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Press release

1 MAY 2018

FIA ERC JUNIOR UNDER 27 CHAMPIONSHIP PRE-EVENT QUOTES

Round 2 of 6: Rally Islas Canarias, 3-5 May

ROBERTO BLACH NUÑEZ (ESP)
Co-driver:
José Murado González (ESP) Team: Escuderia Coruña Car: PEUGEOT 208 R2

“Last year I was on the podium on this rally in my class in an R3 car so this year I hope we can fight with the top drivers in ERC Junior, and hopefully get another podium. This is my third time doing Rally Islas Canarias, and I think it’s incredible because the stages are very fast and are very high in grip, and this makes it one of my favourite rallies to compete on. I would like to do more ERC rounds this year but I don’t know because I am also doing the PEUGEOT Trophy in Spain so I might not be able to do many more events with our budget. But if I can do more ERC rallies I will certainly try and do them.”

DOMINIK BROŽ (CZE)
Co-driver:
Petr Těšínský (CZE) Team: ACCR Czech Team Car: PEUGEOT 208 R2

“We are looking forward to Rally Islas Canarias. I did the event for the first time last year and despite knowing similar roads in the Czech Republic, the stages aren’t all that familiar to me. However, together with Petr, my co-driver, we will fight for the best result we can after missing the podium by one spot in the Azores. Our last event on Tarmac was Rally di Roma Capitale last September, so we hope we will be able to get onto the pace quickly.”

DIOGO GAGO (PRT)
Co-driver:
Miguel Ramalho (PRT) Team: M Coutinho Car: PEUGEOT 208 R2

“The win in Azores was fantastic, and it helped me compete on Rally Islas Canarias as some family sponsors have stepped up and are supporting us for the rally. I don’t know if I’ll be able to do the rest of the season because of the budget. My main programme is the PEUGEOT 208 Cup here in Portugal and Spain but if the Canarias rally goes well maybe I’ll do another event to keep myself in championship contention. I have never competed in Canarias before so it will be a learning experience, but I am going to try and work on my pacenotes before the Monday test so I can be as prepared as possible. I will need to work hard to find a rhythm as I am more confident on gravel, but I like Tarmac even though it requires a very different driving style where the set-up of the car is even more important. I want to drive for the victory but I don’t know if it’ll be possible. Some people have told me the stages have a lot of grip so if I find a good set-up in the Monday test and do a lot of kilometres I will be able to see if I will be fast.”

MIIKA HOKKANEN (FIN)
Co-driver:
Jukka Pasenius (FIN) Team: Saintéloc Junior Team Car: PEUGEOT 208 R2

“Rally Islas Canarias will be the first Tarmac rally of my career, so it will be a very interesting event for me and also a big challenge. I’m also there with a new team, joining Saintéloc Junior Team which I am very excited about and proud to be a part of. This will make the rally very different to the Azores, but it will be nice to drive on Tarmac. I will test the Monday before the rally, but I have no idea what to expect because the surface is new to me. But after the disaster of the Azores, I hope we will go better in Spain.”

TOM KRISTENSSON (SWE)
Co-driver:
Henrik Appelskog (SWE) Team: ADAC Opel Rallye Junior Team Car: Opel ADAM R2

“After our disappointing season opener in the Azores we quickly cleared our mind to focus on improving for the rest of the season. As preparation for Rally Islas Canarias I contested a Tarmac rally back home in Sweden. I quickly got a great feeling with the Opel ADAM R2 so I think we are fully prepared for the thrilling asphalt stages of Gran Canaria. I hope to find a good rhythm with a successful pre-event test and be able to attack from the first stage which will be crucial to clinch a good result. I really feel it is my turn this time.”

EFRÉN LLARENA (ESP)
Co-driver:
Sara Fernández (ESP) Team: Rally Team Spain Car: PEUGEOT 208 R2

“I am looking forward to Rally Islas Canarias after such a strong showing on the Azores. We have already done an intense day of testing where we worked very hard to find the perfect set-up. I may be from Spain, but this rally is definitely not a home rally for me. My home is 2400 kilometres away and I have never competed here before. However, I really enjoying rallying on tarmac. I’ve won a lot of rallies on this surface throughout my career, and I reckon I’m a bit quicker on asphalt than I am on gravel. We entered this championship to win it, so we are going to push hard on the next three Tarmac events, and after that, we will see where we are in the standings before the final two gravel rallies.”

CATIE MUNNINGS (GBR)
Co-driver:
Anne Katharina Stein (DEU) Team: Saintéloc Junior Team Car: PEUGEOT 208 R2

“Azores was a very difficult event. Unless you’ve done it three or four times and you’ve done the stages back-to-back, it’s really difficult to have the intelligence to know where you can push, but it was a great place to learn as it’s one of the hardest gravel events in the world. I did Rally Islas Canarias last year and it was my favourite ERC event. I enjoy everything about it: the country, the roads, the weather and the Tarmac really suits me and my style. It’s very predictable, the grip doesn’t change that much even in the rain so it’s probably a bit more like racing than rallying but I think this year it’s going to be different I’m watching some onboards and the stages are looking a bit more broken which could make it more complicated when it comes to the set-up of the car. However, on those slightly rougher Tarmac section I feel I may be better so I could use this to my advantage. I want to be faster than I was last year but should be in a better place as I have a test this year and didn’t last year.”

MĀRTIŅŠ SESKS (LVA)
Co-driver: Renārs Francis
 (SWE) Team: ADAC Opel Rallye Junior Team Car: Opel ADAM R2

“I really can’t wait for my first Tarmac rally. My first asphalt test last weekend was an awesome experience, it’s really fun to drive on Tarmac with that incredible grip. I really couldn’t believe how late you can brake and the enormous speed you can carry through the corners. My main goal for the rally is to be consistent all week as I know a lot of the competition are very strong on Tarmac. For sure it will be harder for us to achieve a podium here than it was in the Azores, but I hope to be having as much fun as I did on my first rally in the ADAC Opel Rallye Junior Team ADAM R2.”

ROLAND STENGG (AUT)
Co-driver: Claudia Dorfbauer (AUT) Team: Stengg Motorsport Car: Opel ADAM R2


“I am very excited to be joining the ERC, from a learning standpoint it’s the best series a junior can drive. It has the biggest competition, amazing rallies and very good coverage both online and on TV. I want to gain as much experience as possible and my main goal should be to score points and learn about the difficult rallies. I want to have two good years in the ERC. My father and great grandfather have rallied and they give me lots of advice. My father gives me tips on driving skills and set-up while everyone else tries to help me with the mental side of things. I am very glad for their advice as there is always something to learn from their vast amount of experience.”

MATTIA VITA (ITA)
Co-driver:
Pietro Ometto (ITA) Team: G-Force Marketing Solutions Car: PEUGEOT 208 R2

“I really enjoyed the Azores. I was quite scared before the start as I had little gravel experience but the stages were beautiful and apart from a small technical problem Pietro and I did a great race with an incredible time in the last stage. I feel much more comfortable on Tarmac as I have more experience competing on it but I’ve never done Rally Islas Canarias before. I’ve been told the asphalt there is high in grip which should make for good cornering speeds but it’ll be difficult to manage the tyres. Due to our budget, I unluckily have no plans to test. Although I’ve not done a Tarmac rally in a year I’ve spend almost 10 in the past racing on it so I should be able to find a good pace quickly.”

SIMON WAGNER (AUT)
Co-driver:
Gerald Winter (AUT) Team: Saintéloc Junior Team Car: PEUGEOT 208 R2

“I am looking forward to another exciting weekend as Rally Islas Canarias is another rally we have never done before. It’s the first Tarmac event of the year in the ERC so I’m curious to find out who will be on the pace and the ones to beat on Tarmac. We had a great test in Spain where we tried some different things on the car, to be honest we can’t wait to be back in the cockpit. For sure our target is once again to finish the rally, to learn as much as possible and try to fight for the podium places.”

ENDS

Photos

Dominik Broz-jpg
Dominik Broz-jpg

Efren Llarena-jpg
Efren Llarena-jpg

Simon Wagner and Diogo Gago-jpg
Simon Wagner and Diogo Gago-jpg

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