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JWRC: Ireland - Post-event press conference

Driver / co-driver: Aaron Burkart and Michael Kolbach (Suzuki Swift S1600).


Press conference.



Q:
Congratulations Aaron on your first ever JWRC win. How do you feel?

Aaron Burkart:
Very, very happy. I don't know what to say. We started with a new team, I started with a new car and the first rally we are doing together is my first win in the JWRC. It's quite a lot of firsts as you said last year so it's quite impressive. I had a good feeling from the start and luckily the Suzuki was strong enough to cover a small accident we had on stage 3. For the rest of the rally it was very difficult with a lot of mud and water on the streets. We made it to the finish and I'm very happy with that.

Q:
You had a consistent year last year, you were runner-up in the Junior Championship but that win has eluded you. Is there a sense of satisfaction now that you have achieved it?

AB:
I think you always feel satisfied when you win, it doesn't matter when or how! It was very nice, Even better because this was such a challenging rally.

Q:
You are in a new car, the Suzuki Swift – how was it this weekend?

AB:
We went to the pre-event test on Monday and this was very helpful. It was very muddy there as well. The circumstances were not as wet but quite comparable, I think we made a good job over there. The main difference is that you don't feel the limit of the car as easy as you do with the Citroëns, you have to be very confident with it, just to drive.

Q:
It's been challenging with the weather conditions. Have you driven in conditions like this before?

AB:
Well we did the Galway Rally last weekend; there was stormy weather there as well, like 140km wind, heavy wind and some streets were flooded. I came here and thought it couldn't get worse but it did get worse!

Q:
What were conditions like today out there?

AB:
The grip was not that different. The streets were more or less dry, the character of the stage was that you could cut and get more dirt out. In the end it was quite the same level of grip; driving style was much the same.

Q:
Congratulations Michael, how was the weekend for you?

Michael Kolbach:
It was quite interesting, I was sitting on the right side; sometimes we were swimming and not driving!

Q:
What did you think of Aaron's driving this weekend?

MK:
Yeah he did a good job and I hope this is not the last time to be on the podium!

Q:
How much confidence will this win give you ahead of the next round in Cyprus?

MK:
I think Cyprus will be very different; it will be a very hard gravel rally.

Q:
From what you have seen this weekend from the other competitors in the JWRC, do you think there are some who have raised their game this year?

AB:
Yes, as I said in the pre-event press conference, the young boys are improving as well. They are doing more kilometres, they are getting more used to the car and the car is improving as well so of course they will be competitive in the following event.

Q:
Your next round is in Cyprus, a total contrast from this event.

AB:
It will be interesting, it is the first time that they split the rally between gravel and tarmac. As I heard we will use the gravel tyres on tarmac and I never did this, so this will be the next challenge to appear.

Q:
How are you going to be celebrating this victory?

AB:
Unfortunately have to be in the harbour early, it's a shame that I can't celebrate with the team. But I'll have a beer or two with them!


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Aaron Nikolai Burkart (D) Michael Koelbach (D), Suzuki Swift S1600

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