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30 January 2015

FIA ERC Junior Championship: Driver quotes (pre-event)

Rally Liepāja, Round 1 of 6, 6-8 February 2015


Mattias Adielsson (Sweden) Born: 11 May 1991 Car: Peugeot 208 R2 Co-driver: Christoffer Bäck (Sweden) “My friend Mattias Olsson, who did ERC Junior in 2014, suggested I did the recce for Valais last year, just to see how everything works in the ERC. I had a very good talk with Jean-Baptiste Ley [ERC Co- ordinator], I was very impressed with everything I saw and I thought the ERC would be a great junior programme. We hope to do all six rounds of the ERC Juniors, starting with Rally Liepāja. I hope to score a podium in Latvia, although I always try to win.”

Jon Armstrong (United Kingdom) Born: 11 December 1994 Car: Peugeot 208 R2 Co-driver: Noel O’Sullivan (Ireland) “I think ERC Junior is the best championship for young drivers to prove themselves. If I can get a podium in Latvia it would be a great start to my season. This will be a big task, as I haven't any experience on snow at all and I know some of the other drivers have a lot of experience on this surface. If me and Noel make good notes and find the right rhythm, I know we could have a good pace on the fast flowing roads. My main aim is to get as many points in round one and see what we can do on the Circuit of Ireland.”

Emil Bergkvist (Sweden) Born: 17 June 1994 Car: Opel Adam R2 Co-driver: Joakim Sjöberg (Sweden) “I have learned a lot in last year’s ADAC Opel Rallye Cup, especially concerning my driving on Tarmac. I am convinced I will be able to benefit from that in the ERC Junior Championship. I feel quite comfortable on gravel anyhow and, as a Swede, I am very much looking forward to the hopefully snowy stages at Latvia. I don’t want to raise expectations too high in my first season as a works driver, though. I am aware that I still have to learn a lot. But I see my promotion to the ADAC Opel Rallye Team as a big chance – and I am fully determined to take it.”

Gino Bux (Belgium) Born: 11 August 1990 Car: Peugeot 208 R2 Co-driver: Eric Borguet (Belgium) “For sure, the RACB National Team has changed my life because I cannot imagine one day that I’ll have this unique opportunity to represent my country in the ERC. For this second year, the challenge is still hard and big, but I’m really motivated to do my best, improve again and reach the victory. We proved last year that, without any experience of rallying, we are able to fight against the best ERC Junior drivers. This is a great starting point for 2015, and we keep the victory as a target in our mind for 2015.”

Wojciech Chuchala (Poland) Born: 19 February 1989 Car: Peugeot 208 R2 Co-driver: Sebastian Rozwadowski (Poland) “My aim for the ERC Junior is to show our potential on new rallies abroad. We have been competing in the Polish championship since 2011, and now it’s time for change. We want also to make the ERC Junior attractive for our sponsors, as it is very important for me to show the potential of our PR. Eurosport Events will help with that for sure. Our team will fight on the stages and be competitive, this I am sure. We will go forward a lot in 2015.”

Guillaume de Mevius (Belgium) Born: 4 August 1994 Car: Peugeot 208 R2 Co-driver: Geoffrey Brion (Belgium) “For me, this year in ERC Juniors is a very big opportunity to see at which level I am at on a big event like Rally Liepāja and also to compared my skills with the other drivers. I don’t have clear objectives for this event. I really don’t know if I will be competitive compared to the others, but I will do my best to do it. The most important thing for me is to learn on a big event like this. I have never driven on snow before and only one time on dirt, so I don’t know what to expect – but I can’t wait to be there!”

Diogo Gago (Portugal) Born: 7 August 1991 Car: Peugeot 208 R2 Co-driver: Jorge Carvahlo (Portugal) “It will be a difficult year for us, with several new rallies to run, but we are working really hard to prepare the whole season. We are in a great team, Santéloc, which has a lot of experience with the Peugeot 208 R2 and also a good knowledge on the rallies. To be the first Portuguese driver in the ERC Junior Championship is an honour and I’m 100 per cent focused on bringing the Portuguese flag to the top in all the rallies – even if we have a strong list of competitors, most of them with lots of experience on ice and snow; something that we don’t get in our warm Portugal!”

Marijan Griebel (Germany) Born: 18 May 1989 Car: Opel Adam R2 Co-driver: Stefan Clemens (Germany) “Despite the early season opening date we feel well prepared for the second season of the ADAC Opel Rallye Junior Team. During last year we proved to be fully competitive with our Opel Adam R2 even against the strong opponents in ERC Junior, providing we fully use our potential. During the past couple of months we have developed and improved both the Adam R2 and the whole team. Therefore I don’t see a reason why we shouldn’t target podium positions for the upcoming season.”

Vasily Gryazin (Russia) Born: 11 November 1993 Car: Peugeot 208 R2 Co-driver: Dmitry Lebedik (Russia) “My target this year is to win the ERC Junior Championship and get the prize. My plan then is to participate in the ERC in 2016 with an R5 car. For sure this year I will do the best that I can. This year’s route is, like always in Liepāja, very nice and challenging. It’s very fast in places, technical in others, and you have to be very precise at every moment. You cannot lose your concentration for one second, or you will be off in a snowbank. There is always good snow and ice and the rally organisers are very experienced, so the event is very well run. I really like the Latvian roads and I will do my best. Let's see.”

Chris Ingram (United Kingdom) Born: 7 July 1994 Car: Peugeot 208 R2 Co-driver: Gabin Moreau (France) “Whilst it’s pretty cold where I live in Manchester [northwest England] at the moment, it’s nothing compared to the freezing temperatures of Latvia! I’ve not got a great deal of experience driving on snow, and competing against so many good locals and drivers from Scandinavia, who are used to driving with studded tyres on snow, makes Rally Liepāja one of my most challenging events. I want to start the ERC Junior season off with a good points-scoring finish, because the three rounds after this – Ireland, Azores and Ypres – are my strongest rallies.”

Łukasz Pieniążek (Poland) Born: 19 September 1990 Car: Peugeot 208 R2 Co-driver: Jakub Gerber (Poland) “The new season seems to be exciting. My debut in the European championship is a big step forward for me and the entire team. I want to dedicate this season to new experiences on the special stages. Of course, this does not mean that I'm going to drive slowly! I am aware, however, that we will have to fight against very experienced drivers on the most demanding routes. My first start will be the winter rally in Latvia, and can't wait to start the competition.”

 Rainer Rohtmets (Estonia) Born: 27 August 1992 Car: Citroën C2R2 Max Co-driver: Rauno Rohtmets (Estonia) “I am really looking forward to getting this season started. I have been participating in Latvia in some local rallies before and so far I have had pretty good results from there. Usually Latvian rallies are well organised and I'm sure Rally Liepāja will be no different. Definitely we want to fight for a podium in ERC Junior, but it will be really hard as there are so many fast drivers. There are similar fast roads to Estonia with some crests and flowing sections, so we should have enough experience of these kind of roads. Although I haven't done any winter rallies in the last two years, Rally Liepāja should be one of our strongest events in ERC Junior series. Hopefully we can make a little test during the weekend before in Estonia and if we can get some good feeling from there then we should be able to push from beginning.”

Steve Røkland (Norway) Born: 14 June 1992 Car: Peugeot 208 R2 Co-driver: James Aldridge (United Kingdom) “I am really looking forward for the first round of ERC Junior Championship. I did Rally Liepāja last year with a Fiesta R2 and was third in the Junior category, before we retired on the second stage of leg two. Hopefully we can get a great start to the championship there, as I have pretty good experience from snow rallies and I love the fast stages in Latvia.”

Ralfs Sirmacis (Latvia) Born: 29 May 1994 Car: Peugeot 208 R2 Co-driver: Artūrs Šimins (Latvia) “I’ve long wanted to race outside of Latvia. After the successful season last year, we began discussions with multiple teams, but the offer made by Ģirts Krūzmanis and his team was the best. SRT [Sports Racing Technologies] has already raced in the European championship, meaning that they have gained a lot of experience, which is extremely important at this level.”

Julius Tannert (Germany) Born: 12 May 1990 Car: Opel Adam R2 Co-driver: Jennifer Thielen (Luxembourg) “Last year we did the Opel Adam Cup in Germany, and this year we will do the same and with it also ERC Junior in an Adam R2 car – which is very different to the Cup car. The Adam R2 car for me is new, and so is the ERC, so I will have lots of new experiences. I’m looking forward to learning new stages and new rallies and I am very grateful for the support of the ADAC for enabling me to do the ERC. The gravel and snow events will be very difficult for me, because this year will be the first time for me on these surfaces. On the Tarmac events, I hope we can fight for a good position and be competitive.”

Aleks Zawada (Poland) Born: 31 March 1992 Car: Opel Adam R2 Co-driver: Cathy Derousseaux (Poland) “I am extremely happy; this is a great chance and another progressive step in my career. Last season we finished fifth in the ERC Juniors with two podiums – Cathy and I learnt a great deal - and we both know what we need to do in order to win. That is our goal for this season, there will be no ground given to our competitors. Together with Opel Motorsport we want to showcase the Adam and its performance, which is not to be underestimated!”

ENDS

  

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ERC Junior_Rally Liepaja

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