I’m quite excited for the weekend. Probably if it was in the winter on snow we would feel a bit more like home but I’m really excited. I would like to fight for a podium – the roads are a bit different to what I’m used to but I really like them, I think they’re fast but technical so we’ll have to see what we’re able to do.
On your last ERC start in the Azores you showed good pace, but you had quite a costly mistake early in the rally. What’s your strategy this time, and what do you think you can achieve?
I think the main thing is just to finish all the stages, if we get a good feeling with the car and the roads and the setup, hopefully we can be fast and we’ll see. I think Sirmacis, Lukyanuk and Kajto will be very fast but maybe we can fight for a top-five spot at least.
It’s been an incredible season for you with two wins already. You’re obviously aiming for a third victory here. Do you feel any more pressure than usual?
I don’t see any reason why I can’t win here!
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