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27 AUGUST 2018


Round 4 of 6: Barum Czech Rally Zlín, 24-26 August
JAN ČERNÝ (CZE) Position: Fifth
Co-driver: Petr Černohorský (CZE) Team: ACCR Czech Rally Team Car: Ford Fiesta R5
“For sure the problems all started on the first stage where we lost the wheel, we didn’t hit anything, we just lost the wheel, the same like for [Václav] Pech. That was strange and quite difficult because we also got a five-minute penalty for not completing the stage. But then it was the first proper stage [on Saturday] and I used the wet tyre, which I don’t really like. When I changed for the slick one it was quite good with good times in the top five. But then we had a puncture and lost more time. We started Sunday with the wet tyres and I don’t like them, just one good stage for us, but we are at the finish and we have some points and that’s good although both rallies in the European championship this year have not been good for me.”
Co-driver: Yaroslav Fedorov (RUS) Team: Sports Racing Technologies Car: ŠKODA Fabia R5
“My second victory is good, really I’m glad. I think I drove at 70 per cent on this rally but we were pushing in places when we felt comfortable. But most of the time the conditions were very nervous, very slippery and I decide to just finish and win the class because there was no sense to push and no sense to have problems when I think about the championship. Barum is always hard but it was very difficult in the rain. I am happy we finished but we need to learn more because in some stages the time was not so good and we need to improve. We will have some preparing now for Poland and I hope it will be a good rally for us.”
CHRIS INGRAM (GBR) Position: Third
Co-driver: Ross Whittock (GBR) Team: Toksport WRT Car: ŠKODA Fabia R5
“I went off into the bushes [on the first stage on Saturday], we took a while to get back on because it was quite boggy. The one after that was the worst stage of my career because I had no confidence at all and that’s the stage I had the massive crash on a few years ago. It was a massive learning curve, most of the rally we’ve been testing and only at the very end [did we get] it right with some really good times. We were prepared for a dry Barum and I think we would have gone well but there was just too much at stake to do a stupid mistake and I was scared to be honest. A lack of experience [has been the problem], I’d never driven the car on wet or slippery Tarmac before. We’ve shown a bit of pace and if we were able to do the rally again next week we’d be there [on pace]. We finished on the podium and now we can go absolutely flat out on the last two rounds because we’ll have three decent scores. That will be the plan.”
FABIAN KREIM (DEU) Position: Second
Co-driver: Frank Christian (DEU) Team: ŠKODA AUTO Deutschland Car: ŠKODA Fabia R5
“It’s very good points, very important for the championship because that’s the big thing. Luckily we got second place on the final stage but it’s good that [Filip] Mareš was okay after his crash. It was definitely the toughest rally in my life for sure with all these different conditions and this very slippery Tarmac in some places. The car worked very well and the [Pirelli] tyres are also very good but it’s our experience in the wet conditions that is not so big. We have to drive, we have to learn, we have to get every kilometres to get experience with this tyre in these conditions. Now we are here at the finish we are happy but I’m a little bit tired after doing two rallies in two weeks. But next week is completely holiday and then we start our preparation for Poland.”
FILIP MAREŠ (CZE) Position: DNF (accident)
Co-driver: Jan Hloušek (CZE) Team: ACCR Czech Rally Team Car: ŠKODA Fabia R5
“It was in a long, left corner on the final stage. There was a lot of mud on the road and I lose control of the car. We went into a ditch, spin and hit a tree on the left side. The car was quite damaged, the suspension was broken and it was impossible to continue. It was a big disappointment because our performance was good and I really wanted to get to the finish for the experience, for the result. Jan and me are both okay, that’s the main thing, but now the car is being rebuilt to check how bad the damage is. Winning our first stage outright [on Sunday morning] was a really nice moment in such a competitive field. Sometimes the performance was less, sometimes it was more but overall it was good for my seventh rally in an R5 car in very difficult conditions, especially in the high-speed parts to understand how to use the grip under braking. But being six or seven seconds slower to Jan Kopecký when he is fighting for the victory is completely fine for us so I have to be happy from that side.”
LAURENT PELLIER (FRA) Position: Fourth
Co-driver: Geoffrey Combe (FRA) Team: PEUGEOT Rally Academy Car: PEUGEOT 208 T16
“I am really happy to be at the finish because it was really, really difficult. It was a big discovery with the specific Tarmac here. I had never driven in these conditions before and when I hear [Dani] Sordo say only Rallye Monte-Carlo can be more difficult then you realise this rally is difficult for all drivers. You had to be strong in your mind in these tricky conditions. Okay there were some mistakes from my side but we had the chance to continue and when your car is okay sometimes you can push when the conditions are right. My engineer says I have learned more on this rally than five rallies put together because it has been so difficult with the tyre choice.”
RHYS YATES (GBR) Position: DNF (accident)
Co-driver: Elliott Edmondson (GBR) Team: Kresta Racing Car: ŠKODA Fabia R5
“It was two kilometres in a fast, narrow section. I misjudged a corner, clipped a steel pole and it broke the steering. We went off into a field and had to park up. We were in fifth gear, flat out. The pole wasn't hidden but it was a small misjudgement on my part. We talked to Roman [Kresta] about restarting but with the conditions how they were there was no point taking the risk. Besides we’d done the recce and got a feel for the rally. It’s a shame it ended early, we were cut off in our prime a little bit. It was a tough event but the best event I’ve ever done with all the spectators.”


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