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Press release

20 AUGUST 2018

FIA ERC JUNIOR UNDER 27 CHAMPIONSHIP PRE-EVENT QUOTES

Round 4 of 6: Barum Czech Rally Zlín, 24-26 August
 
DOMINIK BROŽ (CZE)
Co-driver: Petr Těšínský (CZE) Team: ACCR Czech Rally Team Car: PEUGEOT 208 R2
 
“We look forward to Barum Czech Rally Zlín because the event is perfectly organised and has a great atmosphere with some beautiful stages to drive, too. There will be a lot of competition for us to challenge ourselves against. This rally is long and will be hard but we feel ready to fight for the best position. However, we will see what we can do come the end of the rally. I would like to invite all the fans to the middle of Zlín where the competition gets underway as the city special is where the best atmosphere is every year.”
 
SINDRE FURUSETH (NOR)
Co-driver: Jim Hjerpe (SWE) Team: SF Rally Car: Opel ADAM R2
 
“First of all I think our speed in Rome before the retirement was very encouraging. I know Zlín is a different rally where we need to find a new set-up, so our preparations are key if we want to fight for the win. That said, I think that the win is a realistic goal for us [based on] what we showed in Rome, so we will go all-in to try and make that happen."
 
MIIKA HOKKANEN (FIN)
Co-driver: Reeta Hämäläinen (FIN) Team: Saintéloc Junior Team Car: PEUGEOT 208 R2
 
“We are really looking forward to Barum Czech Rally Zlín. It will be our first time on this event so we are excited to get started. I think the roads will again be very different compared with the previous Tarmac rallies, but that makes it interesting. Hopefully we can achieve a good result after our retirement in Rome.”
 
KRISTÓF KLAUSZ (HUN)
Co-driver: Botond Csányi (HUN) Team: Klaus Motorsport Car: PEUGEOT 208 R2
 
“The Barum Rally is a really special race for me, it was my first experience of the ERC in 2013. I really like these kind of stages with bumpy and fast sections with narrow roads in the forests. I also did this rally in 2014, 2015 and 2016 but, unfortunately, we had a lot of problems in each year, so we couldn’t do our best at this event. In my opinion the ERC and the ERC Junior U27 are always an extremely hard challenge. At the beginning we want to assess the balance of power and after that make good progress and achieve a top result. I missed this rally last year but this year I think we are ready to race.”
 
TOM KRISTENSSON (SWE)
Co-driver: Henrik Appelskog (SWE) Team: ADAC Opel Rallye Junior Team Car: Opel ADAM R2
 
“It’s my first time at the Barum Czech Rally Zlín, so I only know the roads from onboard videos. The stages look very tricky and fast, quite different to the other Tarmac rallies in the ERC. And I’ve been told the crowd and atmosphere are always amazing. So I really look forward to the event. Second place at the last round in Rome gave my co-driver Henrik and myself a big boost, and we tried to find additional confidence during our appearance at ADAC Rallye Deutschland. As always it will be a blast to go for it together with my ADAC Opel Rallye Junior Team and the ADAM R2. It always requires a perfect job to be on the podium in the highly competitive ERC Junior U27, so that’s what we all aim for.”
 
EFRÉN LLARENA (ESP)
Co-driver: Sara Fernández (ESP) Team: Rally Team Spain Car: PEUGEOT 208 R2
 
“My feeling ahead of Barum Czech Rally Zlín is good. We did a regional rally last weekend to get ready and we found a good rhythm. We know that the Barum Rally is one of the most difficult Tarmac rallies in Europe. It’s bumpy with a lot of corners and crests, so we know we will be in for a challenge. We really hope we can be on the podium and get a lot of points for the championship.”
 
CATIE MUNNINGS (GBR)
Co-driver: Alba Sánchez (ESP) Team: Saintéloc Junior Team Car: PEUGEOT 208 R2
 
“Rome was quite a smooth rally with no real problems. We won ERC Ladies as well which was nice and we improved on our pace, we are now 1.3 seconds per kilometre from the fastest ERC Junior so it’s going the right way. It was nice to see that progression on those roads as they were very challenging. I did Barum last year and remember it was the most difficult rally of the year. I was really surprised by how challenging it was. I’m looking forward to getting back out there though as it’s my kind of rally. It’s challenging, it’s bumpy, there’s bits of gravel, it’s just a proper rally. I’ve been watching a few onboards and I’ve seen that the couple of stages are the same this year so it’s nice to have that experience but quite a big chunk of the rally is different as well. I think I’ll make a completely fresh set of pacenotes just so they all have the same flow and we have a new co-driver as well so it makes more sense. Alba [Sánchez] co-drove me in Cyprus and we got on really well, we had no idea what to expect as with no pre-event test we literally met each other at the airport. We have a great relationship in the car and get on as friends as well so I think it will be a nice experience to get some more kilometres with her on Tarmac. I think we are definitely where we need to be going into this rally so I’m confident we can keep improving our stats against the rest of the U27s. That’s been my whole season plan.”
 
GRÉGOIRE MUNSTER (LUX)
Co-driver: Louis Louka (BEL) Team: EBRT Car: Opel ADAM R2
 
“Barum Czech Rally Zlín is known as a really demanding Tarmac rally. My primary goal is to grab as much experience as possible and therefore I need to finish the rally. Of course we will try to follow the pace of the top drivers even though they have more experience. I know that the competition is really high in ERC Junior U27 so we see this rally as a great opportunity to make our first ERC outing as that is the best way to improve my driving. It will be a great challenge for me, and thanks to my new sponsor [Dumobil] we hope to contest the final three rounds of the ERC Junior Under 27 Championship. The ERC is the best school before reaching the next level, look at some of the best drivers in WRC like [Thierry] Neuville, [Kris] Meeke and [Craig] Breen. They all first gathered ERC experience. My dad [ERC legend Bernard Muster] has told me to keep the car on the road and to try to take as much experience as possible, especially on this bumpy Tarmac. I will try and not disappoint him!”
 
MĀRTIŅŠ SESKS (LVA)
Co-driver: Renārs Francis (LVA) Team: ADAC Opel Rallye Junior Team Car: Opel ADAM R2
 
“Travelling to Zlín as the leader of FIA ERC Junior U27 is a great feeling. But in fact the fight for the championship is not decided. The competition is so tough and anything can happen in ERC Junior U27. The good news is that the Opel ADAM R2 as well as the ADAC Opel Rallye Junior Team have proved their extremely high potential. So it’s all up to my co-driver Renars and myself to get the maximum out of our strong package in every contest. Barum Czech Rally Zlín promises to be big fun again, with great stages and a huge crowd. I have to say, once I got an idea how to go fast on Tarmac I really enjoyed pushing my ADAM R2 to the limit on asphalt. And I feel there’s still more performance to come.”
 
ROLAND STENGG (AUT)
Co-driver: Jürgen Heigl (AUT) Team: Stengg Motorsport Car: Opel ADAM R2
 
“This will be our toughest rally yet. We started a similar event earlier this year in this region to get comfortable with the conditions and the roads but we still have to be aware and cautious as the road changes with every car. The challenge in this event is to be brave enough to drive flat on the bumpy and sometimes unexpectedly dirty roads. My co-driver Jürgen Heigl has a lot of international experience and has also started in Zlín twice before, so I am confident that his knowledge can help me. All in all, we will give our best but the priority has to be to make no mistakes.”
 
MATTIA VITA (ITA)
Co-driver: Pietro Ometto (ITA) Team: Tagai Racing Technology Car: PEUGEOT 208 R2
 
“I can’t wait to be back in ERC action in the Czech Republic. I know we will find a lot of fans and this only provides more motivation to provide a good spectacle! Rally di Roma Capitale was my first race with Tagai Racing Technology and we had such a great fourth place in the ERC Junior U27 class, the best result of my career despite some little driving mistakes. To have a puncture or crash was so easy so the concentration level was so high. My target is to continue this progression in Zlín where for sure we will find some very tricky conditions. The roads look quite narrow but, for now, I have only had a look on the internet. I truly can’t wait to be there.”
 
SIMON WAGNER (AUT)
Co-driver: Gerald Winter (AUT) Team: Saintéloc Junior Team Car: PEUGEOT 208 R2
 
“I am very busy at the moment as I have just had my first test and rally in an R5 car, [which I won]. Barum is definitely the season highlight in the ERC though, it’s just amazing to drive on these roads with the enthusiastic spectators. Last year we finished third in ERC Junior U27 with a puncture that cost us more than three minutes which was a big pity, so there is just one goal for us, to bring home the win this year! My brother [Julian] will also start in ERC3 so we will push each other to the top for sure.”

ENDS

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