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Press release

2 APRIL 2017


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

JAN ČERNÝ (CZE) Position: DNF (accident)
Petr Černohorský (CZE) Car: ŠKODA Fabia R5

“I feel like an idiot because we were close to finishing second. We were driving normal speed, not so much pushing. In one corner, in second gear, the rear part of the car got out of the correct line. It was a narrow road and with the rear we hit a tree and rolled. I’m really sad about it because it was the only mistake of the rally and it wasn’t a big mistake but the result is so disastrous. Early in the rally I wasn’t happy with the pacenotes because I couldn’t find the correct pace and rhythm and missing the test on Monday did not help but it was impossible to be there because I was doing a rally in Czech Republic last weekend.”

MARIJAN GRIEBEL (DEU) Position: Second
Stefan Kopcyzk (DEU) Car: ŠKODA Fabia R5

“Finishing second in Cyprus on my debut in an R5 car last season was already really, really good but here with 28 R5 cars or something I never think before that we can reach second overall. It was nearly a perfect rally for me winning ERC Junior Under 28 and a lot of fun. I had a great car and thanks to Baumschlager Rallye & Racing and to my sponsors, this is amazing. For sure it was a nice battle with Nicolay [Gryazin] at the beginning of the day. When he retired it was getting difficult thinking what could happen, where could I reach but in the end everything worked out and I’m very happy.”

NIKOLAY GRYAZIN (LVA) Position: Fourth
Yaroslav Federov (RUS) Car: ŠKODA Fabia R5

“I’m pleased with my progress because I finished this rally and last year I did not. The rally is really difficult, we had a puncture, we lost powersteering [on Saturday] morning so it was really tricky and it was very good we finished. I don’t know if I could have won without the problems but maybe I could have fought for the win. Everyone in ERC Junior if they don’t have any problems they can fight for the win because everybody is fast. We have Tarmac next in the Canary Islands and I think I like Tarmac more than gravel so we’ll see. I am always looking to my driving, not to my results because my target is to get faster and faster. If I can work on my speed, then I am happy. It was my mistake that I cut too much and got a puncture and had a problem with the powersteering but this is rallying.”

TOMASZ KASPERCZYK (POL) Position: DNF (mechanical)
Damian Syty (POL) Car: Ford Fiesta R5

“It is obvious that I would prefer to finish the Azores Airlines Rallye, especially since the damage our car suffered were not caused by my mistake. It is hard not to be disappointed in such a situation, but nevertheless I focus on good things, and there were a few. I am satisfied with what we achieved on the stages of São Miguel island, especially if you consider extremely tricky conditions and number of crews, who encountered numerous problems. The good news is that we improved our pace, comparing to our previous outing here. We could match the pace of much more experienced rivals, we gained many places in the overall standings, while our stage times were comparable with those scored by other Polish crews. All in all, this was a tough but effective lesson of rallying. It’s going to pay off in upcoming gravel events.”

PEPE LÓPEZ (ESP) Position: Third
Borja Rozada (ESP) Car: Peugeot 208 T16

“It was unbelievable, incredibly foggy, muddy conditions, which were new for us. So to be able to manage the car for these stages was very good. Thanks to my co-driver and my team to get this podium in ERC Junior. We lose three minutes on Thursday for what was not my mistake but because of other things and it was a pity that we couldn’t stay in front of the classification. But we have to look to the next race now.”

JOSH MOFFETT (IRL) Position: Second
James Fulton (IRL) Car: Ford Fiesta R5

“It was such a challenging rally, unbelievable and the nerves were really going towards the end. I was just trying to keep it going and keep it as nice and tidy as possible, particularly in the fog, which was so difficult to get through. Without doubt before the start I was hoping to finish in the top five but when we got here I knew that would be a challenge in itself so we’re over the moon to be here in this position.”

LUÍS MIGUEL REGO (PRT) Position: Sixth
Nuno Rodrigues da Silva (PRT) Car: Ford Fiesta R5

“It was not bad but not a good rally for us. We never found a good set-up and we had a lot of problems with the brakes for the whole race. The weather today meant this rally was more for jeeps than cars but we have got to the finish and that’s the most important thing.”

RALFS SIRMACIS (LVA) Position: Fifth
Arturs Šimins (LVA) Car: ŠKODA Fabia R5

“It was a tough rally for me with many punctures, five in fact, which I think is an ERC record! We are happy to get to the finish for the first time in Azores. They’re very nice stages, we’d never driven to the finish but we finally did that today. It’s really nice but a really hard rally for all drivers because you see many drivers get out of the battle. We need now to prepare for the next race but when it will be I don’t know. Winning was important for the sponsorship but with so many punctures we could not battle with the leaders. It’s a little bit sad but it’s great we could finish.”

JOSÉ SUÁREZ (ESP) Position: DNF (accident damage)
Cándido Carrera (ESP) Car: Peugeot 208 T16

“Our target was ERC Junior U28 and it was a good warm-up. Yesterday I entered one corner too fast and we crashed. Today there was a mistake from inside the car but we are a team and we are together. Now we must focus on the Canary Islands and continue to learn.”



ERC Josh Moffett.jpg
ERC Josh Moffett

ERC Marijan Griebel.jpg
ERC Marijan Griebel

ERC Tomasz Kasperczyk.jpg
ERC Tomasz Kasperczyk

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