PRE-EVENT PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT
FIA European Rally Championship 2018: Round 2 of 8, Rally Islas Canarias, 3-5 May
Podium Zone, Parc Santa Catalina, 17h30, Thursday 3 May
Iván Ares, Hyundai Motor España
Sara Fernández, Rally Team Spain
Efrén Llarena, Rally Team Spain
Pierre-Louis Loubet, BRC Racing Team
Alexey Lukyanuk, Russian Performance Motorsport
You’ve won this rally for the last two years, but the route has changed for this year. How have the stages changed?
Okay, we’ve had two successful years before and straight away from the first rally here, despite the fact we were on the wrong set-up, we were fast here. Everybody does mistakes, some with the tyres, some with the pace and so on and it’s not easy to make the proper pacenotes. But it seems we are working well and I hope we will repeat our success from the previous year and make it three in a row.
As the championship leader, how much pressure are you under to deliver another victory?
Not much to be honest. We know our level, we know our competitors. Some of them are doing quite well but still we are confident in our abilities, our team, our car. I will do my best and it should be enough.
Your first time doing this rally but back in 1996 your father Yves took part here – a year before you were born in fact! What advice has he given you?
He say to me to stay on the road as the first rule! No, he said to me to take maximum experience for the future because it’s a very nice Tarmac event to improve your level on Tarmac. It’s a very nice rally and he said to me to try to do my best and we will see.
From the recce what do you think of this event and the challenge ahead?
Of course I like stages, it’s a little bit like a circuit track, really nice. You have a lot of fast sections and you have to be very precise. I like it.
It’s been quite a stressful 24 hours for you – can you tell us what’s been happening with your car and what’s the situation now?
We had a problem with the fuel tank of the car and thanks to the very great work of the team we have got a new one here. It’s already installed and I will be ready to start tonight.
What’s your programme for this year – will you do more ERC rallies after this one?
I want to do the whole championship and I’m really going to go for it. I want to finish this rally first and then go for the rest of the championship.
The reigning Spanish champion taking on the big guns of the ERC, what’s your objective for this event?
I am thinking about the Spanish championship. I want to compete against the guys from the ERC but my objective is the Spanish championship and to get some good points.
Tell us about Monday – you had a bit of a crash in testing?
We had a crash and our team had to work very hard, particularly on the front-right of the car. But we are ready for the rally, that’s the most important thing.
You’re competing in ERC Junior Under 27 this year as part of Rally Team Spain. Please can you tell us about this initiative and how important it is for your career?
It’s very important for my career because I would not have this opportunity otherwise. It has been a very big effort from the Spanish federation to get to the ERC and I advise all the drivers to try to get this prize.
After a great result on the Azores Rallye, what can you achieve on this event, a new rally for you of course?
The asphalt is special here and it’s one of the rallies we have to win. We need a good result for the championship.