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16 JULY 2018

FIA ERC JUNIOR UNDER 27 CHAMPIONSHIP PRE-EVENT QUOTES

​Round 3 of 6: Rally di Roma Capitale, 20-22 July
 
DOMINIK BROŽ (CZE)
Co-driver: Petr Těšínský (CZE) Team: ACCR Czech Team Car: PEUGEOT 208 R2
 
“After Rally Islas Canarias there was a big break, so we have used my home event, Rally Bohemia, at the beginning of July to be back in the racing rhythm. The event is based in Mladá Boleslav and had 160 kilometres of stages. I am really looking forward to Rome and we will try to make a good result. It is a very long and difficult rally, some of the stages are quite similar to the Czech Republic, so we will try to keep our speed from Rally Bohemia and make a good result.”
 
SINDRE FURUSETH (NOR)
Co-driver: Jim Hjerpe (SWE) Car: Opel ADAM R2
 
“I feel good before this rally. I'm confident in both myself and the Opel ADAM R2 so I feel it's now down to Jim and I to get a good result. We are in this championship to impress so I just hope we will be able to drive really fast. If we can manage that I am confident there won't be many competitors in front of us. We have been working hard to make our ERC debut for a few years now, and after showing we have speed on both gravel and Tarmac it is time for us to show what we can achieve in ERC Junior U27. My goal is to reach the very top but I don't have the budget to drive every weekend, so our main challenge is mileage. This is why my coach and I are working very hard on the finer details like pace notes to really understand this sport. I really look forward to measuring myself against the best on Rally di Roma Capitale and getting stuck into what looks like a very challenging rally."
 
DIOGO GAGO (PRT)
Co-driver: Miguel Ramalho (PRT) Team: M Coutinho Car: PEUGEOT 208 R2
 
“This will be my first time on this rally like in Canarias, but I have already seen the videos from last year and it looks like quite an interesting rally. I don’t know if the grip will be as consistent as Canarias but I like the look of the roads, some parts are fast and others are more technical. If it is indeed like Canarias then I think we can be involved in a big fight for the victory again.”
 
MIIKA HOKKANEN (FIN)
Co-driver: Reeta Hamalainen (FIN) Team: Saintéloc Junior Team Car: PEUGEOT 208 R2
 
“I’m really looking forward to this rally after what has felt like a long break and time since Canarias. It will be very interesting to drive on different Tarmac roads to those we tried in Canarias and further build on my experience. We will try and secure a better result than we did last time, but I think the hot weather will be a big challenge for everybody. I also have a new co-driver for the event, Reeta Hamalainen, so there will be plenty of new things for me on this rally.”
 
SEBASTIAN JOHANSSON (SWE)
Co-driver: Jesper Elfver (SWE) Team: JR Motorsport Car: PEUGEOT 208 R2
 
“We have been driving in the Swedish Junior Championship for three years now and felt we wanted to develop, so we saw ERC Junior U27 as the perfect step for us to take. Tarmac is a completely new surface for us so Rally di Roma Capitale will be a difficult place for us to start our campaign. Just to get the kilometres under our belts and gain experience will be great for us. On the later gravel rounds we are more comfortable so would love to push for the top three. We want to go all the way to the World Rally Championship, so overcoming how to drive on Tarmac will be a big challenge for us.”
 
TOM KRISTENSSON (SWE)
Co-driver: Henrik Appelskog (SWE) Team: ADAC Opel Rallye Junior Team Car: Opel ADAM R2
 
“I can’t wait to tackle the stages at Rally di Roma Capitale in my ADAM R2. The roads look really thrilling and could suit my way of driving better than those at Gran Canaria. I expect the stages in Italy to be less ‘racing style’, but a little tougher and trickier. I feel well-prepared for the rally as I had some important time in the car doing the Rally Askersund in the beginning of June, so my co-driver Henrik and I as well as the whole ADAC Opel Rallye Junior Team are burning for our first podium in the ERC Junior U27. I feel it’s time for it now. And apart from that I am looking forward to visit the wonderful city of Rome and hopefully see many of those impressive historic places.”
 
EFRÉN LLARENA (ESP)
Co-driver: Sara Fernández (ESP) Team: Rally Team Spain Car: PEUGEOT 208 R2
 
“We are fully motivated ahead of Rally di Roma Capitale. The last two ERC rallies haven’t been perfect, suffering two accidents when we had good speed to be fighting for the Junior U27 win. However, we know we have the rhythm so we want to give a victory to the whole of our team because we feel we all deserve it. I enjoy Tarmac rallies so we are ready to fight for top honours.”
 
CATIE MUNNINGS (GBR)
Co-driver: Anne Katharina Stein (DEU) Team: Saintéloc Junior Team Car: PEUGEOT 208 R2
 
“Last year was quite bittersweet as we were setting some nice stage times but ultimately got stuck in a ditch and lost 15 minutes. I really enjoyed the Cyprus Rally [last month] as it was a really good experience for me to get more kilometres on gravel and I loved the feeling I had with the car, but I’m looking forward to being back on Tarmac and am more motivated than I have ever been before as we’ve made some good progress with our pace recently after Gran Canaria. I want to try and keep up the momentum and close the gap to the front. I always compare my times to the fastest R2 drivers and in ERC Junior U27 the pace is super high, so having done this rally before should help. The atmosphere on the stages are also incredible along with all the experiences you have like the tour of the city centre in your rally car, you can’t really beat it, so I’m really excited to get back out there and push. I’ve done an extra round [Cyprus] compared to the others but don’t really have the budget to test so we haven’t really got an advantage, we just don’t have a disadvantage as it is difficult to start a rally without having been in the car often.”
 
MĀRTIŅŠ SESKS (LVA)
Co-driver: Renārs Francis (SWE) Team: ADAC Opel Rallye Junior Team Car: Opel ADAM R2
 
“As I have visited the Rally di Roma Capitale for recce during the ERC Junior Experience last year, I know at least roughly what to expect. The stages around the overwhelming city of Rome look extremely challenging. After two rallies with the ADAC Opel Rallye Junior Team I feel steadier in the ADAM R2. My first ever Tarmac event at Gran Canaria went really well so I look forward to another hopefully successful rally in Italy, but for sure there’s some tricky and dangerous spots out there so my co-driver Renars and I will need full concentration in every second of competition, especially as it is so tough in ERC Junior U27.”
 
ROLAND STENGG (AUT)
Co-driver: Tobias Braun (DEU) Team: Stengg Motorsport Car: Opel ADAM R2
 
“I’m feeling confident but also a little nervous. I’ve been looking forward to this rally for some time as I’m a big fan of Italian rallies. However, since Rally Islas Canarias I know how strong the competition is on Tarmac so I have to give 100 per cent to bring in a good result. I started the Rally Valli della Carnia to prepare myself for Rally di Roma Capitale and although we retired with technical problems, we managed to find a good set up for those typical narrow Italian roads. To clean up my driving style I also did a two-day course with Vittorio Caneva which helped me a lot. My goal here has to be the same as the Canarias: to finish the rally without mistakes and close the gap to the top a bit.”
 
MATTIA VITA (ITA)
Co-driver: Pietro Ometto (ITA) Team: Tagai Racing Technology Car: PEUGEOT 208 R2
 
“I am very excited to be racing with a new team, Tagai Racing Technology, and right now am going to Budapest to meet them all. It’s a great opportunity for me because TRT has lots of experience, so I’ll try and learn as much as possible from the engineers. I can’t wait to be back racing in my homeland, driving through the streets of Rome in a racing car is one of the best sensations you can have. The rally itself is very difficult. The temperature will be very hot inside the car so you have to remain very focuses as you can easily make a mistake. The pace notes also have to be very efficient as the roads can change from very wide and fast to very narrow and tricky in a matter of metres. Unluckily in Canarias we had no opportunity to do more than one stage so my target is to improve, but rallying is about tackling these difficulties.”
 
SIMON WAGNER (AUT)
Co-driver: Gerald Winter (AUT) Team: Saintéloc Junior Team Car: PEUGEOT 208 R2
 
“Our feelings are quite mixed after the first two rounds with two very untypical rallies for us, fighting for the podium on the Azores but having to retire and then finishing third in Canarias where we were too slow to fight for the win. The stages in Roma should be a lot more similar to what I’m used to from the last few years competing in Austria and Czech Republic. I am really hoping for a better result this time and will try to give my absolute best just like my co-driver Gerry and of course everyone at Saintéloc has.”

ENDS

Photos

ERC Diogo Gago-jpg
ERC Diogo Gago-jpg

ERC Efren Llarena-jpg
ERC Efren Llarena-jpg

ERC Martins Sesks-jpg
ERC Martins Sesks-jpg

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