ERC JUNIOR DRIVER QUOTES POST-AZORES AIRLINES RALLYE

FIA ERC Junior Championship: Driver quotes (post-event)

Azores Airlines Rallye, Round 2 of 6, 2-4 June

Dominik Brož (CZE) Born: 10 May 1996 Car: Ford Fiesta R2 Co-driver: Petr Těšínský (CZE) 6th

“I am really happy that I was able to finish so amazing rally. This was my first time on gravel and this rally was very difficult to learning on loose surface. I was trying to learn and finding confidence on gravel. We have gain lot of new experience and found lot of friendly people. I can recommend this rally to everyone, it is exhilarating experience. Our car is quite damaged from my learning on last stages, so our start in Ypres is in danger, but we will do maximum to be on start in Belgium.”

Marco Cid (POR) Born: 11 April 1990 Car: Peugeot 208 R2 Co-driver: Nuno Rodrigues da Silva (POR) 5th

“It was not an easy rally because of the weather but it was the same for everyone. On the first day the car setup was not as I like it and I had no confidence to push. Throughout the rally I could improve the setup and in the second loops my times were similar to the first passages of other Juniors. The problem is that they also improved a lot but for someone with little experience at this level it’s already a good start. It felt good to be back running with my colleagues from National 2WD, remembering some good battles from last year. But the European pace is very high from the first leg and I’m still lacking it. I have the speed to win the National event but that is not enough for the European Championship. I was already aware of this when I chose this project and it only requires me to push more and learn.”

Diego Gago (POR) Born: 7 August 1991 Car: Peugeot 208 R2 Co-driver: Hugo Magalhães (POR) 1st

“This is a moment of great happiness because we won a great victory against a factory team. I think there is no better business card for our work and commitment. This was a very tough week and we knew it would be very difficult, but the truth is that with our work and with our talent we can finally enter Portuguese names among the winners of ERC Junior. Leaving the Azores with the victory in two-wheel drive and ERC Junior is the icing on the cake and that’s why we have to emphasise the great support we have always had by all, especially the Azoreans. We had said we wanted to repay that support with something; this victory is for all of us!”

Marijan Griebel (DEU) Born: 18 May 1989 Car: Opel Adam R2 Co-driver: Stefan Kopczyk (DEU) DNF

“It was a pity [we crashed], it had been really great until then. Car, co-driver, team – everything had worked perfectly. Even in SS12 we were up in the split times. Shortly before the finish I had to overtake a R5 car, couldn’t not see anything in the dust temporarily and let that irritate me. In a right-hand bend, we came with the tail a little too far to the outside, brushed a bale of straw and hit the front against a tree. Shame about losing top result and important championship points, but nice to know that we are fully competitive on gravel. In Ypres we attack again!”

Nikolay Gryazin (LVA) Born: 7 October 1997 Car: Peugeot 208 R2 Co-driver: Yaroslav Federov (RUS) DNF

“On the 13th kilometre of the Sete Cidades stage we cut a hairpin and broke the front-left wheel. This couldn’t be fixed on the stage so we retired and restarted by super-rally rules on Saturday. At the beginning of SS15 one of the engine belts went. We changed it quickly by ourselves in hot conditions. After that I was a bit angry, in a few kilometres I made a small mistake. So we couldn’t continue. It’s a shame we had so much troubles and difficulties here. The Azores Airlines Rallye was so important for us – but we got no points and almost no training on local roads because of problems! Hopefully it stays as my worst rally ever!”

Chris Ingram (GBR) Born: 7 July 1994 Car: Opel Adam R2 Co-driver: Katrin Becker (GER) 2nd

“Second place and the championship lead in ERC Junior is a fantastic result for our first gravel rally with Opel. Our pace was very good on all three days. It was incredibly difficult to find in these sensitive exams the right balance between attacking and safety. Perfect pace notes here are essential. Katrin beside me once again did a fantastic job, as well as the entire team. The puncture and smaller shifting problems on the third day cost some time, but I would like Diogo Gago a compliment. He was very strong here and deserved to win.”

Łukasz Pieniążek (POL) Born: 19 September 1990 Car: Opel Adam R2 Co-driver: Przemysław Mazur (GER) DNF

“Motorsport is unpredictable and we have to deal with it. This time we didn’t finish because of the car breakdown. Control arm and axleshaft simply refused to collaborate and that’s why we had to withdraw from the competition. And yet we are happy with every kilometre driven on a gravel road. Of course we’re satisfied with our tempo on each individual stage. We also managed to follow our tactical guidelines. We are patiently waiting for the Ypres Rally. We’ll come back stronger and determined to fight for a top position.”

Steve Røkland (NOR) Born: 14 June 1992 Car: Ford Fiesta R2T Co-driver: Patrik Barth (SWE) 3rd

“We finished third and also had some stage wins in the M-Sport Fiesta R2T. Things have gone better and better during the rally, learning to drive the Ecoboost engine. It was a shame about the stage on Friday when the engine went into safe mode, without those two minutes lost we would absolutely have been in the fight for the win, but we are happy with our third place.”

Julius Tannert (DEU) Born: 12 May 1990 Car: Opel Adam R2 Co-driver: Jennifer Thielen (LUX) DNF

“On the one hand, I am pleased that we show our speed and were able to reduce the deficit to the top during the rally. The fact that we had to end both legs prematurely is extremely bitter and feel sorry for the whole team, which gave me a perfect car every time. We now look forward and bet the next round in Ypres on our asphalt strength.”

Joonas Tokee (FIN) Born: 17 September 1994 Car: Peugeot 208 R2 Co-driver: Jani Salo (FIN) 4th

“Even in the recce, I noticed how challenging the roads were. Before the rally we planned to drive intelligently, but after the first stage we found there was no chance to drive safely because the others went very hard at the front. The stages were so tough that without previous experience it was really hard to keep up. It was as if half the battle was to survive until the finish, after all the problems.”

ENDS

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