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PRE-EVENT PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT - 2015 FIA European Rally Championship: round eight of 10

CNP ASFALISTIKI Cyprus Rally 2015, Filoxenia Conference Centre, Nicosia, Friday 25 September 14:30hrs


Kajetan Kajetanowicz (LOTOS Rally Team Ford Fiesta R5)

Alexey Lukyanuk (Ford Fiesta R5)

Robert Consani (Citroën DS3 R5)

Pambos Laos (co-driver to Christos Demosthenous, Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX)

Question to Kajetan Kajetanowicz

You arrive in Cyprus with a 23-point lead and with no second-placed Craig Breen. How important do you feel this event is in your ERC title winning ambitions?

“In our situation I think, for a private team, every single rally is very important. We work very hard to be focused and consistent, so I think this is the key for success. Craig doesn’t do this rally, but I think that maybe he doesn’t have his fingers crossed for us!”

Question to Kajetan Kajetanowicz

Knowing that you could leave here with a big ERC lead, how do you feel ahead of such a difficult event? Are you excited, nervous, calm?

“Everything! I am a lot more nervous in the breaks between rallies, they are too long for me! If you want to be fast you have to be everything – you have to be excited and also a little bit nervous, because then you are more responsive and able to deal with any situation.”

Question to Kajetan Kajetanowicz

You finished second in Cyprus last year. How important do you feel that experience will be this year?

“Of course very important, because experience helps. But everyone knows that it doesn’t matter if you are here for the first time or the tenth time, you have to have big respect for this rally – and I have it. This is the Cyprus Rally after all!”

Question to Alexey Lukyanuk

You have scored a total of 62 points on your last two ERC appearances, more than anyone else, and you could still be ERC champion. Can you continue your great form here in Cyprus?

“I think it’s more a fairy tail to win the championship, because here Kajto will push very hard to keep his first place. Actually, we don’t even think about this, because all the rallies are new to us this year and to be fastest here in Cyprus is not an easy task. We are trying to gain more experience from each rally this year, to then be able to fight for the title.”

Question to Alexey Lukyanuk

Your last ERC win on gravel was in a Mitsubishi. Were you tempted to bring your Lancer Evolution X to Cyprus and why instead are you driving your Ford Fiesta R5?

“Definitely not, because the roads in Cyprus are very different and quite difficult. With an ERC2 car here it is not possible to match the R5 cars. I believe even with an R5 in Estonia it would have been faster, but we were forced, because of budget, to go with an ERC2 car. The Fiesta R5 is a great machine in which to tackle these Cyprus stages in.”

Question to Alexey Lukyanuk

This is your first appearance in Cyprus. Now you’ve seen the stages on the recce, how difficult are they and what will be your plan of attack?

“I think for me the most difficult part will be the slow corners, because there is a lot of them and we are not used to go at such slow speed during a rally. We need to adapt ourselves to the new conditions. Generally, the surface is quite nice – it’s not as rocky as we expected, so we can go fast enough without risking the car. I think so. We will see!”

Question to Robert Consani

It’s great to see you back after such a big crash on the Barum Czech Rally Zlín. Are you fit and well, how is your confidence and are you ready to push hard like we know you can?

“Inside the car, the accident happened very fast – it was only after, when I saw the crash from the Eurosport helicopter footage, that I thought ‘wow, that was a big crash!’ Yes, I feel lucky to be here.”

Question to Robert Consani

You have a new co-driver here in Cyprus. Please tell us how you know Lara and how the deal to team up together has come about?

“I know Lara since four or five years, and this year she is the co-driver to my brother Stéphane in the French rally championship. I tried for the Barum Rally to work with Lara, but she was not free. But for Cyprus she was, and we agreed to start to work together.”

Question to Robert Consani

What is your aim for this weekend’s Cyprus Rally? Are you out to win, or are you thinking more of your battle for third in the ERC.

“If you see my time on the Qualifying Stage, it is impossible to win. I don’t understand how Kajto and Alexey were so quick – we stay at the same hotel, but I don’t think I have the same breakfast as them! For sure the target is to score the maximum points, because I have lost contact with Lukyanuk in the championship and the target is to finish on the podium in the championship. But I think it is a difficult task.”

Question to Pambos Laos

You won the ERC Production Car Cup in Cyprus last year and finished sixth overall – what are you hoping for this year?

“The aim is to repeat what we did last year. It won’t be easy because of the tough competition, but we definitely want to be the first Cypriot crew home at the finish.”

Question to Pambos Laos

You have tough competition, with the top three in the ERC2 in Cyprus. How do you see as your main rival for victory?

“I cannot choose one specific rival, because everyone in ERC2 is very fast – so we’ll face everyone as equally tough competitors and see what happens after we’ve started the rally.”

Question to Pambos Laos

Rally-wise, what have you been doing since last year’s Cyprus Rally and how has your 2015 season been?

“We’ve had a fantastic season and we are leading the local rally championship, so we want to cap that off with a good result and a big celebration on Sunday.”


Cyprus Rally pre-event press conference.jpg
Cyprus Rally pre-event press conference

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