FIA European Rally Championship 2018: Round 5 of 8, Rally di Roma Capitale, 20-22 July
Restaurante Giolitti, EUR, Roma, 14h45, Friday 20 July
Fabian Kreim, ŠKODA AUTO Deutschland
Alexey Lukyanuk, Russian Performance Motorsport
David Castiglioni, F.P.F Sport Srl
Welcome back to the ERC Giando. You are a double European and Italian champion, but you didn’t expect to be here with your new co-driver, so in a way everything is new for you?
I'm not in optimal shape at the moment but it's important to keep confidence with my new co-driver. Only once in my career have I been co-driven by a girl, so this is the second time. Let's hope for something successful.
It’s a new team and co-driver for you this weekend, so what’s your target for the rally?
There is a kind of a great emotion for me, but I am realistic. I'm not thinking at all about a podium or anything like this. I hope not to arrive so far from the first ones on the podium though. We'll discover on Sunday evening if it's a low profile finish for me or not.
Welcome to Italy Fabian and your Rally di Roma Capitale debut. You’ve done the recce so what do you think of the stages and the challenge you face?
We are looking forward to this event. It's a very nice event, with difficult stages. At the moment we are leading in the FIA ERC Junior Under 28 Championship so we try to keep everything, try to give our best and hopefully it's enough for a podium in the end.
You’re leading the ERC Junior Under 28 Championship but what have you been doing in the gap between Rally Islas Canarias and here and are you feeling any extra pressure?
It's difficult for us because the break was very long, more than two months, so I've watched a lot of onboards from the last events here in Roma. It's quite hard for us for sure because other drives have more experience this year on the cars and more kilometres. We'll try to give our best but it won't be very easy for us. We had a test in Austria last week. It was very good, very important for us to get back the feeling in the car. The set-up is quite good and we're really looking forward to it.
Turning next to Alexey Lukyanuk, it was a brilliant start to the season for you with two wins but the last two events haven’t quite gone to plan. What’s your strategy to get your championship bid back on track?
Last year we were fighting with the wall here in the night. It's boring but we have to fight for the points. Actually, I'd like to say that I'm really happy that we have really fast local drivers from Italy here, so it's a really tough challenge. We know they're quite fast. We probably won't be able to fight for the victory here but I have my own rabbit to follow and beat him, so I will focus on this goal.
You won twice at the beginning of this season but now you have a points deficit to Bruno Magalhães. What can you do you do now?
Our strategy is always the same, to keep our own pace. Once we go slower we find something new inside the corner. Sometimes we just don't have enough left and we have some stones on the road. The plan is to do the job and hope for the best. We never give up. We'll see.
As a young Italian driver how important is this event for you and your partners?
For sure this is a special race for me. It is my homeland, I have many fans here, many friends, my family. It's not easy because guys from the ERC Junior Under 27 Championship are very fast. They are the fastest drivers in the continent. I will try to do my best for the podium.
Turning next to David Castiglioni, what led to you sitting in the co-driver seat for Paolo Andreucci this weekend?
I am a very good friend of Paolo Andreucci, and that's why I was chosen in this last minute decision to replace Anna Andreussi, who had a terrible crash last week. We obviously say, Anna, get well soon, because we are waiting for her. We started a Twitter hashtag in order to push Anna to be back on the car before the next [Italian championship] round at Rally Due Valli, and Paolo's next round at Rally Adriatico.
Is there any desire to have Anna back in the car before that rally?
Anna is at home. She will wait at home for another month. I hope her physiotherapy goes well so the Adriatico Rally is possible with Paolo.
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