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Press release

2 APRIL 2017


Round 1 of 6: Azores Airlines Rallye, 30 March-1 April

BUǦRA BANAZ (TUR) Position: Fifth
 Burak Erdener (TUR) Car: Ford Fiesta R2

“It was a very good rally but a very tough rally, the most difficult rally I have ever made. It was very good experience for us with the fog and mud. We were competitive with the other guys before we hit the rock but after this accident we lost a lot of time and we decided to come to the finish, which was our target. We are happy to come to the finish.”

DOMINIK BROŽ (CZE) Position: Sixth
Petr Těšínský (CZE) Car: Peugeot 208 R2

“We had lots of problems with the gearbox and engine on Thursday and had a crash on Friday in the same place where Catie Munnings also crashed. We were too fast and in this ditch at very slow speed we went on the roof. The spectators got us back and we could continue because there were no big damages although the front windscreen was broken. We start on the next stage but on the last stage on Friday the co-driver from Aleks Zawada gave us some glasses [to protect our eyes] and a crew from the national championship gave us some glasses so we could put out the windscreen but in the end the scrutineers said we could not continue without the window so we had to stop between the time control and the start. It’s been really horrible for us because we had trouble with everything but it’s normal on this rally. On the second stage this morning we crashed on a rock on the left side and damaged the car and slowed down because our steering was not working good. But we repaired in the service park and continued but extremely careful because we don’t want another crash and we’re very happy to be here at the finish. We lost a lot of time but it’s okay because we finished and this is the most important thing for us.”

MARCOS GONZÁLEZ (ESP) Position: DNF (accident) 
 Rogelio Peñate (ESP) Car: Peugeot 208 R2

“We are a bit disappointed because we wanted to score points for the ERC Junior U27 category. We were in fourth position with a car with which we had not done any rally. We came too fast to a corner of the Sete Cidades stage and, in order not to roll the car, I preferred to go straight. The car crash into a wall. The worst thing is that my co-driver, Rogelio Peñate, had to be taken to the hospital with a lumbar vertebral fracture. The most important thing now is for Rogelio to get well soon. We really liked this rally and would love to be able to return next year.”

JARI HUTTUNEN (FIN) Position: DNF (mechanical) Won Colin McRae ERC Flat Out Trophy
 Akki Linnaketo (FIN) Car: Opel ADAM R2

“It was less then one kilometre before the finish when the driveshaft got broken. The speed was okay all rally so this is good and we were fast enough to almost win. We made some mistakes and well done to Chris. I hope it is better in the next rally.”

CHRIS INGRAM (GBR) Position: First
 Elliot Edmondson (GBR) Car: Opel ADAM R2

“Thanks to the team for changing the fuel pump and the fuel tank in midday service because we had a problem in the superspecial where we dropped a lot of time. We then went back out and had a gearbox problem and were dropping time quickly. That was quite frustrating but I kept pushing on although I knew I was losing time with all the gearshifts. We got to the end but Jari didn’t come through after two minutes, didn't come through after four minutes and I’m really sorry for him because we both deserved to win it because we were both within a second of each other most of the time. But it’s nice to finally have a bit of luck ourselves and win it. It’s a good start, the first rally of the season and I needed to win but we’ve had a bit of luck.”

KAREL KUPEC (CZE) Position: DNF (accident)
 Ondřej Krajča (CZE) Car: Peugeot 208 R2

“We had a problem in a fast-left over a crest. There was a bump and we arrive on the crest, drift, it was narrow and we crashed in the wall on the right side and there we finished. I drive on the fourth gear, over 100 kilometres, so high speed but there was no place to save it. It was not possible to repair the car here so we had to finish. I felt comfortable in the car, everything works, the co-driver was great, the team was great but this is rally.”

FILIP MAREŠ (CZE) Position: Third
 Jan Hloušek (CZE) Car: Peugeot 208 R2

“I’m on the podium, which is amazing after a very difficult rally for us, the most difficult race for me and only my third race on gravel. I was learning throughout the weekend and I’m really happy to be here. We went off the road in a slow, left corner this morning and there were not some spectators to help us so we lost maybe four minutes but we are here and we are happy.”

TAMARA MOLINARO (ITA) Position: Fourth
 Ursula Mayrhofer (AUT) Car: Opel ADAM R2

“It was good. I can’t say that I am not happy because it would not be the truth. Of course yesterday without my mistake hitting the rock on the inside of a corner we should finish second but I don’t care. This is how it is. We showed we are competitive and this was our goal. We take some good points for the ERC Ladies’ Trophy, which was the goal of our team and our sponsors although they also want me to go fast. But it was a good weekend.”

CATIE MUNNINGS (GBR) Position: DNF (accident)
 Anne Katharina Stein (DEU) Car: Peugeot 208 R2

“This was a disappointing weekend for us but there were some positives to take away from the rally. It's been a long time since my last rally in Latvia, September last year, but we were pleased with a strong test on Monday. The plan was for a steady start and build up confidence gradually. Thursday’s stages were okay, a couple of small mistakes cost a bit of time but we felt like we had lots more to come. But then three kilometres into the first stage on Friday we just got unlucky. I have to take responsibility for thinking I recognised a section from the onboards but it was a lot slower than I thought and the surface changed half way round it. By the time I realised the corner was not opening, it was too late and I was carrying way too much speed. A lot of cars had the same problem in the same place, but we were unlucky and rolled out of the rally. I should have listened harder to my pacenotes but it’s all part of the learning process I guess. We always try to focus on the positives so there are a few things we can take from it. I have experienced the roads for next year, and we have got closer to the top end of the Juniors again. In the four stages completed of our third ever rally we got to within three seconds per kilometre of the fastest Junior on one stage, compared with 15 seconds in Belgium and five in Latvia last year. I am learning fast and am really happy with what we can take away from this amazing rally. I love the challenge and I can’t wait to come back.”

ALEKS ZAWADA (POL) Position: Second 
 Grzegorz Dachowski (POL) Car: Peugeot 208 R2

“After Thursday when we had lost two and a half minutes I would not have believed we could have come second so it’s amazing, I am completely and utterly chuffed. It’s really sad that Jari’s [Huttunen] rally finished 200 metres before the finish but you win some, you lose some. This time I got a present and second place is a good start to the season. My next event I’ll be in the Opel and I’ll be on Tarmac, which is my preferred surface. It’s a rally that I’ve already done before and the other lads haven’t so I think I might have a slight advantage so I’ll be hoping to capitalise on that.”



ERC Catie Munnings.jpg
ERC Catie Munnings

ERC Chris Ingram.jpg
ERC Chris Ingram

ERC Filip Mares.jpg
ERC Filip Mares

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