Q&A with Vojtěch Štajf

Vojtěch Štajf leads the ERC2 category after scoring victory in round one in Austria in his Subaru Duck Czech National Team Impreza WRX STI. We caught up with the experienced 40-year old driver, ahead of this weekend’s Rally Liepāja.

What are your thoughts ahead of Rally Liepāja?

“In Latvia, for us it will be very difficult rally. Although I have gathered a long line of racing experiences, I still feel most comfortable on asphalt stages that prevail in competitions in the Czech Republic. In Latvia, although there is unlikely to be a large amount of snow, probably we will ride on tyres with long studs, which is unusual for us, of course. On the other hand, we do not have to hesitate over the tyres choice so much as it is on asphalt rallies.”

Who will be your main rivals in Latvia?

“Our priority this year is the ERC2 classification, so this time we want to concentrate on the battle with rivals who entered into this championship. Hungarians Krisztián Hideg and Dávid Botka, and Pole Łukasz Kabaciński, raced in Austria and we suspect that they plan the whole series – therefore we will focus our attention on them. There will be many ERC2 competitors in Latvia, and we expect the crews from the Baltic states, which have a lot of experience on the local stages, to be very fast. But how the cards will be dealt begins with the qualifying stage and then of course the first section of the rally.”

What would be a good result for you this weekend?

“I remain a realist. I am well aware that I have contested Rally Liepāja only once, in 2013, when I completed the event with a fever and a temperature of 39°C. We know how to set up the car to local conditions and we have a rough idea about the nature of the local tracks, but otherwise from the stages I remember just a little. Although I’m currently taking antibiotics this time too, I should be fit come the start of the rally and we will be able to fully compete. When we add a good interplay with my experienced co-driver František Rajnoha, in Latvia we would be satisfied with a top five ERC2 result.”