Pre-event press conference ahead of the latest round of the Junior World Rally Championship in Finland.
Martin Prokop (Citroen C2 S1600) and Michal Kosciuszko (Suzuki Swift S1600).
Michal, let's look back at Rally Poland, which ultimately ended in disappointment for you with retirement. Was that a critical blow to your chances in the Championship?
Yes for sure it is critical. If you are not scoring points in one event out of six you have no possibilities to catch up. So now it is difficult and there is nothing more to do. We just have to see how the situation changes for the others.
What did you think of your home nation's debut on the Championship calendar?
I am proud that it (Poland) was such a nice event. The drivers liked it and so did the spectators. We had a lot of support. I think it would be great if there were more WRC events in Poland.
This is the final round you will compete in for the JWRC this year and currently you are neck and neck with Martin on points after not scoring in Poland. Will you be pushing for the win here this weekend?
For sure the pressure is not so big for us. Martin has much more pressure. For me it is really difficult to clinch the Championship on this rally so we will try to enjoy this rally and keep Martin behind me. It is not over yet and we need to do our best and to get a good result here.
The final round is Spain – how tough is it going to be just watching the results coming in for that one?
I will be at the event doing the recce for next year but for now there is nothing more to do, just watch what Martin does. There are some good drivers here to compete against and it is something special to be here in Finland.
Martin, you could win the Championship here this weekend if you get one more point than Michal and four more than Burkhart. You could be the new Junior World Rally Champion, is that right?
Yes that is absolutely right. It sounds easy to do it but I will decide tomorrow after the first stage if I want to do it fast and try to win here. I lost the title here three years before so this rally is very important for us!
What will be your approach this weekend?
On this rally, especially, it is really difficult to go off the roads safely - almost impossible. This is why I want to enjoy this rally and try to push. In Poland I was a little bit nervous and made mistakes. I did some good times but it was not possible to win. We did a very good test here on Monday so I feel confident with my car and think we can have a good rally. You never know what can happen on a rally but we will try hard.
We have some new stages here this weekend, what are your thoughts on them?
It is nice how the stages are fast so for our car it is very good with no slow corners. It will be a nice race, and I know one or two stages from the past so it is good for us. It is my favourite.