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Oct 06

Rally Liepāja, 6-8 October pre-event press conference transcript (+video)

FIA European Rally Championship 2017: Round 8 of 8

Present: Kajetan Kajetanowicz, LOTOS Rally Team, Bruno Magalhães, Reinis Nitišs, Neiksans Rally Sport, Kalle Rovanperä, Mārtiņš Sesks, LMT Autosporta Akadēmija, José Suárez, Peugeot Rally Academy.

 

 

Q:
Starting with Kajetan Kajetanowicz, currently leading the championship, this event must hold some good memories for you because last year it’s where you celebrated your second title?

KK:
Of course I remember. I wasn’t too fast here last year because the main target, like this year, was of course to achieve the best possible position after the season. This is a great rally but we have the same idea this year for this rally to be in first position in the championship.

Q:
This year the job’s not yet done so is it more pressure than last year?

KK:
I said after Qualifying Stage I feel big pressure. It’s a big responsibility for me. I want to do it for the third time but it’s a long way. I want to do it for my team, for M-Sport, for our spectators and fans and also for my family because it’s very expensive for them my rallies. My rallies are my life. We will see.

Q:
So the battle is on?

KK:
Yes, definitely.

Q:
Turning to Bruno Magalhães it’s your debut here in Liepāja and you’ve seen the stages now. How are they and how challenging will this rally be for you?

BM:
To be honest it’s my first time on these kinds of fast roads, I don’t have any experience and it will be very difficult for sure. Even to find the correct set-up on these kinds of roads is not easy because I don’t have any experience as I told you. Today I realised it’s difficult, more difficult than I expect and with the rain I’m sure it will be tough for everybody.

Q:
It’s going to be a tough rally but how is this city of Liepāja treating you so far, except for the weather?

BM:
Except the weather everything is fine. The stages are good, the organisers are working very well and the city is quite good. Okay, you are focused now on the rally and for sure the rally will be tough. I know I don’ have so many chances to fight with Kajto but even if I have a little, little chance I need to come here and I am doing my job. It’s good to be here in the final of the season and if I win I will be the happiest man in the world but if I finish second I need to say congratulations to Kajto because if he wins it’s because he deserves to.

Q:
I understand you had to change some plans with your wife…?

BM:
Yes, I was married last weekend and I had the honeymoon planned. But after Rally Rome I said I need to go to Rally Liepāja. She said ‘what?’ but I said it’s like that! It’s the same as Kajto says, the family suffers a bit with the rallies but it’s like that. I am happy to be here and after I go on my honeymoon.

Q:
And you will have the full support from your family and your wife is here as well?

BM:
Yeah, yeah, she comes here.

Q:
Continuing with José Suárez, third in ERC Junior U28 how has your season gone so far?

JS:
The whole season was not so good. I did many mistakes and also I had some other problems. But we are here and we show our speed when we can many times. We are here to go flat out again.

Q:
How was the Qualifying Stage for you, the first real kilometres of this rally?

JS:
It was more slippery than what I expect. It’s my first time on these stages. I remember the stages are like Finland and I like Finland very much. I like to go sideways on the stages and here is a good place to do it.

Q:
Turning to Kalle Rovanperä, the two-time Latvian champion and today you were fastest on the Qualifying Stage. Talk us through the stage, what did you figure out, what was going on there?

KR:
For sure it was a good stage for me and it’s good to be the first guy to choose the starting position.

Q:
Will it go just as well on the rally?

KR:
I don’t know. There are some fast guys here now, it’s my first rally with the Fiesta and I am learning the car all the time, better and better. It’s going quite well and I’m happy with the car now.

Q:
It’s your first time against the big boys from the ERC. What’s the feeling inside, are you really excited?

KR:
For sure. We have tested our speed with these guys but now it’s first time official so it’s really nice to drive with these guys.

Q:
Next it’s Mārtiņš Sesks the local hero from Liepāja who was fastest of the ERC Junior Under 27 drivers on the Qualifying Stage. How are you feeling?

MS:
We’re feeling quite good. We won qualification in our class and I am feeling quite confident. As I live in Liepāja we mostly have this kind of weather, raining, big winds so it’s no problem to be slow tomorrow, we will be fast.

Q:
You are taking part in the ERC Junior Experience training programme here. What have you been learning?

MS:
This time we had driving workshops and physical tests. It went quite well especially the driving test because we were winning the qualification.

Q:
Now Reinis Nitišs, the Latvian star from the FIA World Rallycross Championship. What are the big differences between rallying and rallycross?

RN:
In rallycross you don’t get so many kilometres so rallying is a good training for this.

Q:
Which position do you plan to pick when the start selection ceremony takes place shortly?

RN:
If the first one is available I will go for that. Just before the start we had some technical issues so we didn’t get to do the Free Practice before the Qualifying Stage. Then it was raining a lot and we were P13 and I am not so experienced on choosing the start place so I just called Petter Solberg. He said if it’s muddy and rainy pick the closest one to the start.

source: FIAERC.com

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