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15 OCTOBER 2018

FIA ERC JUNIOR UNDER 27 CHAMPIONSHIP POST-EVENT QUOTES

Round 6 of 6: Rally Liepāja, 12-14 October
 
SINDRE FURUSETH (NOR) Position: DNF (mechanical)
Co-driver: Jim Hjerpe (SWE) Team: SF Rally Car: Opel ADAM R2
 
“I got the low oil pressure warning lights just before the finish [of stage five] and in the middle of the stage I could feel it. It was not running as it should. Then we had oil smoke in the car. I thought it was going to start to burn but I decided to keep going until I saw some lights and then I saw the lights. We were out of engine oil so we cannot go any further. It’s different things every time. I can understand that it looks strange from the outside but we are really professional guys working full time for this, so I don’t believe it. It’s just bad luck. The engine is new, as are the parts. The Latvian roads are crazy fast. The grip is so high that you can carry so much speed through a corner. I just needed to get use to that to push.”
 
MIIKA HOKKANEN (FIN) Position: Third
Co-driver: Reeta Hämäläinen (FIN) Team: Saintéloc Junior Team Car: PEUGEOT 208 R2
 
“A podium is a good result of course. We want to be winning but the guys in front were very fast the whole weekend so we need to be happy with this. We found a decent rhythm but we were losing 10s to the leaders in every stage. The feeling on Saturday morning was not perfect so we made some changes for the afternoon loop and it felt much better. We tried to get more grip in the rear of the car and that gave us the confidence to push harder. Of course there is always more to do but we were able to put our speed up a bit and find a decent rhythm but it was not enough for the top guys.”
 
KRISTÓF KLAUSZ (HUN) Position: Sixth
Co-driver: Botond Csányi (HUN) Team: Klaus Motorsport Car: PEUGEOT 208 R2
 
“The stages were really good fun, really fast and we could learn a lot so it was a really good experience. We got closer and closer to the frontrunners so this is a really good learning process. It’s hard to go fast, especially when we were sliding too much but we kept improving and improving and the car was working perfectly. Then on stage 10 we had a right corner, it was too narrow we go a bit faster and we were sliding on the left side of the car. After we go into a ditch and stay there for almost 20 minutes. Spectators had to pull us out. But now we are in the finish and I hope it will be better for us for the next year.”
 
TOM KRISTENSSON (SWE) Position: First
Co-driver: Henrik Appelskog (SWE) Team: ADAC Opel Rallye Junior Team Car: Opel ADAM R2
 
“I’m having troubles finding the words for this end of season, it’s not what I expected. Of course we were coming here for winning but it’s Mārtiņš’ home event. Of course it’s always nice [to beat your team-mate] but because it’s his home event the pressure was always there I think. From the beginning the pace was there, the feeling was there and everything was just flowing and working. We had a plan and we stuck to it. Everything was just working, I was not overloading, never pushing too hard. I was enjoying, everything else was a bonus and it’s been a good day for my co-driver because it was his birthday today. I had a gearbox problem [on Saturday] but it was not a big thing and the team changed it just to be safe. The guys were coming and saying we have a surprise for you. I just said ‘I don’t care just have a new gearbox for me’. Actually the surprise was my girlfriend was waiting for me and I didn’t know anything about it. I was happy for that and the team had a new gearbox as well! We’ve done a good job all weekend and thank you to my fantastic team. It feels really good to end the season with this double victory.”
 
CATIE MUNNINGS (GBR) Position: Fifth
Co-driver: Anne Katharina Stein (DEU) Team: Saintéloc Junior Team Car: PEUGEOT 208 R2
 
“It’s amazing, the stages here are really good fun and the last stages were really difficult but they were the best for us compared to the Under 27s, which is really cool. We were one second off fourth place on the last stage and that’s really cool as well. It’s just been great progress for us this rally, especially on gravel. We’ve got a bit more experience on Tarmac but now it’s building on gravel so I’m really happy. Emma [Falcón] did a great job to take the [ERC Ladies’ Trophy] but I’m happy to be progressing all the time. We’ve been at every ERC Junior round this season, we’ve had a pretty clean season and finished every rally so it’s been awesome and I’m really happy to be here at the finish. Sunday morning was quite difficult for us and on stage nine we got off line in a rut and the car bounced off into a dirt bank on the outside of the corner. It was a gentle touch but we managed to take the bumper off. I’ve had Mattias [Adielsson] coaching me. He has a lot of experience of driving R2 cars on gravel and he was brilliant at showing me which gears you need to be in for corners and why avoiding wheel spin is so important. He’s even been texting to help us through the rally. I’m pushing the car and finding the limits and the grip is so much more than you expect. It’ hard to get the picture of how fast you can go and it’s a fine line at these high speeds but we got a nice rhythm and I’m happy.”
 
MĀRTIŅŠ SESKS (LVA) Position: Second
Co-driver: Renārs Francis (LVA) Team: ADAC Opel Rallye Junior Team Car: Opel ADAM R2
 
“On Saturday I was still feeling my crash in Poland. I was without confidence in some places so the goal was to get the confidence back through the day. When I don’t feel confident I don’t push but when the confidence is there the result comes by itself. It got better and better but Tom [Kristensson] is a very fast guy although there was no big push for us. I knew Sunday’s stages better, there was not such a good grip and the day started better because there was not the pressure like yesterday with guys with TV cameras and lots of things to do that were separate from the rally. It wasn’t easy to concentrate on the driving yesterday but today the feeling was good. We had one small problem with shifting to fourth gear but we changed the gearbox in service so we had a fresh one for the last three stages. But we won the championship*, we also won ERC3* and the Latvian championship and this is the most important thing.”
 
ROLAND STENGG (AUT) Position: Fourth
Co-driver: Claudia Dorfbauer (AUT) Team: Stengg Motorsport Car: Opel ADAM R2
 
“You really have to commit to the pacenotes in the fast corners and this was my first gravel rally for about one year. On [Saturday morning] I was a bit too cautious and we were braking a bit with the left foot. Going flat out is part of the culture here and the [Nordic] guys are really fast so we have to keep it going and show some bravery. We had a bit of an off in SS2 and [on Saturday afternoon] it was really, really difficult with the ruts and it made it very hard for us to drive fast and on the limit. You have to really drive in the line and I’m not quite a clean driver yet on gravel. We had a big moment in the last part of the last stage [on Saturday] because I missed the line and we jumped out of the ruts. We were a bit too fast because we couldn’t brake any more and the car was just jumping. We had some close moments on the rally, it was really hard and tough but we learned a lot so it was good. I was a bit too cautious on the first two stages on Sunday and we lost some time to Mattia Vita. I was really sorry for him when he retired because it was a nice battle. The final afternoon was really tough. We slowed down a bit because we knew we had no more battles. Then we saw cars out of the road and we knew we really had to get it to the finish. But the slower we drove the more mistakes we did. We had three or four lucky moments but we’re through, we’re happy and we’ve got so much more experience. It was a nice and fun rally. On the first stage of the afternoon we had dust in the car and it was a really big problem because my eyes were tearing up and I couldn’t see anything. On the crests with the sun coming in so it was really tough. We had to slow down a bit but we made it to the finish line.”
 
MATTIA VITA (ITA) Position: DNF (mechanical)
Co-driver: Pietro Ometto (ITA) Team: TRT Junior Rally Team Car: PEUGEOT 208 R2
 
“The engine broke three kilometres before the end of stage nine. I’m quite sad because we were improving a lot and I was getting faster. Suddenly the engine stopped and we had to stop on the side of the road. The worst thing is we can’t get the experience of the other stages but this is part of the game. Before this I was trying to avoid the problems, staying on the road and trying to get my times closer to the drivers at the front. On the last stage on Saturday I had a big moment. My glasses steamed up and I lost the car in a very fast point. Now we start to work for the next year.”
 
*Subject to confirmation of the results by the FIA

ENDS

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Photos

Catie Munnings-jpg
Catie Munnings-jpg

Miika Hokkanen-jpg
Miika Hokkanen-jpg

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Tom Kristensson-jpg

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