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PWRC: Australia - Post-event press conference

6 September 2009

Driver / co-driver: Martin Prokop and Jan Tomanék (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo).



Press conference.


Q:
Martin, congratulations on 10 points for your first PWRC win of the season. You've had a busy couple of weeks, haven't you? Finland, you've rallied at home, now you've come to Australia and won.

Martin Prokop:
Thank you for the congratulations. It was a very busy few weeks but I think that's why we have a very good feeling (in the car). We feel very confident with driving and we enjoyed this weekend, so we are not on big pressure. It was a very good weekend for us.

Q:
The stages looked fantastic; how did you find them?

MP:
Yeah, especially for the Production cars they were fantastic roads because it was not rough, very flat and fast. I think it was my biggest pushing or enjoying driving the PWRC car because I was not scared about destroying the car or something like in Greece or Portugal, where the roads are very bad and you have to decide if you will push and risk destroying the car or save the car. So these roads were very, very good for this type of car and also this rally was something new for me. Very, very good; we enjoy it. Maybe we would like to see more spectators or something but for us it was very good rally.

Q:
You did make it look easy on the final day, but you did have problems on the first day; on SS9 you lost the lead but managed to move back up the standings, what happened?

MP:
It was a quite strange mistake for me, because I was using my hand-brake on a very sharp corner. I hit something, a rock or something, I didn't see and destroyed my intercooler. Then on the next two stages we lost 20 seconds, but my feeling was confident like in Sardinia – I was able to get the time back and the speed on the next stages was very good. We were sure that we'd be able to get the first place back again. So it was very good.

Q:
Today you seemed to be driving within yourself. There was no reason for you to push very hard today, even though Richard Mason was not a huge amount of time behind you.

MP:
Yeah but for first stage in the morning I was maybe a little bit sleeping. I saw that he was 1 second faster and so I thought something could happen so I speed up again. On the fast and tricky stage, second stage today, I speed up and did a very good time so I get the time back and then again it was quite okay and I could choose should I risk or how can I save my car. But I keep the same speed like in Finland, all the time the same is the best for concentration for enjoying the rally because if you have to slow down and watch every corner, every stone, it's not fun so we enjoy every stage.

Q:
What would you say has been one of the biggest challenges here in Australia this weekend? Has it been the fact that we have been up really early in the morning and finishing really late at night, or have there been other really big challenges?

MP:
It was the hardest thing for us, to wake up so early and finish so, so late. Maybe it's one thing organisers can think about to make it little bit shorter. But it was a very nice rally; we like it and I would like to come here again. I don't know if it will be possible but I think it will be a nice event again.

Q:
Can I take you back to Finland, though, because you did take the Junior Rally Championship title there (subject to confirmation of the results by the FIA). What's been the reaction at home to that?

MP:
I didn't expect the reaction of the media, it was very good and it was everywhere and everybody knows it. Also the people that never knew something about rally or something about me. So it was a very big thing for me and also then we were driving one event in Czech, it was something fantastic for me because many people came and congratulated me.

Q:
Does that win mean that you can cement your position for next year? Have you been talking to anybody about what you're doing in 2010?

MP:
I think it's too early to know something about next season, but I think we have to decide if we will continue in Production or Junior, or if we will try the WRC. At this moment I'm not sure what the plan is. But I think I can choose many ways.


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