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FIA ERC Junior championship pre-event quotes, Barum Czech Rally Zlín: round 6 of 6

Mattias Adielsson (SWE) Born: 11 May 1991 Car: Peugeot 208 R2 Co-driver: Christoffer Bäck (SWE)

“It has been a busy period after Estonia. The damage to the car was too much to repair, so we ordered a new bodyshell. We have been working days and nights to get it ready to start in Czech and now everything seems to be all right. So I’m really looking forward for the rally. We will do the rally for experience, as we have done all year in different ways, and for us the result is not so important. We need to have a smooth run without big problems and make progress for our own good and then we will see what the stage times are like. It will be very good fun to do a rally in the Czech Republic; I have seen a lot of videos on YouTube from the rally and it looks like they have a lot of challenging stages and the passion for rallying seems to be awesome!”

Emil Bergkvist (SWE) Born: 17 June 1994 Car: Opel Adam R2 Co-driver: Joakim Sjöberg (SWE)

“Travelling to the Czech Republic knowing that we have already won the FIA ERC Junior title is a fantastic feeling. It will be great to be able to compete in the famous Barum Rally without any pressure in terms of scoring points. Just to avoid any confusion – for us the Barum Rally will be just the opposite of a joyride! Once again, we are aiming for the best possible result and we want to support our team-mates Marijan and Stefan in their fight for the runners-up title. This will require a perfect job by everyone – just as always in ERC Juniors!”

Diogo Gago (PRT) Born: 7 August 1991 Car: Peugeot 208 R2 Co-driver: Jorge Carvahlo (PRT)

“We’ve tried to know how the stages are, watching videos and trying to get as much information as possible. We know that the stages are quite demanding, but that’s the life of being a rookie! We also know that the Czechs are very passionate about the sport and that they create a great atmosphere for the rally, so we as competitors have the obligation to give them a good show! We want to achieve a good result, so we have to be very quick all the time and avoid mistakes. That’s what we need to do. We really want to achieve a good result, and a good result would be a podium, but it will be a very hard task. It’s another new rally for us, we know it’s always hard to be the rookie, but we will try our best.”

Marijan Griebel (DEU) Born: 18 May 1989 Car: Opel Adam R2 Co-driver: Stefan Clemens (DEU)

“Being able to fight for the vice European title at Zlín shows that we have had a very good season so far and can rely on a strong package also in the final round. I finished second in the Barum Rally last year as I did in the two Tarmac rounds of the FIA ERC Junior 2015 so far. So we know we can fight for a win if we do a perfect job. Once again I expect an extremely tough rally. Chris Ingram will probably be the hardest opponent for the vice title. He will be strong as always. And for sure my team-mate Emil is the toughest competitor you can imagine.”

Chris Ingram (GBR) Born: 7 July 1994 Car: Peugeot 208 R2 Co-driver: Gabin Moreau (FRA)

“It would be brilliant to finish runner-up in the ERC Junior championship – that’s the aim for the Barum Rally and we will be pushing hard for that. I finished the rally last year, so I have a good feel for the roads and know my way around. The event is a real challenge, and I like it a lot. The roads are more like you find in Britain, with quite fast, flowing, narrow and bumpy stages. In terms of road surface it’s a lot closer to home than rallies in France, Belgium or Spain. The Czech rally marks one-year since I’ve been a Peugeot UK driver. I can’t believe it’s only been 12 months since this new partnership began, because we have done so much together inside and outside the ERC and it is an awesome experience. To celebrate our first anniversary together, I hope to drive a clean rally, get a top result and finish the championship on a high!”

Kristóf Klausz (HUN) Born: 1 June 1996 Car: Peugeot 208 R2 Co-driver Balázs Kecskeméti (HUN)

“This will be our third Barum Rally. The first was in 2013 when I drove a Suzuki Ignis Super 1600. It was not so lucky for us, because I crashed on the Semetín stage. Last year we were much more prepared and we had a good pace, reaching third place in category on several stages. Unfortunately we couldn't reach the finish because a driveshaft broke on the last stage. This year we will compete with our own Peugeot 208 R2. We hope it will be better than in Ireland and we try to find a better set-up. I think we can be competitive and we want to achieve good stage and rally results. The Barum Rally is the rally that is the best known by our team, and it is the closest ERC round to our home. I really like the narrow, bumpy Tarmac stages.”

Łukasz Pieniążek (POL) Born: 19 September 1990 Car: Peugeot 208 R2 Co-driver: Jakub Gerber (POL)

“I am very pleased that once again I will be able to take part in the European Rally Championship. Barum Rally will be for me a special event, because a lot of Polish fans will come to the Czech Republic, before whom I want to show my best performance. I look forward to a successful show and finish in a good position.”

Steve Røkland (NOR) Born: 14 June 1992 Car: Peugeot 208 R2 Co-driver: James Aldridge (GBR)

“We will, for the first time this year, have a pre-event test before the Barum Rally, which I hope can help us from the start of the rally. Tarmac is not my favourite surface, but we will do our best. My goal for the rally is to secure a podium in ERC Juniors, and I know it will be hard as there are many good Tarmac drivers just behind us in the championship.”

Ralfs Sirmacis (LVA) Born: 29 May 1994 Car: Peugeot 208 R2 Co-driver: Artūrs Šimins (LVA)

“We are feeling confident about the Barum Rally, even though it is Tarmac. We have had some tests with the greatest of Tarmac speedway drivers, our team boss and coach Girts Kruzmanis. It has been a difficult year for me and my new co-driver Artūrs Šimins, but we struggled throughout this year to become a wonderful team, had a lifetime of experiences and now we are looking forward to the Barum Rally and defending our second place in the ERC Junior Championship. We would like to thank everybody involved, the series organisers, family, sponsors and our Sports Racing Technologies team! We think the Barum Rally will be one of the best Tarmac rallies in the 2015 FIA ERC.”

Julius Tannert (DEU) Born: 12 May 1990 Car: Opel Adam R2 Co-driver: Jennifer Thielen (LUX)

“Like the rallies before, it will be my first time at the Barum Rally. We want to learn the stages and make some more experience with the Opel Adam R2. After our podium in Ypres, it would be great to fight again for a great result. Jennifer and I are really looking forward to it, even if we are having a tight schedule with our ADAC Opel Rallye Cup championship in Germany.”

Florin Tincescu (ROU) Born: 8 April 1993 Car: Peugeot 208 R2 Co-driver: Sergiu Itu (ROU)

“Barum Rally will be the last round in the ERC Juniors and I want to finish with a good result. We didn’t have the best season so far in the European Rally Championship, and we will do everything we can to finish this campaign on a high note. The Czech round is not an easy one, with a lot of very good local drivers amongst the regular drivers, so it will be tough for sure, but we will approach everything step by step and I’m sure it can’t end wrongly.”

Joachim Wagemans (BEL) Born: 12 September 1994 Car: Peugeot 208 R2 Co-driver: Andy Debaeremaeker (BEL)

“This will be our first participation at the Barum Rally. After our outing in Ypres, we are looking forward to competing again with the other pilots in the ERC. We will compete with the same car, team and co-pilot, but this time without any knowledge of the stages. This means that we will have to focus on gaining experience and finish the event. We are hoping to come back next year and compete for a podium position. I think it will be a fast rally, which suits us just fine. I hope we will not have any serious problems with the car, since the stages are generally long which means a lot could go wrong!”

Aleks Zawada (POL) Born: 31 March 1992 Car: Peugeot 208 R2 Co-driver: Cathy Derousseaux (POL)

“Unfortunately Barum Czech Rally Zlín will be the last round of the 2015 European Junior Rally Championship – but what a rally it is! Last year we were able to win the second leg and clinch third place. This year it will definitely be a tough fight for the top spots – despite the fact that the champion has already been crowned, the runners-up spot is still to play for – and we will tackle the fight head on and do our very best to finish the season with a glass, or a bottle, of champagne!”


Barum Czech Rally Zlín_Steve Røkland.jpg
Barum Czech Rally Zlín_Steve Røkland

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