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28 MARCH 2017

FIA ERC JUNIOR UNDER 28 CHAMPIONSHIP PRE-EVENT QUOTES

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

JAN ČERNÝ (CZE)
Co-driver:
Petr Černohorský (CZE) Car: ŠKODA Fabia R5

“I was starting in the Azores before so I know what to expect. It is a really difficult rally with different types of gravel. As it was logistically impossible to come with my usual car because of the opening event of the Czech championship, I must rent a car from Spanish team ARVidal Racing. Due to Valašská Rally, I will also not be able to participate in the official test, so I did around 50 kilometres in Spain two weeks ago and everything was working perfectly. I am looking forward to the event.”

MARIJAN GRIEBEL (DEU)
Co-driver:
Stefan Kopcyzk (DEU) Car: ŠKODA Fabia R5

“The ERC is a good championship with good rallies and really good TV on Eurosport. It’s better for me to drive an R5 car in the ERC and be a main player than go to WRC2 to drive for 16th overall. The ERC is the best place to show my skills and develop in an R5 car. The main target is the ERC Under 28 Championship and to do as many rallies as possible, and I must thank Armin Kremer for his support. My father was his mechanic when I was seven years old playing the rally games on PlayStation. As well as helping me financially, he’s giving me really good advice. It’s really good to have a friend like Armin in the background.”

NIKOLAY GRYAZIN (LVA)
Co-driver:
Yaroslav Federov (RUS) Car: ŠKODA Fabia R5

“I have done some winter rallies this year. They were good for the pacenote school but not for conditions we will experience in the Azores. I did this rally last year in an R2 car and I am expecting the faster corner speeds, particularly in the high-speed corners, will be the big difference. But the braking and the speed in the slower corners will be similar to what we experienced in the R2 car. I hope I will be fast in this race but I expect a lot of other guys to be fast as well.”

TOMASZ KASPERCZYK (POL)
Co-driver:
Damian Syty (POL) Car: Ford Fiesta R5

“Although it is our second outing on this amazing event we cannot say that we know the Azores Airlines Rallye. The weather changes so quickly that you cannot get enough experience to master all the conditions which you may encounter. Of course, this makes this thrilling rally even more exciting. It is very important to focus during the recce; the pacenotes must be precise. My ERC outings have boosted my gravel experience and pace, but Rome wasn't built in a day. I have done some kilometres on loose surfaces in winter and I am both physically and mentally prepared. I want to leave the island satisfied with my work.”

PEPE LÓPEZ (ESP)
Co-driver:
Borja Rozada (ESP) Car: Peugeot 208 T16

“The stages in the Azores seem very nice, narrow and fast and it will be a challenge for us to manage the car in these conditions because it will be the first time for us in this category. The test on Monday was quite good. We were testing all day and the feeling was quite okay with the car, just looking to the rally to be as fast as possible. We have done two two rallies this year with the R5 car but retired both times. On the first one we had bad luck when the engine broke due to a problem with the mapping. On the second one we made a mistake in the first kilometre of the rally so we were not able to do all the kilometres as we want but that’s what experience we have and we have to fight with this.”

JOSH MOFFETT (IRL)
Co-driver:
James Fulton (IRL) Car: Ford Fiesta R5

“I’m delighted to get this opportunity to compete in the ERC and chase this very important prize drive. I have previous experience of some of the events but I’m expecting the competition to be even higher than before. The ERC is a high-profile international championship that’s accessible financially and comes with lots of media coverage and a great reward, so I can’t wait to get started. Now I have to put everything into practice that I have learned competing in Ireland and do my best to take my career to the next level.”

LUÍS MIGUEL REGO (PRT)
Co-driver:
TBA Car: Ford Fiesta R5

“The Azores Airlines Rallye last year was my first time driving an R5 car and this will only be my third time so I don’t have so much experience compared to the others. Okay, I know the stages and the roads because I am from São Miguel, but a lot of the other drivers are coming here for a second time. There are a lot of good competitors so I know the competition is not going to be easy. I am from Ponta Delgada where the rally is based. We have had some rain this winter, which is normal, but last week we had lots of days of good sunshine and blue skies so I am expecting the stages to be in a good condition and the organisers have done some good preparation.”

RALFS SIRMACIS (LVA)
Co-driver:
Arturs Šimins (LVA) Car: ŠKODA Fabia R5

“It’s a very nice rally but I understand there has been a lot of rain in the winter so I expect the stages to be very slippery. The test on Monday will give us a good chance to work on the set-up and I will be trying my best to win. We are short of the budget for the season so if we can win then it will really help with finding the money we need to do more races.”

JOSÉ SUÁREZ (ESP)
Co-driver:
Cándido Carrera (ESP) Car: Peugeot 208 T16

“It’s a big honour to be chosen by Peugeot to do the ERC. For me the target is to be champion of ERC Junior Under 28 but we will see if I can do something better in the overall results. I did this rally once in 2011 and it’s more or less the same I see today. There are a lot of changes of grip, it’s narrow, open, there are some twisty, some places where it’s really tricky but we are able to do it and we are ready to fight.”

ENDS

Photos

ERC Marijan Griebel.jpg
ERC Marijan Griebel

ERC Ralfs Sirmacis.jpg
ERC Ralfs Sirmacis

ERC Tomasz Kasperczyk.jpg
ERC Tomasz Kasperczyk

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