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


2015 FIA European Rally Championship: round seven of 10

Barum Czech Rally Zlín, Town Hall, Náměstí Míru square, Zlín, 17:30hrs, Sunday 30 August


Jan Kopecký (CZE)/Pavel Dresler, First overall

Václav Pech (CZE)/Petr Uhel (CZE), Second overall

Kajetan Kajetanowicz (POL)/Jarek Baran (POL) Third overall

Emil Bergkvist (SWE)/Joakim Sjöberg (SWE), ERC Junior winners

Question for Jan Kopecký

Jan has always won in odd years – 2009, 2011, 2013 and 2015. He’s now won for the fourth time. Congratulations on winning the Barum Czech Rally Zlín and for taking the Czech title. Are you happy with your result from this weekend?

“Thank you for the congratulation. I think the whole weekend has been great. I’m glad to be back and I’m glad to be at the finish. I want to thank the whole team, they did a great job. The crowd put on a special show for me through the stages. I also want to thank Pavel for his cooperation and he helped me a lot.”

Question for Jan Kopecký

It must be a great feeling to win at home and to get this result in front of the 200,000 fans that came to the Czech rally this weekend?

“Yeh, I think the in Zlín is really great. I’m really happy to win here in front of such a huge amount of fans. I think you can see that since the very first day the fans came to all the recces, the qualifying stage. They came here not only to see us and to watch us but also all the other drivers as well.”

Question for Pavel Dresler

We mentioned that Jan has won four times here. During the first and the second win Jan was co-driven by Petr Starý so Pavel has won twice. How did you approach this rally? Did you have the same pace as Saturday when he created a huge lead and a time advantage?

“Well I think we approached in the same way as in 2013. Jan used his head and didn’t take any risks and just tried to keep his lead. Because I think he learnt from his mistake in 2010 when on the last stage he crashed. This year we kept the lead.”

Question for Václav Pech

You won last year. This year it’s a silver medal. How did you drive during Saturday and what did you do in order to close the gap as much as you could?

“We tried to have really good pace and to drive as fast as we could. We knew they were really, really fast and they don’t make mistakes. We just tried to keep the distances as short as possible and drive as fast as we could.”

Question for Václav Pech

This year the weather was really hot, how did you feel, did that cause you any problems in the car?

 “Well I felt very good, we had a good set of conditions for us so we didn’t have any problems.”

Question for Václav Pech

Some drivers said there was loose gravel on the road. Was that something that you had?

 “Well, I didn’t see any gravel on the roads. I think it was the cleanest rally so far, so I didn’t see any gravel on the road.”

Question for Petr Uhel

You have a lot of experience of this rally. Do you know how many times you have started it? How useful is your experience on this rally?

“I don’t know, we have to look in the archives. I tried my best to use my experience and I think the pace notes were very good.”

Question for Kajetan Kajetanowicz

You extended your lead in the ERC so we think you must be satisfied with this result?

“No..! Of course, I’m really happy because we kept our first position in the European Championship. We didn’t make any mistakes in this rally. It wasn’t easy because the temperature inside our car was very high. The stages everyone knows are very tricky. And of course we had a small battle with these guys. They were faster than me in the rally. This battle I was very excited for us and I’m very happy for that.”

Question for Kajetan Kajetanowicz

You had a problem with the engine on stage 14, what happened and did that influence your confidence?

“Yes, it’s no secret we had a problem with the last two stages with pop-off. Everybody knows when temperatures are very high like this weekend it’s possible. It wasn’t so bad because now we know – now M-Sport know – which way they have to go.”

Question for Kajetan Kajetanowicz

There are three rallies to go now. What are your plans for the rest of the championship?

“I hope pop-off won’t be a problem! I think everybody knows the same problem. You want to be fast everywhere. We want to be on Cyprus, maybe in Greece, but it’s not for sure. And then we’ll see. Cyprus is a really nice rally with nice views. It’s a very hot rally, but it’s good for us, for our body. And then we’ll see.”

Question for Jaroslaw Baran

How will you approach the final three events? Will you have to keep Kajetan calm..?

“It is not necessary because concentration is not a problem. His concentration is perfect and sometimes he is cooling me down. That is a joke! We try to support each other. There is three rallies to go. We will think about all of these. We will see what happens in Cyprus.”

Question for Emil Bergkvist

This year you have already won the ERC Junior Championship. Do you consider this great win here to be the perfect way for you to celebrate your ERC Junior title?

“Yes, for sure. If there’s one rally I want to win it’s here. And yes, we’ve made it. Everybody knows it’s quite tricky here on Tarmac. Unfortunately some of the guys had some problems but that’s the way it is sometimes. It’s brilliant to end the season like this.”

Question for Emil Bergkvist

You had a couple of punctures yesterday, as did a lot of other drivers. How did you deal with that and how did you drive after that?

 “We had two punctures also. You can, even if you don’t do a mistake, you can do some punctures because the road is so bumpy and tricky. But there was no time loss so I was lucky there.”

Question for Emil Bergkvist

Despite the punctures yesterday you opened up a 45-second lead. Today you opened up almost a three-minute gap. How did you find so much speed this weekend?

 “I don’t know actually. Like I said we had a clean run, except for the puncture but it was ok. We did good stage times all the time. I think some of the other guys had small issues but we didn’t so that’s why, I think.”

Question for Joakim Sjöberg

You’ve won the championship and now you have another rally win – will you be partying tonight?

“Yes! There will be a party tonight, for sure. It’s really great, even if we hadn’t won the championship, to come here to Barum and to win this rally as well. It’s a really great rally.”