Media centre

Press release

2 MAY 2018

FIA ERC JUNIOR UNDER 28 CHAMPIONSHIP PRE-EVENT QUOTES

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

NIKOLAY GRYAZIN (RUS)
Co-driver:
Yaroslav Fedorov (RUS) Team: Sports Racing Technologies Car: ŠKODA Fabia R5

“I feel more comfortable on gravel but my target is to be faster and faster on Tarmac. This is a difficult rally with very abrasive Tarmac. It means it’s difficult to manage the tyres so you need to be smart and not push every time in order to save the tyres in the long stages. Everyone is faster than last year of course but we make a good testing programme and we were better than in the last year but I don't know how it will be. I hope it will be good without any problems and I hope for a better result than in 2017.”

CHRIS INGRAM (GBR)
Co-driver:
Ross Whittock (GBR) Team: Toksport WRT Car: ŠKODA Fabia R5

“The Azores was a dream R5 debut for me, although I was a little bit disappointed to miss out on an overall podium because I knew we could do it. Originally our plan was to win the U28s this year and then win the championship next year, but myself and Toksport have put a hell of a lot of effort in to see what we can do, especially for this rally we did an extra test because if we can beat [Alexey] Lukyanuk or something happens to him we need to think about the overall championship. I don’t have a preference between gravel and Tarmac, last year in the Opel we did really well on this event but tyre management is going to be completely different with a four-wheel-drive car so it will be a big challenge in that sense. I now know the car a bit better so hopefully we will be a bit quicker again, but I need to get as much seat time as possible. I’ve really enjoyed learning the Fabia and working with the Toksport guys they have given me such a great opportunity and have helped me adapt to the car really quickly, quicker than I was expecting. There’s still more to come but the initial pace is very promising. It’s important for us to try and win again if we can, and that’s our number one target, because you never know who’s going to turn up later in the year.”

FABIAN KREIM (DEU)
Co-driver:
Frank Christian (DEU) Team: ŠKODA AUTO Deutschland Car: ŠKODA Fabia R5

“Unfortunately we got the puncture on the Azores Rallye which maybe lost us a podium and a very good start to the year, but in the end we can be satisfied with the speed we showed we could go on gravel and we learned more with every kilometre. Now we are back on Tarmac and for sure this is my favourite surface. Hopefully we will be able to fight out way onto the Junior U28 podium, but I am aware that this rally is very tricky so we will need to work hard to get there.”

PIERRE-LOUIS LOUBET (FRA)
Co-driver:
Vincent Landais (FRA) Team: BRC Racing Team Car: Hyundai i20 R5

“I have no test planned for this event as I did Corsica two weeks ago so I will just do the shakedown. If we look at our times in Corsica before our little crash the times were really good, we were constantly in the top three or top five stage times, so we are comfortable we can push in this car on Tarmac. I have never done this rally before, so it will all be completely new so all I can do is do my best and find a good set-up for the car. I hope we can be fast, I am confident of this, but a lot of other drivers will be fast too so it will not be easy. Suarez in the other Hyundai could be very quick.”

LAURENT PELLIER (FRA)
Co-driver:
Geoffrey Combe (FRA) Team: PEUGEOT Rally Academy Car: PEUGEOT 208 T16

"After the first ERC race I worked a lot on my physical preparation to be ready for Rally Islas Canarias. It is very important to be more performing at the wheel of the PEUGEOT 208 T16. We also took part on the Sierra Morena round in Spain with Geoffrey. It was our first contact on asphalt with the car and we did a good job. We tried a lot of configuration in order to be ready for Canarias. It was a good training and a good weekend for the team. We finished second! Now, I am looking forward to be at the next step to Canarias. We are confident and we can be competitive on this grounds. We want to fight for the podium.”

HUBERT PTASZEK (POL)
​Co-driver:
Maciej Szczepaniak (POL) Team: TRT Krezus Rally Team Car: ŠKODA Fabia R5

“Our plan for Rally Islas Canarias is much simpler than for Azores. We need to prepare our pacenotes carefully and note all the details to make sure we know the right lines for the rally which is a bit like a race circuit. We have already done two days of testing in Italy, completing around 240 kilometres, working with Simone Campedelli to perfect the set-up and the driving style. My last event on Tarmac was one and a half years ago so that was needed! This year is a big challenge for me as most of the rallies are completely new to me, but for now we are fully focused on Rally Islas Canarias and I hope to complete every stage in one piece.”

JOSÉ ANTONIO SUÁREZ (ESP)
Co-driver:
Cándido Carrera (ESP) Team: Hyundai Motor España Car: Hyundai i20 R5

“This is our first ERC event of the year, we are looking at maybe doing the Barum Rally as well but we will see. I am sure we can do well in the Hyundai even if we haven’t done that many kilometres in testing. We had a good couple days of testing but we tested many different set-ups so maybe not so many kilometres, but there seems to be a lot of potential and a lot of support from Hyundai Motorsport which makes me feel quite good and very motivated. I’m not thinking about a particular result I’m just thinking about driving with all my professionalism and speed and we will see what we can achieve, but I don’t want to lie I will push like hell to stay up the front. When you arrive in the airport you can smell the petrol in the air because lots of people love this sport in the Canaries and you immediately feel the support. The stages are really nice with really fast parts and very technical parts, and the support from the Spanish fans will be really good for me and will bring me extra horsepower!”

ALEKS ZAWADA (POL)
Co-driver:
Grzegorz Dachowski (POL) Team: MSZ Racing Car: Hyundai i20 R5

“I’m really excited to get behind the wheel of an R5, it’s been a dream of mine for a long time and now it’s finally here! I have done a half day event for some of our partners and a few journalists, honing around a rallycross track and a half day test on a proper rally stage in Poland with a Hyundai engineer which taught me a lot. I am not really sure what to expect but I do know the competition is stiff with so many top drivers competing. It’ll be my first start not just in the Hyundai i20 but any R5 so it won’t be easy to be on the pace immediately, but I will do my best. Even a top five result will be difficult, but I don’t go rallying to come second. Canarias is really challenging, but this is true across all the ERC rallies. It is probably my favourite event of the year, not only because of the gorgeous scenery and the amazing roads but the atmosphere and the fans are unlike any other rally I’ve been to. I will try to give them something to shout about!”

ENDS

Photos

Chris Ingram-jpg
Chris Ingram-jpg

Jose Suarez-jpg
Jose Suarez-jpg

Laurent Pellier-jpg
Laurent Pellier-jpg

Download all visuals

Press contacts

Press enquiries:
Richard Rodgers, media@fiaerc.com
+44 7503871575
TV enquiries:
Pascal Petit: pascal_petit@discovery.com
Vianney Castillo: vianney_castillo@discovery.com
Drivers and teams:
Jean-Baptiste_Ley@discovery.com