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Press release

27 AUGUST 2018

FIA ERC JUNIOR UNDER 27 CHAMPIONSHIP POST-EVENT QUOTES

Round 4 of 6: Barum Czech Rally Zlín, 24-26 August
 
DOMINIK BROŽ (CZE) Position: DNF (mechanical)
Co-driver: Petr Těšínský (CZE) Team: ACCR Czech Rally Team Car: PEUGEOT 208 R2
 
“We hit a big wall on Friday night in the city stage and broke the wheel. We get a penalty but the mechanics worked all night to repair the damage. In the morning the car was okay but when we leave service the gearbox was not working and we could not leave service. It was very disappointing.”
 
SINDRE FURUSETH (NOR) Position: DNF (mechanical)
Co-driver: Jim Hjerpe (SWE) Team: SF Rally Car: Opel ADAM R2
 
“It was at the jump on stage two. The wishbone snapped in the front-right and then on the braking I noticed that because the wheel ripped off the braking pipe, I had no brakes and no driveshaft as well and we were stuck there. It was disappointing, our second retirement in a row but there was nothing I could do about it, nothing I did wrong. I am very unexperienced in wet Tarmac so we just [needed to] find our own speed [when we restarted on Sunday] and we wanted to win some stages. We expected the left-hand side [wishbone] to be quite worn since the right broke so we changed both sides. But we think it was the upright on the left side that just snapped but we need to check the car properly when we get back [to Norway]. Everything was fitted as it should be, we change parts all the time so we don’t understand what happened, it’s not like we hit anything. But the driveshaft was pulled out of the gearbox and we could not continue. It’s disappointing, maybe the worse rally of my career. Now we must recover for Poland. I’m Scandinavian so I should be good on gravel but I believe I have a god package on Tarmac as well, it’s just wet Tarmac is not my favourite surface.”
 
MIIKA HOKKANEN (FIN) Position: DNF (mechanical)
Co-driver: Reeta Hämäläinen (FIN) Team: Saintéloc Junior Team Car: PEUGEOT 208 R2
 
“We had a very small issue which broke our whole car so it was very bad luck. The gearshift lever broke so the gearbox shifted down instead of up and it broke the engine completely. We tried to fix the car and we pushed the car to the outside of the road because we don’t want to be in front of any one or disturb other drivers. But we could not continue. It’s always very frustrating when you retire and, for us, it’s our second retirement in a row and the third this season in four races. I would prefer to make a better result but I can always hope it can change in future. We have gravel next and at least I have more experience on gravel. But I feel with this car on this event I was getting a better feeling than on the previous ones.”
 
KRISTÓF KLAUSZ (HUN) Position: DNF (accident)
Co-driver: Botond Csányi (HUN) Team: Klaus Motorsport Car: PEUGEOT 208 R2
 
“I think this was the hardest rally I have done, really challenging conditions, hard and slippery. We had two punctures on the first day but it was a good performance, we were in fourth place and we have not done so many rallies this year, this is our first ERC rally for us this year.  We did not finish because after a right/left turn on stage 14 there was full mud on the Tarmac, we get out of line and hit the tree at the side of the track. The steering arm was broken and unfortunately we could not finish the rally.”
 
TOM KRISTENSSON (SWE) Position: Third
Co-driver: Henrik Appelskog (SWE) Team: ADAC Opel Rallye Junior Team Car: Opel ADAM R2
 
“It was a really tough event and demanding even before we got here after our crash in Germany the weekend before, which meant the team had to build a new car from scratch. We were expecting some rain but then I realised it was going to be really tough. Quite early I decided to go at my own pace, that was the goal and in the end we got a great result for me, confidence for myself and it’s an amazing payback for the team for all this work and all this never-give-up-thing that we have. To get this result feels incredible and now we have two rallies on gravel: next weekend for my home rally and the weekend after we will go to Henrik’s home event so we will be well prepared for Rally Poland. It feels amazing to end up the season with some really nice gravel events and I have experience from Rally Liepāja from last year. We will have some good preparation.”
 
EFRÉN LLARENA (ESP) Position: Seventh (DNF leg one, electrical)
Co-driver: Sara Fernández (ESP) Team: Rally Team Spain Car: PEUGEOT 208 R2
 
“It’s a big shame on Saturday, because I was feeling very comfortable from this morning. The conditions were very tricky, that was why I decided to not take any risks, but our times were quite good, so we felt very confident for the afternoon. But the car didn’t want to run due to an electrical problem. I helped the team to repair it and we could restart on Sunday. The stages were very good and we tried to be on the road and to be clean. Of course we were out of the fight for the victory so we didn’t push hard. But I am happy to be here and with my times, winning our category in one stage. The rally was very difficult with a lot of water, a lot of mud.”
 
CATIE MUNNINGS (GBR) Position: Sixth
Co-driver: Alba Sánchez (ESP) Team: Saintéloc Junior Team Car: PEUGEOT 208 R2
 
“It was a very difficult rally from the get-off, especially with being ill on the recce it was hard to make good pacenotes, they’ve been pretty basic. And it’s very difficult with so much mud and slippery surfaces you need to have very detailed pacenotes so it’s been difficult. We missed qualifying as well and normally that’s a good time to see where your pace is and make changes on the car. It was one of those rallies where you were counting down the kilometres to the end. I just wanted to get to the finish and there was no point risking anything. It was so easy to make a mistake. We thought we had a puncture in the morning loop [on Sunday], we had some brake problems yesterday but nothing major went wrong, apart from the puncture in the final stage. I thought the back was bent so we kept going until we smelt rubber and realised it was a puncture. We had some problems changing the puncture and then we got stuck behind another car for for kilometres so I’m just happy to be at the end.”
 
GRÉGOIRE MUNSTER (LUX) Position: Eighth (DNF leg one, mechanical)
Co-driver: Louis Louka (BEL) Team: EBRT Car: Opel ADAM R2
 
“We had a puncture so we drove the whole loop [on Saturday morning] with three soft tyres and one hard tyre. Then we start the second loop with in mind to do better than the first one. Then on the first stage we got again a puncture, we changed the wheel and drive one lap more in the show stage. Then we got the problem with the TCA so it was game over for us. We tried to repair but it was impossible. Sunday was Rally2 for us so we were just taking a bit more experience on this difficult rally. It was really slippery stages, even worse than yesterday. We were really careful and were just trying to increase the pace but slowly.  We learned a lot on many aspects, trying to find the grip level and also manage the tyres because it’s not easy. We were driving either with a hard compound or a wet compound and it was really difficult to make the right choice. But it’s a really difficult rally and you needed also to keep in mind it’s a long one. Really slippery asphalt is not easy but we got more confidence in the car so we can be satisfied.”
 
MĀRTIŅŠ SESKS (LVA) Position: First
Co-driver: Renārs Francis (LVA) Team: ADAC Opel Rallye Junior Team Car: Opel ADAM R2
 
“This was the most extreme rally I have ever done and now I understand how difficult it is to drive on these types of road when it is wet. We have a tight programme of working. Our coach is pushing us to this and big thanks to him about that. We are hard working on driving styles, on pacenotes and everything needs to be perfect so our hardest job is before the rally. The Opel team is also fantastic and I’m very proud I can be a part of it. Everything worked great and everyone was doing their job in the right way and without the team there is no result like this. Before Canarias I had done no driving on Tarmac, now I have won two rallies on Tarmac and we have two gravel rallies left. I was born and trained on gravel roads so we are in a good position [for the championship] but I think Tarmac is also quite good for me.”
 
ROLAND STENGG (AUT) Position: Fifth
Co-driver: Jürgen Heigl (AUT) Team: Stengg Motorsport Car: Opel ADAM R2
 
“I was pushing a bit more than the first stages [on Saturday] because it was drying up. I missed a [pacenote] call from Jürgen in a very fast section and broke way too late. We went outside in the grass and rolled one time but the spectators put us back in after around two minutes. I was flat-out at 170kph and I was rolling at about 90kph. It was really fast. On the first stage [of Sunday] it was on a muddy left corner, there was a stone on the inside and I couldn’t really avoid it because we were just sliding so we got a front-left puncture and that really slowed us down. We then had a problem with the intercom so the plan was just to come to the finish with no big risks.”
 
MATTIA VITA (ITA) Position: Fourth
Co-driver: Pietro Ometto (ITA) Team: Tagai Racing Technology Car: PEUGEOT 208 R2
 
“We did no big mistakes and there was no damage on the car, which is a victory for us. We are improving and I see the lights at the end of the tunnel because on the short stages we are quite close to [the leaders]. For me it’s enjoyable in these difficult conditions because I like rally, I like the mud on these stages, it’s fun, you slide but then sometimes you think it was dangerous. During the first stage of [Sunday] I went off for a few metres in a junction then the second one was very good for us. I was feeling very good in the car but then in the last stage [of the morning] I lost the concentration too much because I found very slippery conditions and eased the foot from the throttle and said ‘okay let’s go to the end and finish’. It was the most difficult race of my life for sure.”
 
SIMON WAGNER (AUT) Position: Second
Co-driver: Gerald Winter (AUT) Team: Saintéloc Junior Team Car: PEUGEOT 208 R2
 
“We started the [final] afternoon with the possibility to catch Mārtiņš but in the first stage after service I could feel immediately that our set-up was not perfect, it was too soft and we expected more wet Tarmac than what we found so it was a bit of saving the tyres. Then we had two stage wins before the end but congratulations to Mārtiņš, he did a great job. We lost the rally on Saturday with our puncture when we hit nothing but it’s part of the game. Afterwards we had to drive with the hard compound at the front because we did not have enough soft tyres so we lost the rally there. But I think we can be happy. Mārtiņš is fast and also showed that last weekend on Rallye Deutschland. We saw we are minimum the same fast, sometimes a bit faster and I’m quite happy with that.”

ENDS

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