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Craig Breen (Peugeot Rally Academy 208 T16)

Ricardo Moura (Ford Fiesta R5)

Bruno Magalhães (Peugeot 208 T16)

Diogo Gago (Peugeot Rally Academy 208 R2)

Question to Craig Breen

You are leading a very closely fought ERC by just three points. What will be key to you increasing that lead after SATA Rallye Açores?

“The key to increasing my lead is probably winning! That’s certainly the main objective, as three points is not much of a gap. Rallye Açores is an event I know well. It’s my third time here and I’d like to make it three wins in a row in the 2015 European Rally Championship. Peugeot hasn’t sent me here for a holiday, so I’m doing to do all I can to try and win.”

Question to Craig Breen

How much of this year’s route is similar to last year, what have you done to fine-tune your paces notes, and what stages are you most looking forward to?

“The route is quite similar to last year. The volcano stage, Sete Cidades, is five kilometres longer, and the new part is really difficult, with a steep downhill and uphill section. The first three or four kilometres of Sete Cidades are the best gravel roads I’ve ever seen in my life. After that the banks are so high that they come over the car, so we don’t see much after that. Some of the other new parts of the event are very difficult too. It’s a really nice route and it’s always a beautiful rally.”

Question to Craig Breen

You had an early retirement on the recent Rally Portugal. What happened and how confident are you that the problem won’t occur on this event?

“The problem in Portugal is in the past. Peugeot Sport has worked very hard to rectify the problem. I have to drive my best here in the Azores and put my faith in the technical people who have worked very hard back in the factory.”

Question to Ricardo Moura

You arrived at the stop line of the Qualifying Stage backwards and with damage. What happened?

“We went a little bit wide on the last right hand corner after the flying finish, hit the rear of the car on a bank and spun, damaging the front of the car. It was a really narrow section of road, so it was easier to reserve, so I drove backwards to the stop line. The team has almost fixed the car.”

Question to Ricardo Moura

You are seven-time Azorean rally champion. What are your tactics to try and achieve what must be a real desire to add SATA Rallye Açores to your long list of rally wins?

“We have put a huge effort into getting to this rally, in a position to try and fight for a podium position. I have a profound knowledge of these stages, but we are up against very good drivers who can drive fast on any roads. If a driver comes here for a second or third time, they will be very difficult to beat. It will be important for us to find a good rhythm, and if we can do that early, then for sure we can score a good result.”

Question to Ricardo Moura

There is a great entry for this year’s SATA Rallye Açores. Who do you see as your biggest rivals for victory?

“Craig Breen, Kajetan Kajetanowicz, Bruno Magalhães, the Portuguese championship drivers – there are quite a few drivers who can fight for a podium position. The stages are always changing, they are tricky and it is easy to make a mistake. We might have good weather this week, so it might not be as difficult as the event has been in some previous years, but it will still be very important to focus and not to make a mistake.”

Question to Bruno Magalhães

You have won SATA Rallye Açores twice before, can you make it three wins this year?

“I would like, but it will be very difficult for sure. This year I think I have a very competitive car for these roads. Last time I was at Rallye Açores I was in a car from an older category, so not able to fight for victory. I have good motivation this year, I know the rally and I am confident. Of course I have not done a rally since the Tour de Corse six months ago, so it will be difficult for me to push at the start, but I think I can fight for a podium.”

Question to Bruno Magalhães

What makes Rallye Açores such a special event?

“Everything! The island, the roads, the spectators, the atmosphere. As a child I came to see this rally, as my father makes this rally many times. Rallye Açores is famous in Portugal and all over the world. Everyone that comes here for the first time says it’s an incredible event.”

Question to Bruno Magalhães

For the many crews contesting SATA Rallye Açores for the first time this year, especially the ERC Junior drivers, what advice would you give them?

“The fight in the ERC Junior championship is very competitive. Everyone is going crazy, driving flat out and making amazing times in a lower category of car. If they want to win, they need to push from the beginning. But it’s not so easy – the roads are very narrow in places and you cannot make even a small mistake.”

Question to Diogo Gago

As the only Portuguese driver in the ERC Juniors this year, how special is it to contest your home round and how much would you love to win here?

“Since I am the only Portuguese driver in the ERC Junior championship, and attached to an official team, it is very important to have all the conditions to fight for a win. But this is my first time at the Azores and I want to learn as much as I can about the rally, and next year try to fight for a top result.”

Question to Diogo Gago

The ERC Junior championship is so incredibly competitive this year. Do you feel you can win and who do you think will be your biggest rivals?

“It is very difficult for me to talk about a victory here, as it’s my first year competing in the Azores. Everyone running in ERC Junior is a rival, because they all have the same conditions and all want to fight for a victory. I want to learn the event for next year.”

Question to Diogo Gago

What are your thoughts on the amazing SATA Rallye Açores stages – particularly Sete Cidades, which is one of the most spectacular stages in the world?

“Sete Cidades is one of the most beautiful stages I have ever seen. The spectators and the landscape make it very special. I really feel confident on these special stages.”


SATA Rallye Açores pre-event press conference.jpg
SATA Rallye Açores pre-event press conference

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