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Transcript of the pre-match press conference organised by the FIA for the 2021 Rally Croatia.

2021 WRC - Rally Croatia - Pre-event FIA Press Conference

FIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP

Cloak:

Kalle Rovanperä (FIN) – Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT

Craig Breen (IRL) – Hyundai Shell Mobis World Rally Team

Adrien Fourmaux (FRA) – M-Sport Ford World Rally Team

Pierre-Louis Loubet (FRA) – Hyundai 2C Competition

 

Q:

Kalle, we’re going to originate up with you as championship leader heading into the Croatia Rally. Huge match for everybody, it’s a tag-original self-discipline accessible. What are you able to declare from what you’ve viewed of the roads accessible on the recce?

KR:

The rally is original for everybody and it’s fine to be starting first automobile on the boulevard on a Tarmac match. But it appears to be fancy the conditions are going to be in level of reality tough on the phases. The phases are primarily quite technical and like a flash the total time. The placement is kind of accurate in some locations but then some locations when it became raining before the recce there became a whole lot of mud and dirt on the boulevard so it won’t be so straightforward.

Q:

Is it fancy a gravel rally in system or is it not that execrable?

KR:

Some system on Friday behold fancy it’s not going to learn us so noteworthy to be the main automobile. There are some phases in system which can be fleshy mud after the recce and these system will not be a colossal income for us but hopefully in some locations it would possibly well well benefit us furthermore.  

 

Q:

Enact you feel any varied being the championship leader or enact you trusty feel fancy the fashioned Kalle Rovanperä?

KR:

No longer in level of reality, it is not altering the relaxation for me. We are trusty first automobile on the boulevard on Friday and that’s it, nothing else for me.

Q:

Craig, let’s flip to you, you would hang got for sure won a championship on Tarmac in Eire, the Irish Tarmac Rally Championship. How noteworthy enact the roads right here compare to what you’ve experienced at house, any similarities at all?

CB:

Every person has been saying the equal declare that it appears to be fancy house. Inspire house is terribly bumpy, clearly, a whole bunch jumps and crests and issues. No longer to knock the Croatians for building execrable roads however the roads [back home] are built quite neatly but right here they’re broken and you would hang got a whole lot of gravel coming by in locations, a whole lot of mud on the side of the boulevard so it’s a chunk of of bit varied as we’ll uncover from Bobby Willis if we get the rally to head benefit to Eire. Right here it’s noteworthy extra tough I prefer to dispute. The different of getting mud on the boulevard is spherical every nook. The climatic conditions… it’s clearly very unstable what it’s going to enact in the next 24 hours and it’s going to be not so noteworthy of a racers’ rally but whilst you would also furthermore be artful and retain your nose elegant this would possibly well maybe well well also furthermore be very well-known.

Q:

We’re seeing jumps on a Tarmac match right here, which is a chunk of out of the ordinary, but what are they fancy?

CB:

We should hang extra jumps on a Tarmac rally! It’s varied I prefer to dispute. From that side it’s one thing I’m able to uncover from benefit house so that you would possibly well maybe soar the car as it’d be on Tarmac since you would hang got to be loads extra accurate than you would be on gravel. Clearly the on gravel you would hang got a chunk of of bit of a window, a chunk of of bit of leverage to let the car transfer left or accurate. But on Tarmac whilst you are landing after a soar onto a narrow boulevard whilst you don’t hang the car placed exactly where it need to be you’re in disaster. In the end, I prefer it, I fancy the feeling of the car jumping on gravel, I if truth be told fancy this fabricate of rhythm of the roads if you would hang got this undulating crests and jumps. But whilst you add in the declare of the mud and, I remark this lack of abrasive stone on the Tarmac, it’s quite a chunk of extra tough.

Q:

Two events benefit-to-benefit for you, we furthermore noticed you on Arctic Rally Finland and you’ve furthermore trusty carried out Rallye Sanremo, are you feeling original and fully fit to head?

CB:

It’s fine, it’s the main benefit-to-benefit rally I’ve carried out on the earth championship since 2018 so it’s a welcome return in that regard. However the match in Sanremo became fine and to get one other diagram shut there became fine but, if truth be told, it’s an enormous step every time you get correct into a World Rally Automobile. My closing reference became the closing stage on Sanremo in the R5 automobile and straight into shakedown this morning and I prefer to dispute the main couple of ks of the main slip it does originate your eyes because there’s in level of reality not a whole lot of comparability between the 2 autos. But it’s accurate to get kilometres on the benefit of the wheel of a rally automobile and it’s fine to get a victory right here and there on the different hand it’s a definite stage right here.

Q:

Turning to Adrien Fourmaux, your first WRC match in a World Rally Automobile. Are excited are you by this colossal step up and the self-discipline ahead?

AF:

Truly excited to be accurate since it’s a brand original rally for everybody on the different hand it’s furthermore a brand original automobile for me so this would possibly well maybe well well also furthermore be a colossal self-discipline, especially with my pacenotes. That’s essentially the most tough declare to enact to use my pacenotes from the R5 to the WRC. But I’m quite confident that I will be succesful to be in a location to crimson meat up my tempo with my pacenotes so we can gaze. I am in level of reality taking a behold ahead to starting tomorrow morning.

Q:

What did it feel fancy on shakedown this morning because all the pieces is so noteworthy faster in a World Rally Automobile?

AF:

It became trusty relaxing. I became taking half in the total corners, you would hang got all the pieces, vitality, brakes, aero is one other world in contrast with the R5. It’s so beautiful to drive and the feeling to drive inner. It’s silent a Fiesta but I’m able to feel the incompatibility of the tempo.”

Q:

Four years prior to now you began your occupation and right here you are in a World Rally Automobile. What extra or less stress enact you feel or enact you not feel stress right this moment?

AF:

It don’t give me stress. Four years is kind of early and I would possibly well well also furthermore be proud and gay to enact that in handiest four years. I’m able to trusty prefer to revel in and I prefer to uncover time to learn so I don’t prefer to push too onerous on the starting.

Q:

Turning to Pierre-Louis Loubet, what did you have faith you studied of the phases from the recce, had been you shocked on the phases?

P-LL:

This can also furthermore be tough fancy everybody acknowledged. This can also furthermore be a brand original one for everybody but silent you would hang got some mud in each attach on the Tarmac and in an instant in a while in some locations it’s in level of reality onerous to understand how that can be so I am taking a behold ahead and I’m hoping this would possibly well maybe well well also furthermore be okay for us, even though our boulevard attach will not be the appropriate one for the main day. This can also furthermore be a tall-long rally and this would possibly well maybe well well also furthermore be well-known to be artful and verify out to be right here on Sunday.

Q:

The weather forecast is for sunshine for the total rally days but presumably we can gaze a chunk of of rain tonight. Enact you have faith you studied we can gaze some attention-grabbing tyre ways accessible?

P-LL:

That does depend. If it’s fancy this, no, but if tonight we can hang some rain then tomorrow morning this would possibly well maybe well well also furthermore be tricky to know so we can gaze.

Q:

Having a behold at all three days of the rally, which one goes to be essentially the most tough?

P-LL:

All three days are tough. Every single day you would hang got some very tough phases. Even the closing one, the Vitality Stage, became very tough for the period of the recce. Every stage are very, very tough and you would hang got to hang very accurate pacenotes. Cherish I acknowledged, each day are tough.

Query from the bottom

Fabrice Fosset, L’Equipe (FRA)

Q:

What did you enact for the period of the long wreck and did you ever get bored?

KR:

Yeah, evidently I had been once in a while but, in level of reality, I did not enact the relaxation special, fashioned coaching. For sure we had accurate time to organize for this rally with a protracted wreck, but evidently I became trusty expecting this match to originate up and driving with my simulator once in a while, but that’s it.

FIA WRC2 CHAMPIONSHIP

Cloak:

Nikolay Gryazin (RAF) – Movisport

Mads Østberg (NOR) – TRT World Rally Team

Tom Kristensson (SWE) – M-Sport Ford World Rally Team

Q:

We’re going to originate up with our defending WRC2 champion Mads Østberg, it’s colossal to behold you benefit on the benefit of the wheel of a rally automobile because for the closing two events you’ve been our knowledgeable commentator on All Are residing, you’ve been doing the media world but now it’s benefit to the driving world. Is it accurate to be benefit?

MØ:

Yeah it is accurate to be benefit and for sure I omit spending time with you (Rebecca Williams, press conference host). But it’s accurate to be benefit on the benefit of wheel all all over again. It feels nearly half a year now since I did a WRC match. It’s one of many largest breaks I’ve ever had. But it’s in level of reality accurate to be benefit and accurate to be right here in a brand original match and derive some original roads and in level of reality weird and wonderful roads, it’s a fine declare.

Q:

The roads seem fancy a combination of a whole bunch varied events Mads, declare us what you have faith you studied?

MØ:

It appears fancy we always prefer to are trying compare it to one thing to bring among the main journey we hang from the past but, I don’t know, I haven’t been in a location to compare it to the relaxation. It appears to be fancy a combination of so many issues. But what I’m able to impart is the phases are completely astonishing. Half of the rally is on a chunk of extra fancy main roads, quite broad, a chunk of of bit extra fancy Monte-Carlo presumably but with decrease grip. You then can hang got some special phases which is fancy in the fields, in forests between homes which can be in level of reality like a flash, narrow and jumpy. It’s trusty in level of reality spectacular in my mind. Attempting to swap your head between the 2 sorts of roads would possibly well well also furthermore be very onerous.

Q:

This is your first match of the season but on the closing two events how noteworthy hang you been staring at your rivals to behold what their strengths are?

MØ:

Successfully, I’m clearly searching out for to purchase up as noteworthy as that you would possibly well well well presumably judge of and I’m entering the rallies now when the others hang already began. But everybody has had some tough and a few broken-down aspects. Clearly, this is a brand original match. Cherish we noticed in Arctic as neatly that became a brand original rally and fancy we noticed it suits some drivers but not others. I don’t know if we can learn the relaxation from the old rallies as opposed to whilst it is advisable diagram shut it is advisable be on it and that’s what we’re searching out for to enact. I’ll be on it!

Q:

Turning to Nikolay Gryazin, I judge this is your sixth match you’ve carried out in 2021 so it is advisable be at one with the Volkswagen Polo now?

NG:

Initially, I prefer to dispute hi there to everybody who is staring at. For sure I originate as a lot as feel the car in level of reality fine because we did some races and a take a look at programme furthermore. But in contrast with the old years after I drove the Škoda noteworthy extra but with the COVID it’s not straightforward to get a schedule and issues can happen to discontinuance you from going to a rally. The total time you are fancy transferring in the waves, hunting for where you would possibly well well well presumably go and it’s fine to administer it.

Q:

You had been in motion on the equal match as Mads on the weekend in Hungary. Modified into that accurate preparation for right here?

NG:

The roads had been not so equal but we noticed that like a flash guys are coming there too so we made up our minds to head there and gaze our tempo. It became fine to hang some wrestle and it became fine to drive there as preparation for this slip.

Q:

What’s that you would possibly well well well presumably judge of to hang right here?

NG:

We will derive a draw to gaze if there aren’t any mistakes and verify out to hang a accurate tempo. If this stuff would possibly well well also furthermore be accurate then the live end result will happen.

Q:

Let’s flip to Tom Kristensson, the Junior WRC champion from closing season and we welcome you into WRC2. This must be an tantalizing journey accurate now?

TK:

Certainly! I am so, so gay and proud so that you would possibly well maybe be right here and it’s a mountainous mission to uncover. I am finding out so noteworthy the closing weekends after I am doing testing and searching out for to get into the car and trusty so that you would possibly well maybe originate up the season became a whole lot of onerous work. I judge I became counting I became sleeping eight hours all week after winning the Junior title. It became searching out for to prefer it out, how I would enact it and handle this colossal adventure. Lastly, we are right here, finally we are going to originate up and it feels in level of reality accurate working extremely accurate with M-Sport, the workforce, the car is working in level of reality fine and I’m taking half in each minute that I’m sitting in the car so this would possibly well maybe well well also furthermore be in level of reality fine to enact this now.

Q:

Clearly, it’s a step as a lot as WRC2 so how did the car feel in shakedown this morning?

TK:

For sure, it’s an enormous step. The accurate declare is I had been in a location to enact some driving with the Rally3, which generally is furthermore a four-wheel-drive automobile and that get it a chunk of of bit more uncomplicated to uncover the step as a lot as a Rally2 automobile. But evidently it’s an enormous declare to get into. The principle declare is to get into the braking features and so that you would possibly well maybe prefer it out, how the car is working and so forth. But as I acknowledged, I trusty indulge in to drive it and there is a whole lot of different, so I am working with that and it’s in level of reality fine.

Q:

What are you hoping to are trying this weekend? Are you inserting any stress on yourself or trusty seeing how it comes?

TK:

No evidently, no stress. No stress from outdoors and now stress on myself. I’m right here to revel in the inch and trusty to be right here is astonishing, it shouldn’t happen to be accurate. But I am right here now and I’m taking half in it so noteworthy trusty so that you would possibly well maybe compete with these extra or less guys and furthermore doing a accurate tempo. It feels in level of reality accurate and I’m in level of reality taking a behold ahead for the rally and to behold what it would possibly well well also furthermore be fancy. It’s trusty an enormous thanks for everybody that makes this that you would possibly well well well presumably judge of.

Questions from the bottom

Bo Christer Bofeldt, Worldrally.se (SWE)

Q:

How became shakedown and how became the feeling with the car?

TK:

The automobile is working in level of reality accurate and evidently the largest declare for me is to get into how the car is working if we’re altering any space-up, altering the tyres. I hang handiest driven the car neatly three instances now so I would favor some additional time to get into it. But evidently I if truth be told revel in it.

FIA WRC3 CHAMPIONSHIP & GUEST DRIVER

Cloak:

Yohan Rossel (FRA)

Kajetan Kajetanowicz (POL)

Chris Ingram (GBR)

Viliam Prodan (HRV) – non-priority guest driver

Q:

We’re going to originate up with Yohan, it’s accurate to behold you and it’s been a accurate originate as a lot as the season for you for sure in WRC3 after Monte-Carlo. How confident are you coming to Croatia that you would possibly well well well presumably repeat that?

YR:

I am confident but after I gaze the phases it’s not a straightforward self-discipline. I am gay to be the leader in the championship, but this rally is terribly tough situation and we can gaze. The stage is excessive and I am gay to be right here with Citroën and Saintéloc. It’s our 2nd spherical so we can gaze.

Q:

It will likely be a self-discipline since it’s a brand original match but what hang you been doing to get moving for it?

YR:

Appropriate before the rally handiest take a look at, two days, and I behold on the video of the phases. With the COVID I don’t slip in the French championship but for everybody it’s the equal. My automobile is accurate, my workforce is accurate and making ready very neatly for the rally and it’s accurate to be right here.

Q:

From the recce, is the amount of reducing greater than you anticipated?

YR:

Yeah, it’s very, very tough. I don’t hang a gravel crew and it’s very tough for a driver to head on the stage with out the info. But it’s the equal for everybody. We will derive a draw to gaze tomorrow and I prefer to not enact a mistake and we can gaze after three days.

Q:

Turning to Chris Ingram, it’s implausible to behold you right here in WRC3, what made you selected this championship, I now you’ve effect a mountainous amount of effort to be right here?

CI:

It’s a dream attain moral to be right here, if truth be told, even to be sat next to legends fancy Kajto [Kajetanowicz] and getting interviewed by you is known as a dream attain moral. I am so grateful. I’ve had so noteworthy journey in the ERC and it’s been a colossal college on the different hand it’s time to get the next step now and operate excessive, compete in WRC3 this year and WRC2 next year. We will derive a draw to enact our very easiest. I’ve bought loads to learn but I’m hungry for it.

Q:

What hang you been doing to get ready for this match and what had been your thoughts of the phases if you noticed them on the recce?

CI:

We’ve carried out a chunk of of testing, not as noteworthy as I would fancy and I’m a chunk of rusty silent. I’m going to are trying to get into it on day one. My operate is to are trying to enact the rally after which originate on that. From what I’ve viewed on the recce they’re among the main finest Tarmac phases I’ve ever viewed. I feel in level of reality fine about it and I trusty can’t wait to drive them. They’re manner greater than anticipated.

Q:

It’s a colossal amount of competition in WRC3 and WRC2 as neatly. What’s your intention going to be this weekend?

CI:

I trusty prefer to enact and enact my easiest. If I’m able to enact that I know I will get a accurate end result as neatly.

Q:

Turning to Kajetan Kajetanowicz, declare us about your thoughts of the phases since you would hang got a mountainous amount of Tarmac journey from spherical the sphere?

KK:

It’s a colossal word mountainous journey but in my compare Polish phases are equal in some system if we compare Croatia but handiest in some system because we hang narrow roads with colossal cuts with many crests but not fancy that slippery. It’s very slippery, fancy on ice. If it’s damp or dry it’s slippery Tarmac and it’s going to be a colossal self-discipline. It’s going to be tough with out a gravel crew because we hang not hang any data how this would possibly well maybe well well also furthermore be now, how this would possibly well maybe well well also furthermore be tomorrow, Saturday and Sunday. It’s a colossal self-discipline but I’m expecting that, I’ve been ready from Rally Monza so I am ready.

Q:

How noteworthy testing hang you been in a location to enact in preparation for this?

KK:

I did one thing about 200 kilometres but handiest on wet roads. We had a accurate space-up but on wet roads. We will derive a draw to gaze. It’s not the main time this self-discipline for me and I’m hoping I’m able to derive the rhythm on dry Tarmac.

Q:

When you would hang got such colossal rivals spherical you how noteworthy are you taking a behold at them for the period of the weekend or enact you center of attention in your hang rally?

KK:

I hang colossal recognize to my rivals and it’s a colossal pleasure to be right here with them. WRC3 is terribly tough, we showed that in the closing two years. Chris, enact you bear in mind we did a take a look at in ERC in the Azores Rallye?

CI:

I didn’t hang my helmet so Kajto leant me his helmet.

KK:

That became a protracted time prior to now and it’s a colossal pleasure to be right here with Chris because he’s a colossal talent and I retain my fingers crossed for him. But for this rally I prefer to accommodate my job since it’s a extremely colossal rally. I don’t prefer to present my time to my rivals, whilst you know what I mean.

 

Q:

Lastly let’s go to Viliam Prodan, it’s colossal to be right here in your nation for the main WRC match. What does that mean to you and how special is that?

VP:

Lastly, finally! It’s a colossal journey for us and all of Croatia. It’s one thing original and we are gay because WRC is right here. For us I’m hoping the slip can be accurate. It’s very tough special phases, tough rally, our 2nd journey this year of the WRC after Monte-Carlo. After 15 years Croatia has a crew in WRC, Croatia is a small, small rally nation.

Q:

Monte-Carlo became your first journey in the WRC, what became that fancy?

VP:

Complex, tough but a colossal journey.

 

Q:

You greater than anybody will know what we can effect a question to accessible this weekend so what enact you have faith you studied?

VP:

I don’t know. I’m from Croatia and I’ve been driving for a protracted time in the Croatian championship. But for us the total special phases are completely original. We are experienced handiest on the special phases of Sunday. The different special phases are completely original.

Q:

There is a chunk of of rumour that on the Vitality Stage there is a soar named after you since you had a shatter on it. Is this accurate?

VP:

Effective, in 2012 I had a colossal shatter there and they named it Villiam.


Q:

What are you hoping for this weekend by manner of a end result?

VP:

I don’t know if we would possibly well well also furthermore be shut to the Juniors, I don’t know, we can behold.

FIA JUNIOR WRC CHAMPIONSHIP

Cloak:

Martin Koči (SVK)

Raul Badiu (ROM)

William Creighton (IRL)

 

Q:

Let’s originate up with William Creighton, welcome to the Junior WRC, it’s your first year in the championship so how are you feeling, excited? Apprehensive?

WC:

Yeah, a chunk of of bit of every. Certainly excited, it’s accurate to be allotment of the championship. I’m in level of reality taking a behold ahead to getting going. It’s a brand original match for everybody so a terribly tough match. But we had a accurate recce. I’m trusty tall-excited to be right here. We’re right here representing the Motorsport Eire Rally Academy, which is nice. All people is following our growth benefit house so hopefully we can hang an beautiful rally.

Q:

How noteworthy is the journey from benefit house going to level to you how to this weekend?

WC:

We’ve carried out quite a chunk of of competition on Tarmac and that can benefit this weekend. The Tarmac benefit house is a chunk of of extra abrasive I judge, loads extra grip. Right here it’s quite tough with a whole lot of cuts and mud can be dragged from one nook to the next. It’s indubitably going to be a tricky rally and our main operate is to get to the enact line and enact our hang slip and gaze how we get on.

Q:

As neatly as Tarmac, you would hang got journey on gravel from benefit house. Are you in with a shot of the title, enact you would hang got a likelihood enact you have faith you studied or are you not aiming that top in your first year?

WC:

I hang not hang any expectations, I’m trusty going to are trying to accommodate my hang rally, uncover it stage by stage and gaze how we go. It’s a tricky championship, the relaxation can happen and we can’t space our expectations too excessive. We’ll trusty gaze how it goes and verify out to crimson meat up stage by stage.

Q:

Turning to Raul Badiu, this is presumably your closing year in the Junior WRC since you’re getting a chunk of of too dilapidated to enter all all over again. Does that effect any additional stress in your shoulders?

RB:

For sure I am right here to diagram shut on the different hand it’s the equal for everybody. The Croatia Rally is where I’m able to are trying about a issues on about a sections of the phases. But as my colleague acknowledged previously it is amazingly tough rally where even whilst you would also very neatly be going very fastidiously you would possibly well well well presumably silent get a mistake and lose a whole lot of time.

Q:

How tough are the roads accessible, did you effect a question to it to be as tough as it is before you purchased right here?

RB:

No! I hang viewed the onboads that the organisers effect on the acquire and the roads seem like quite like a flash and flowing. But I became already among the main autos onto the boulevard in the recce and I already came all the draw in which by a whole lot of mud. It’s a colossal self-discipline evidently. There are sections akin to Romania, especially the profile but in Romania we hang rocks fair noteworthy next to the phases so we don’t hang so many cuts and so noteworthy mud.

Q:

Enact you feel a diagram shut is feasible this weekend?

I don’t judge too noteworthy. I hang my intention, I will snatch my battles on the phases where I’m able to push onerous. On the cruel phases I will go as rapid as I’m able to and must gaze on the live of the stage if it’s accurate adequate or not. We will derive a draw to regulate for the period of the rally. It will had been fine to hang extra kilometres before the rally, we handiest had 10 kilometres of testing on Sunday after which we had a technical self-discipline. But we came all the draw in which by fair our glide. It’s already a colossal declare to be right here in the press conference but I operate to be on the live of the rally.

Q:

Turning to Martin Koči, welcome benefit to the JWRC and the WRC itself. We’ve viewed you compete over and over over the years so what’s made you attain benefit?

MK:

Initially, thank you for the nice and comfortable welcome. I’m tall-gay to be right here. I’ve been in this championship before and I silent prefer to wrestle for the greater positions as we bought prior to now. I hang carried out the closing three seasons in the national championship, which became astonishing for the journey, but to compete in a world stage it’s one thing for me and one thing I if truth be told revel in and that’s why we are right here.

Q:

Bear you ever competed on any roads which can be akin to the roads right here in Croatia?

MK:

From what I hang viewed on the recce, the grip right here is so deny that it’s very onerous to dispute if anybody had some journey of one thing equal. Identical sure, but nothing fancy this exactly.

Q:

What’s the hope for this weekend and for the championship in primary?

MK:

We will derive a draw to are trying to enact the finest we can. We hang our hopes and goals, but I don’t take into consideration that too noteworthy.

Q:

What’s it prefer to be benefit in the JWRC, it’s a colossal championship with a whole bunch camaraderie? You’ve been doing a whole bunch coaching in the old few days so is it accurate to be benefit in the fold?

MK:

It’s fancy coming benefit to faculty but in a accurate manner, I revel in.


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