FIA European Rally Championship 2017: Round 2 of 8
Rally Islas Canarias, 4-6 May
Emma Falcón, RMC Motorsport
Pepe López, Peugeot Rally Academy
Alexey Lukyanuk, Russian Performance Motorsport
Luis Monzón, Auto Laca Competicion
Surhayen Pernía, RMC Motorsport
José Suárez, Peugeot Rally Academy
You won here in 2016, what does it take to win this rally?
It’s a special event with really special Tarmac. Last year it was only our fourth Tarmac event and we were struggling with a lack of experience and actually we were not the fastest through the event. But somehow we managed to save our tyres on the second day and drive smart. It paid off and we took the victory here. This year we are much more experienced and we know the stages better and how to tackle them. I hope that will help us this year.
You almost won in the Azores last time out but what went wrong and how disappointed were you?
Actually it was a bit of a disaster and I tried to leave those memories in the past. I actually shaved my hair to leave my bad thoughts with my hair on the island. Now it’s growing again and I hope things will be better next time. I think it was just bad luck. I talked to some drivers and nobody saw this rock on the inside before. Here I hope there will be no mistake from our side and I pray for good luck.
After not finishing in the Azores how much pressure are you under this weekend?
There is no pressure at all. I’m here, I want to finish on the podium and I hope I can go fast. That is all I am thinking about.
You've done this event before, how difficult is it and what advice do you have for your team-mate Pepe López?
It’s a very technical and difficult rally. It really is not easy but I am sure my team-mate already understands this from the recce.
What's your target for this rally?
I’m going to be working very hard to finish on the podium again. After finishing on the podium in the Azores it’s something I am confident I can do.
Carlos Sainz, a Peugeot ambassador, is a five-time winner of this event. How much of an inspiration is he and has he given you any advice?
The advice he has given me is to really use my head to get to the finish of the event. He’s a legend and it’s important to listen to his advice.
Given the size of the entry could this be one of the best editions of Rally Islas Canarias yet?
This is definitely one of the best editions of the rally because the entry is so strong with all the ERC drivers and the Spanish championship drivers as well and those from the Canary Islands championships. I am very excited about this rally.
And what about the new city stage? What's it like to drive, what will it be like for the fans?
For the years that I was in the organisation of the rally I never succeeded to make a stage in the city. Now it is coming true I am very pleased because this is a very important stage for the city and for all the people who live around here.
How much of an opportunity is doing this rally for you?
Doing this ERC event is a very good chance for me but my aim is really the Spanish championship for this weekend. That’s the most important thing for me because my season is based around the rallies in Spain with Hyundai.
You were in the top 10 on the Qualifying Stage this morning. How pleased were you with your performance?
We had a good set-up with the car but now I have to learn about the stages and hope I can take advantage of the good car that I have.
You're competing for the ERC Ladies’ Trophy but is that the limit of your ambitions here this weekend?
My objective is not only the ERC Ladies’ Trophy, the Spanish championship is also very important and I am hoping to get a good result for this.
What is your programme this year, will you do more ERC events?
It all depends on the sponsors. Of course I would like to do a lot more events in the ERC Ladies’ Trophy and I will try but it all depends on what happens on this rally.