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Press release

4 April 2015

POST-EVENT PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT

2015 FIA European Rally Championship: round three of 10 Discover Northern Ireland Circuit of Ireland Rally, Media Centre, 19h15, Saturday 4 April

Attendees:

Craig Breen/Scott Martin (first overall)

Kajetan Kajetanowicz/Jarek Baran (second overall)

Josh Moffett/John Rowan (third overall)

Emil Bergkvist (ERC Junior winner)


Question to Craig Breen

Two ERC rally wins in a row but winning your home event must be pretty special, right?

CB: “I’d actually forgotten about Lativa. I’ve been concentrating on this event for 25 years since I was born and more closely for the last couple of weeks. I wanted to win this so badly, I can’t express in words how much I wanted to win it. Now to the come to the end to get the trophy and see all the names that went before me it just beggars belief in my eyes. Perhaps to some other people it’s just another rally but for me it just means so, so much.”


Question to Craig Breen

It’s another win but it was far from straightforward. Can you explain what was wrong with your car and what about that spin on the penultimate stage?

CB: “We had a small niggly problem with the turbo which pretty much scuppered us in qualifying on Thursday and all of Friday. It was only at midday service today that we actually rectified the problem. To be honest with you they rectified the problem because they changed just about everything they could do. And finally after a process of elimination they fixed it for the last three stages. So we started our push and then on the second to last stage in Banbridge just after the start there was a fast left-hand corner at crossroads and a compression. On the first time we went through we filled the road and went away but on the second time we were a little too fast and spun and was very lucky not to do any damage to the radiator. Then on the last stage we had an overshoot about five or six kilometres into the stage. I stalled the car twice trying to get it restarted. Scott in fairness said ‘don’t stop believing now’ and I’ll never forget that. Then it was a bit of a push from then on in.”


Question to Craig Breen

And aside from those technical problems, you faced a real threat from Robert Barrable. How tough was the fight before he crashed?

CB: “Don’t get me wrong it was great. It was quite fast. Yesterday when we had the problems we took a lot of risks to keep in front. The problem wasn’t a big one but we had to overdrive in some places and had to push on quite hard. He took some time out of us but the pace was really high and I have to say Robert drove really, really well considering he hasn’t been driving for the last couple of months. He was really fast when he went off but that was the pace today.”


Question to Scott Martin

Turning to you Scott, following your tough start to the season in Austria, how much of a boost is this win to your ERC title chances – you now lead the standings by three points?

SM: “It’s really good. After the win in Latvia we came into our home and were looking forward to it. But we knew like last year nothing is guaranteed because you have to fight for everything in this championship. Like Craig said as soon as Latvia was finished it was full preparation for this event. I take my hat off to the guys on this stage because the pace has been absolutely unreal and everyone has been driving to the maximum. We’ve all enjoyed the stages and the organisers have done a great job putting the stages on. The rally has run to schedule and everything went really well. We’re really pleased with the pace this weekend and we know it’s going to be the same throughout the year. It’s great to have a rally where it was down to the wire because the first few rallies were decided a little bit on tyres and the winner went off quite comfortably. But on every stage it was flat out and we didn’t know who the winner was going to be to the end. Thankfully it was us.”


Question to Kajetan Kajetanowicz

Before the start where, realistically, did you expect to finish and how pleased are you with second place and 7000 Euros in prize money?

KK: “Of course we are really happy because second place in a new rally for us is a really good place. We didn’t expect to win this rally because we knew before it would be a really hard rally and it was. We accept before to keep the position in the European championship. It wasn’t possible but we have a new plan. We want to improve our position. We want to do this on the next rally.”


Question to Kajetan Kajetanowicz

You’ve experienced a number of ERC events now but how tough was this rally?

KK: “I think you know! It was a really hard rally with very demanding stages. Like I said before we can compare them to a few Polish stages but they are amazing. I am sure it was the best Tarmac rally in my life. The second stage for sure was best Tarmac stage in my life with many jumps, bumpy and slippery in some parts with many surprises. I am really happy and I want to come back here. I said before the rally that my sister lives here and it’s my first time here so we want to come back here and we will be faster.”


Question to Jarek Baran

The ERC resumes in the Azores in early June. Will you be there and how important will a victory be for you?

JB: “First to start to talk about winning the Azores we have to reach the island. There is a long flight over the Atlantic. We suppose we do the rally and of course the next rally we remember from last year so we have some notes. But Azores is a specific island and you never know which season you reach during the rally. Mostly it is cloudy, raining and fog. Last year was not bad but do years ago it was absolutely mad weather so we come back to gravel and we start with the ERC Gravel Master battle. The guys will push like hell and we don’t forget about the [Portuguese drivers] who come, they are so fast also. Personally I am so happy to come back to Sete Cidades stage, it is the most impressive gravel stage in my life. Yesterday’s second stage is the best on Tarmac, absolutely crazy one. We keep our fingers crossed and hope we can go and win.”


Question to Josh Moffett

Third place on your first ERC start of the season. How pleased are you and how satisfying was it to beat your older brother Sam?

JM: “Beating Sam was the main goal of the weekend but I didn’t think it was going to happen to be honest. Starting with the qualifying when we qualified 13th. We did push and tried to get a good spot but we weren’t sure what way the weekend was going to go. But with the slippery conditions the times just came in for us and it worked alight. We were happy with our pace and we just kept pushing the way we were and it got us here in the end.”


Question to Josh Moffett

You scored your first ERC stage win this morning. What can we read into this performance?

JM: “Hopefully there will be plenty more to come. We’re really looking forward to the next round in the Azores and we need to get organised for that one, we’re really looking forward to it.”


Question to John Rowan

The wet weather increased the challenge, particularly on day one. How hard were the conditions and how impressed were you with Josh’s performance?

JR: “Every corner we came into was different conditions and very slippery. But Josh is very fast on gravel so is used to sliding the car and his car control is very good. It made it easy for me and I didn’t have to back him off too much. We were really happy with yesterday but today it dried out and we kept pushing today and we were happy with our pace.”


Question to Emil Bergkvist

Congratulations on your second ERC Junior victory. Can you talk us through the battle you had with your ADAC Opel Rallye Junior Team team-mate Marijan Griebel – it looked pretty close with him leading at one point before your fight back on stage 16…

EB: “It was a really close fight during all the rally. We did a really good recce because this was not so easy rally for us first time here. I really like it but it was a really hard win for us. It feels great to have the second win and I hope we can continue like this.”


Question to Emil Bergkvist

You’ve won on snow and now on Tarmac. Can we expect a third win on gravel next time out in the Azores?

EB: “I cannot promise something but I hope so. In Sweden we drive on gravel and that gives me some good confidence.”


Question to Craig Breen

Final question to Craig, you join an illustrious list of Circuit of Ireland winners. What does that mean to you and what will a Craig Breen celebration involve tonight?

CB: “Okay the list of winners… Julian [Porter] rattled them off at the end of the last stage… It’s incredible. I’m a massive, massive fan of Irish rallying over the years and stood on the hedges watching my heroes go by – Bertie Fisher, Austin MacHale, Frank Meagher – who was my personal hero. It was the rally I always wanted to win, it always the one every wanted to come over and win. Okay the Irish drivers didn’t always win in the 1980s and 1990s but it was always the one everyone wanted to win. To have my name on the trophy is unbelievable, it’s what I dreamed of as a child. I’ve won two world championship titles but the Ravens Rock, my local rally, was the number one to win and the Circuit was the second and now I have won both. I made a promise after Latvia that I would not drink another drop of alcohol until I won another world title but I didn’t plan on this happening so I don’t know what to do know. If I am to be influenced by these people here I will say there will be some liquid celebration.”


ENDS

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Circuit of Ireland post event press conference

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