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2 MAY 2017

FIA ERC JUNIOR UNDER 27 CHAMPIONSHIP PRE-EVENT QUOTES

Round 2 of 6: Rally Islas Canarias, 4-6 May

BUǦRA BANAZ (TUR) Championship position: Fifth
Co-driver:
Burak Erdener (TUR) Car: Ford Fiesta R2

“Azores was a dream come true for me: my first rally in ERC Junior and my first finish. Yes, the conditions really challenged us, but we knew this would happen when we get out of our comfort zone in Turkey. We were so far away from our home it was easy to feel lonely. But thanks to a warm welcome from the ERC family we never felt loneliness and I started to think from now on, home is where my wheels touch the ground. Canarias is another novelty for me, it is difficult to be competitive on Tarmac. We do not have a similar type of asphalt in Turkey but I am sure my team will make up for my lack of experience. I am looking forward to having another full event in Canarias. Of course, my finishing position is also important but realistically doing the full rally is the bigger priority for me this year.”

SÉBASTIEN BEDORET (BEL)
Co-driver:
Thomas Walbrecq (BEL) Car: Peugeot 208 R2

Visit media.fiaerc.com soon for Sébastien Bedoret’s pre-event quotes.

DOMINIK BROŽ (CZE) Championship position: Sixth

Co-driver: Petr Těšínský (CZE) Car: Peugeot 208 R2

“Rally Islas Canarias will be a brand-new experience for me as it was not part of ERC Junior last year. Our participation in the Azores didn’t finish so well, so we were working hard to be back in ERC Junior U27 on Rally Islas Canarias. But thanks to my family and partners we are able to start and I am really looking forward to representing ACCR Czech Team on this Tarmac event.”

MARCOS GONZÁLEZ (ESP) Championship position: N/A
Co-driver:
Raquel Ruiz (ESP) Car: Peugeot 208 R2

“Although I am from Lanzarote, for me and for other Canarian drivers Rally Islas Canarias is the home event. It’s a special race because we’re going to have a lot of fans backing us. The Canary fans are very enthusiastic. Last weekend we participated in the Rally de Tierra Isla Verde to arrive with race rhythm and well adapted to Raquel Ruiz, who will be my co-driver in Gran Canaria until Rogelio Peñate will recover from his back injury. My goal and that of the whole GC Motorsport team is to make a good rally and add our first points in ERC Junior U27 after the retirement in the Azores. I know it’s been a long time since I ran a rally on asphalt, so it will not be easy to be as fast as my rivals from the start. It will be our fourth participation in Rally Islas Canarias. In fact, I debuted in this rally in 2013 with a Renault Mégane”.

JARI HUTTUNEN (FIN) Championship position: Seventh
Co-driver:
Akki Linnaketo (FIN) Car: Opel ADAM R2

“For sure the disappointment after our retirement at the Azores was big. But it has turned into an even bigger motivation to perform well at Canary Islands again and this time also take home a good result. We have seen that we can be quick as long as we avoid any big mistakes, and the Opel ADAM R2 has proved to be extremely competitive on asphalt in the past. So, after two great days of Tarmac testing together with our team-mates we feel well prepared for the Canaries. We will focus very much on the recce and then just do what we love most to see where we end up.”

CHRIS INGRAM (GBR) Championship position: First
Co-driver:
Elliot Edmondson (GBR) Car: Opel ADAM R2

“I am very excited for the new challenge in the Canaries as I don’t know the rally. I learned a lot from a test we recently had in Germany, and grippy Tarmac is my most favourite surface anyway. I predict the ADAM R2 will be very strong as always so it will be down to us to take home a good result. Elliot and I are confident after our victory on the first round at the Azores but are working harder than ever to make sure we can keep up the momentum. We are expecting another flat-out battle for victory with our team-mates and ERC rivals on this new event.”

KAREL KUPEC (CZE) Championship position: N/A
Co-driver:
Ondřej Krajča (CZE) Car: Peugeot 208 R2

“Our start on Canarias was for a long time with a big question mark. After Azores, our car was quite damaged and we could not get the spare parts delivered in time from Peugeot Sport. Between Azores and Canarias was a very short time with the logistics, so our rally car was completed at the very last moment, only few hours before leaving for the ferry to Canarias. I have heard a lot about this event, so I am looking forward to it.”

FILIP MAREŠ (CZE) Championship position: Third
Co-driver:
Jan Hloušek (CZE) Car: Peugeot 208 R2

“I am really looking forward this island rally. I expect a difficult but beautiful race with good grip on the stages. I believe that we will be more competitive during the rally than in the Azores, because Tarmac is a surface I have more experience with. We will try to do our best and get as many points as possible in the ERC Junior U27 Championship for us and also for our ACCR Czech Team. I am also excited because it’s the first event of the ERC Junior Experience during the rally and I will be attending this.”

TAMARA MOLINARO (ITA) Championship position: Fourth
Co-driver:
Ursula Mayrhofer (AUT) Car: Opel ADAM R2

“I am very much looking forward to our next ERC Junior adventure with the Opel Rallye Junior Team in our little ADAM R2 beast. Ending up in fourth position after an eventful season opener at the Azores gave us a big blast, but also an extra motivation to work even harder as we have seen how tough the competition is in ERC Junior. We had a very productive Tarmac test near Eisenach in Germany a couple of weeks ago. It went really well and we did some pretty good stage times. The main goal will be as always to drive as quickly as possible, learn as much as possible and finish the rally.”

CATIE MUNNINGS (GBR) Championship position: N/A
Co-driver:
Anne Katharina Stein (DEU) Car: Peugeot 208 R2

“It's not going to be easy but I'm really looking forward to this rally. We've not been on asphalt since Belgium last year and we haven't been able to test before the rally. The last time we sat in the car it was upside down after our crash in the Azores. I don't feel the crash has knocked our confidence, it was just a small mistake which unfortunately ended our rally. It was a fairly light roll, the 208 is a tough little car so we thought we could continue but a tree branch had punctured the radiator so we had no engine coolant. Disappointing but these things happen. We’ve learned from it and we will come back stronger. It’s a shame we can’t test prior to the start so I’m hoping we'll be able get a good feeling in the early stages. I've watched some onboards from last year and the rally looks awesome! Our focus is to enjoy the roads and build gradually through the weekend. I’m also really looking forward to starting the 2017 ERC Junior Experience in Gran Canaria too – I learned so much during the sessions last year.”

ALEKS ZAWADA (POL) Championship position: Second
Co-driver:
Grzegorz Dachowski (POL) Car: Opel ADAM R2

“I really can’t wait for Rally Islas Canarias to start. It was the only event I did last year, and it was one of the best atmospheres I’ve ever experienced at a rally, there were so many fans. It really made a lasting impression, so I hope that I will be able to make them proud and fight for a win. It won’t be easy, with some really stiff competition, but I relish the challenge and will try and give the works Opel lads a run for their money.”

ENDS​

Photos

ERC Bugra Banaz.jpg
ERC Bugra Banaz

ERC Chris Ingram.jpg
ERC Chris Ingram

ERC Filip Mares.jpg
ERC Filip Mares

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