FIA ERC Junior pre-event quotes: Kenotek by CID LINES Ypres Rally, round 4 of 6, 25-27 June

Jon Armstrong (GBR) Born: 11 December 1994 Car: Peugeot 208 R2 Co-driver: Noel O’Sullivan (IRL)

“Unfortunately we will not make the start of the event due to damage sustained to the car in the Azores. Major disappointment but we will go and recce the stages to learn for next time!”

Emil Bergkvist (SWE) Born: 17 June 1994 Car: Opel Adam R2 Co-driver: Joakim Sjöberg (SWE)

“Another great rally, another great challenge! After we lost a few, but fortunately not too many, points at the last round of the ERC Junior at the Azores we are determined to fight for the podium at Ypres again. Knowing how hard this will be once again in this highly competitive field, especially our one-two victory at Ireland gives us some confidence that our Opel Adam R2 is capable of winning on Tarmac if we all deliver a perfect job. As a preparation for Ypres, Marijan [Griebel] and I contested the Wervik Rally in Belgium lately. It went really well, we won our class, the car worked perfectly and we found a good rhythm in the cockpit. My biggest goal is to defend the championship lead. But among those strong competitors this means you have to go at maximum attack. And that’s the plan!”

Gino Bux (BEL) Born: 11 August 1990 Car: Peugeot 208 R2 Co-driver: Eric Borguet (BEL)

“The main target in Ypres will be to stop this negative spiral in which we are in. Actually, our ERC campaign is not as we planned. Ypres is my home event, even if it is 300 kilometres from where I live, so I really want to set a very good result. I did it last year for the first time. I had never been there before last year, not even as a spectator, so it’s still quite new for me and the roads are very different compared to what I’m used to know. We finished fourth last year, but the pace was not very good from my opinion. Now, I improved my driving on Tarmac so I hope that it will help me to be able to fight against all the top ERC Junior drivers. Ypres is a very long and hard rally and, as usual, being the fastest every time doesn’t mean that you’ll win. There are some very tricky and slippery roads, and the ditches are very close to the road so it’s very easy to do a small mistake with big consequences. We will do our best and try to have first a lot of pleasure on these very fast and challenging roads!”

Diogo Gago (PRT) Born: 7 August 1991 Car: Peugeot 208 R2 Co-driver: Jorge Carvahlo (PRT)

“Ypres stages are quite demanding and we expect a very difficult rally. It’s our first time in this event, so I’ll have to discover is secrets on each corner. We know that the stages can be very slippery and the cuts on the corners can be very tricky for us, so it requires very good pace notes and confidence, because the stages will be quite fast. We’ve to be very concentrated every time, and the main focus is to learn as fast as we can to take some points from this event.”

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

“Unlike most of the other rallies in the ERC Junior championship, I know the Ypres Rally already and know what to expect as I have competed at the event last year. I like the characteristics of the stages, which should suit my driving style quite well. And I am very much looking forward to the great fans that always crowd the stages and the fantastic service area in the centre of Ypres. Of course the competition is even harder than last year as the ERC Junior is running on an extremely high level this season. But the whole ADAC Opel Rallye Junior Team feels very well prepared for Ypres and is aware that we have a very fast car. The Opel Adam R2, as well as myself, have already proved that we can challenge the best on Tarmac. So with all modesty, my target at Ypres is the podium.”

Vasily Gryazin (RUS) Born: 11 November 1993 Car: Peugeot 208 R2 Co-driver: Dmitry Lebedik (RUS)

“I’ve never been to Ypres, so maybe the rally can be pretty much the same as Ireland, maybe not! But I always said there is no simple rally in the ERC calendar and each of them is very different, unique in detail and different road character. So the best way to prepare is, of course, to have experience in the event before. But as I have not, we only use a lot of video and on-boards to imagine a general character of the Ypres Rally. Anyway, all special stages with its secrets and nuances will be known only during recce. It can be very tricky and interesting. Now I’m ready to push and fight with my fast opponents here in Belgium.”

Chris Ingram (GBR) Born: 7 July 1994 Car: Peugeot 208 R2 Co-driver: Gabin Moreau (FRA)

“I love the Ypres Rally, but it’s a very difficult event as it requires a very specific driving style. On some rallies it’s all about how hard you attack, but in Ypres it’s all about being about to get the power down coming out of all those slow corners. It won’t be possible to play yourself in gradually, so my plan is to go absolutely flat-out from the very first corner, and try to lead from the front. There is little point finishing second or third; I feel that if we want to win the ERC Junior championship this year, we have to win in Ypres. It would be perfect if this year’s Ypres Rally was wet, because then I think we’d have a great chance of victory.”

Amaury Molle (BEL) Born: 17 December 1994 Car: Ford Fiesta R2 Co-driver Renaud Herman (BEL)

“I’m very excited about our first participation in the ERC Junior championship and I am really looking forward to starting the rally. This rally is very special to me because I came here every year since my childhood. It’s my second time at Ypres, last year we won the R1 class after leading the whole race, but we know that it will be completely different this year! The challenge ahead will be difficult but we are here to do our best and we are ready to go. After three rallies with the Fiesta R2 we have much experience and the feeling with the car is getting better and better. It’s important here as the stages are very fast, and tricky if it’s raining. Although we are among the youngest crews, it will be interesting for us to see where we are compared to the others. Getting important kilometres and experience for the future will be the first goal of the weekend.”

Łukasz Pieniążek (POL) Born: 19 September 1990 Car: Peugeot 208 R2 Co-driver: Jakub Gerber (POL)

“Rally Ypres will be the end of what has been a very busy month for us. After the Rally Azores we did a round of the Polish championship and then left straight away to Belgium. We have to be prepared especially in physical terms, as this rally is pretty much like a marathon. We are coming back on Tarmac, which we know the most and we are happy with this. I hope for another valuable lesson and I can’t wait to fight with my rivals in the ERC Junior.”

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

“After a long break in ERC Junior, I’m really looking forward to be back at the Ypres Rally. It’s my first time there and I think it will be a big challenge with the other Juniors. My co-pilot Jennifer has started the Ypres Rally several times, so her experience will be a real help. I’m hoping for a good result.”  

Florin Tincescu (ROU) Born: 8 April 1993 Car: Peugeot 208 R2 Co-driver: Sergiu Itu (ROU)

“The start of the season was actually not the one that I’ve expected. Technical issues have followed us also this season, but I hope to have a clean run in Ypres. I noticed from last year that Ypres is a very difficult rally, and it would have been great if I were able to finish the rally in 2014, but this was impossible due to a broken driveshaft. As we say, a new year, new look, and I hope that we will have a clean run untilthe end without any technical problems. The recce will play a crucial part and we will focus on this and I hope to find a good rhythm in the rally because I want to score some points.”

Joachim Wagemans (BEL) Born: 12 September 1994 Car: Peugeot 208 R2 Co-driver: Andy De Baeremaeker (BEL)

“I have high expectations of my third appearance at the exciting Ypres Rally, and we are hoping for a good result in the ERC Junior championship and want to put down some fast times! The stages in Ypres are always challenging and the weather can also play an important role. This, in combination with the slippery sections, will make this rally a fine challenge. I expect the level of competition to be fairly high in the ERC Junior and we also have to watch out for the local drivers in the R2 class. We are really looking forward to starting next week with our Peugeot 208 R2 of E-Racing!”

Aleks Zawada (POL) Born: 31 March 1992 Car: Peugeot 208 R2 Co-driver: Cathy Derousseaux (POL)

“We are ready for Rally Ypres, and the return to asphalt. We are at the halfway point in the ERC Junior championship, with three rounds left – and we have to try our best to make them count! The Belgian roads around Ypres are very exciting, which I saw last year when we competed there. The most characteristic part of this rally are the extremely deep cuts that can be made on almost all the corners – sometimes its possible to put the whole car into the inside ditch, which helps to pull the car round the corner, allowing us to take the corner that much faster. Last year in Ypres was the first time I was leading a rally in the Junior Championship – something I would like to try and repeat this year!”