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Press release

24 SEPTEMBER 2018

FIA ERC JUNIOR UNDER 27 CHAMPIONSHIP POST-EVENT QUOTES

Round 5 of 6: PZM 75th Rally Poland, 21-23 September
 
DOMINIK BROŽ (CZE) Position: DNF (accident)
Co-driver: Petr Těšínský (CZE) Team: ACCR Czech Rally Team Car: PEUGEOT 208 R2
 
“With the big [10-minute] penalty we got [for retiring on the first stage], we were just waiting for the other guys to make mistakes. It was very enjoyable and we were learning the gravel stages. The car was okay but we had a big problem with the front-left damper and we took a penalty repairing it in service [on Sunday morning]. The Goldap stage was very amazing with the [Ott] Tänak crest and we really enjoy. But we damaged the radiator on SS12 and we could not continue.”
 
MIIKA HOKKANEN (FIN) Position: Third
Co-driver: Reeta Hämäläinen (FIN) Team: Saintéloc Junior Team Car: PEUGEOT 208 R2
 
“It has been okay for us. Of course the Opels were going very fast but our car was performing very well. On the first loop there was no problem with the ruts but in the very slow corners you can’t get out with only front-wheel drive but it’s the same for everybody. On the last stage on Saturday we went wide on one junction and also lost some time on the last corner. Otherwise, the first day was quite positive. I had a very big moment [on SS12]. I don’t know what happened but I didn’t hear [my co-driver], we went through a left-hand corner and after that, there was a very tight right-hander and we were quite on the limit there but, luckily, we went through. Overall Sunday morning’s loop was quite slippery, different conditions to Saturday and the stages were narrower and softer. The last stage was very tricky because there was a lot of different types of surface. I didn’t find the perfect rhythm but it was absolutely nice to drive here. On the final afternoon loop we were driving carefully, trying to avoid any problems because we had a big gap to the front and a big gap to the back.”
 
SEBASTIAN JOHANSSON (SWE) Position: DNF (accident)
Co-driver: Jesper Elfver (SWE) Team: JR Motorsport Car: PEUGEOT 208 R2
 
“We were okay but the car was less okay after the crash. I came in to a right-hander on the Tarmac section on SS4. We went in a bit too fast, slide out and touched the rear on a wall. The front went in and there was a telephone pole and not that much that we could do about it. The damage was not that big but big enough not to be able to restart on day two. It was a small mistake from my side. We learn from it and look forward. It is a shame and I feel sorry for the team but we will be back.”
 
TOM KRISTENSSON (SWE) Position: First
Co-driver: Henrik Appelskog (SWE) Team: ADAC Opel Rallye Junior Team Car: Opel ADAM R2
 
“It was difficult to keep going fast and don’t do any mistakes. The road was actually much better than I expected, that’s one of the reasons I felt so comfortable. I think that [Efrén] Llarena did a great job. Everything was really good. There were parts with big ruts, some quite long road sections but otherwise it really nice and I really enjoyed these fast parts. The jumps are quite difficult with an R2, you need to be focused. But we stuck to our plan, we’ve shown our speed and I’m really happy we don’t do any mistakes.”
 
EFRÉN LLARENA (ESP) Position: Second
Co-driver: Sara Fernández (ESP) Team: Rally Team Spain Car: PEUGEOT 208 R2
 
“The final loop was difficult. We tried to go fast and catch [Tom] Kristensson but he was very fast and we lost. I think the pace was quite similar [comparing to the first loop]. We won eight or nine stages so we’re happy. The rally is amazing and we tried to push hard even though we don’t have experience on these kinds of stages. I think it was the best rally I ever did.”
 
CATIE MUNNINGS (GBR) Position: Fifth
Co-driver: Anne Katharina Stein (DEU) Team: Saintéloc Junior Team Car: PEUGEOT 208 R2
 
“It’s an amazing rally, incredible, very, very fast and very technical stages. It’s easy to make a mistake and we’re just here for experience and learning so we weren’t pushing it all. We’re really happy to finish the rally. We played a lot with the set-up and we used it as one big test. We’ve been doing set-up changes between the stages, just small changes, and we’re still not 100 per cent happy with it but it’s part of learning and you can build on it during the next gravel rally. It’s probably the fastest rally I’ve done. You have to stay focused, you didn’t have the time to get scared.”
 
MĀRTIŅŠ SESKS (LVA) Position: DNF (accident)
Co-driver: Renārs Francis (LVA) Team: ADAC Opel Rallye Junior Team Car: Opel ADAM R2
 
“It feels unbelievable [to be champion*]. It was two crazy days. On the first day, we had the confidence and were driving as we needed. It was just a mistake [when we crashed]. On the second day we were pushing and we pushed into a tree. Standing there looking at the results and just waiting was even harder than driving! But it has been a fantastic [the season] and, in the end, it's a good feeling. I'm just happy.”
 
MATTIA VITA (ITA) Position: Fourth
Co-driver: Pietro Ometto (ITA) Team: TRT Junior Rally Team Car: PEUGEOT 208 R2
 
“It was an amazing rally, I loved it and to be fourth in ERC Junior Under 27 is a good result. It was my second gravel rally after the Azores. It’s so fast and so narrow but the stages are beautiful, and so is the landscape. We improved during the second loop about 30s per stage, so it’s a lot but the front-running guys are the best on the continent, so to approach them it’s very difficult but it’s my target. It was a difficult rally and on Saturday I did a stupid mistake, it was a very narrow corner, a very slow one and I entered too fast and hit a tree right in the middle of the car. luckily I didn’t hit a wheel so I could continue.”
 
KACPER WRÓBLEWSKI (POL) Position: DNF (accident)
Co-driver: Jacek Spentany (POL) Team: Rallytechnology Car: PEUGEOT 208 R2
 
“From the beginning we couldn't find the pace. We choose the incorrect line and were losing a lot of time in the medium and high-speed corners. After, with every kilometre, it kept improving. On the third stage, we would have set a good time but we were blocked by Mārtiņš Sesks, who also crashed and was partially blocking the road. We stopped by them and lost a bit there. On the next stage, we were doing really well until it was too fast on a Tarmac section. I went into a corner and we run out of the road and we went off at a very high speed. We were flat out, on fifth gear, doing 160kph. We rolled several times, all I could see was the sky and the ground all over again and I had the feeling that it will never end. It was a massive hit. I feel good but my co-driver has damaged three cervical vertebrae.”
 
*Subject to confirmation of the results by the FIA
 
ENDS

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Photos

01 Tom Kristensson-jpg
01 Tom Kristensson-jpg

02 Martins Sesks and Catie Munnings-jpg
02 Martins Sesks and Catie Munnings-jpg

03 Mattia Vita-jpg
03 Mattia Vita-jpg

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