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16 JULY 2018

FIA ERC JUNIOR UNDER 28 CHAMPIONSHIP PRE-EVENT QUOTES

Round 3 of 6: Rally di Roma Capitale, 20-22 July

FREDRIK ÅHLIN (SWE)
Co-driver: Joakim Sjöberg (SWE) Team: CA1 Sport Car: ŠKODA Fabia R5
 
“The last time I was on Tarmac was on the Isle of Man last [September] so there’s going to be a lot of work on the test to set the car up and prepare it for the rally. It’s a long time since I’ve done these wide, flowing type of roads so it’s going to be a bit of an adjustment but I think we have a good chance to be up there fighting for the podium places. From what I understand the roads are medium to high grip which is something new for me so could be a learning curve. We need to go there with the same strategy as the Azores where we decided to be consistent and in the end got second place. Coming to the end of the year we plan on doing Poland and Latvia on the gravel and I know we have a good chance of winning there even overall, I know my pace on gravel is up there, particularly on the quicker events like I’m used to in Sweden. Tarmac has been quite strong for me since I switched to the ŠKODA and we proved that last year in Belgium where we were competitive against the likes of [Thierry] Neuville and [Kevin] Abbring so I don’t see why we can’t be competitive in Rome and get a good result to build on for the rest of the season.”
 
JAN ČERNÝ (CZE)
Co-driver: Petr Černohorský (CZE) Team: ACCR Czech Team Car: Ford Fiesta R5
 
“I am really happy to be back in the European Rally Championship. We wanted to start on Rally Islas Canarias, but technical problems at the very last moment forced us to withdraw. Since that time we did a few rounds in Czech championship and our performance is good. It was a pity only about losing third place overall on Rally Bohemia on the very last stage due to a broken driveshaft. I am really sure it will be nice fight with other drivers in Rome.”
 
NIKOLAY GRYAZIN (RUS)
Co-driver: Yaroslav Fedorov (RUS) Team: Sports Racing Technologies Car: ŠKODA Fabia R5
 
“I am feeling very good ahead of Rally di Roma Capitale, we are ready and waiting for the battle. The target is to try and win the ERC Junior U28 class. We have shown some good speed but aren’t quite ready to beat [Alexey] Lukyanuk in a straight fight overall so to try and match him blow for blow could be dangerous. We need championship points. Everyone in the U28 class will also be very fast, I don’t know exactly who will be the top challengers but I expect the Italian guys to be very, very quick. We want to be fighting with them and luckily some of the stages will be the same as last year which should help us. We secured a podium on a similar event last weekend and found an okay set-up with the car, but we hope to find the perfect one for Rome.”
 
CHRIS INGRAM (GBR)
Co-driver: Ross Whittock (GBR) Team: Toksport WRT Car: ŠKODA Fabia R5
 
“I’m disappointed to have missed Greece and Cyprus [due to illness] but I need to remember this year is my learning year in a four-wheel-drive R5 car. If you compare what I’ve done to the guys I’m competing against it’s mad how many more events and kilometres they’ve done. Winning the ERC Junior U28 Championship is the goal and I expect a big fight with [Nikolay] Gryazin. If I can get a bit more seat time in the next few months it will help us match him as he’s in the car every other week. We did Rally Casentino as a warm-up and I was very rusty for the first three quarters of the day but on the last couple of stages I found that good rhythm again despite taking no risks which was a good sign. The stages are mega in Italy, and I think the ERC Junior U28 pace will be right at the front along with Lukyanuk and a bunch of locals. A podium in U28 given it’s my first rally back since illness would be a sensible goal for Rally di Roma Capitale but we shall see how we go.”
 
FABIAN KREIM (DEU)
Co-driver: Frank Christian (DEU) Team: ŠKODA AUTO Deutschland Car: ŠKODA Fabia R5
 
“We have already done our test for this rally and it was really good. We have a good feeling in the car which is so important if we are serious about fighting at the front. I hope our preparations will be enough for this next round. Rally di Roma Capitale is another Tarmac rally which is good for us as it is our preferred surface. Because of this we are looking forward to fighting for a podium in ERC Junior U28.”
 
LAURENT PELLIER (FRA)
Co-driver: Geoffrey Combe (FRA) Team: PEUGEOT Rally Academy Car: PEUGEOT 208 T16
 
“I am looking forward to go to Rome and drive the PEUGEOT 208 T16 again. We expect demanding conditions with warm temperatures and wind, but I hope I will score a good result especially since I am familiar with this rally. This rally is where I started in the ERC last year [in the ERC Junior Experience] so it’s an important one for me. It’s crucial to know the roads very well and to have good pacenotes. Because I took part in the ERC Junior Experience, I’ve had the opportunity to discover the environment and the stages which I think is a real advantage. Let’s see how I can use it and turn it into a result.”
 
RHYS YATES (GBR)
Co-driver: Elliot Edmondson (GBR) Team: CA1 Sport Car: ŠKODA Fabia R5
 
We did Rally Casentino as a warm-up and we got some good miles. The Italian roads were a bit different to what I’ve driven before so it was good to get used to how to write the notes and how to drive them. The overall result didn’t look too good but we weren’t there to get a result we were there to try different tyres, different set-up and get some experience of the roads we can expect on Rally di Roma Capitale which we managed. Our Tarmac pace has improved a lot since last year, our gravel pace has also improved but our tarmac seems to have gone a step further so I would like to keep getting experience and hopefully get back on the U28 podium, that would be nice. We will be doing more ERC events after this one so it would be nice to get a podium but if we get a bad result in Rome it doesn’t mean we won’t do some more.”

ENDS

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ERC Fabian Kreim-jpg
ERC Fabian Kreim-jpg

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ERC Nikolay Gryazin-jpg

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