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JWRC: Spain – Pre-event press conference

Drivers: Hans Weijs and Simone Bertolotti

Q:
On the opening day of the season, in Ireland, you showed your pace and form but a heavy crash on day two put you out of the rally. How did that accident affect the rest of the year for you?

Hans Weijs:
It was a disappointment not to finish. I was in a good position at that moment. What can I say? It was a big accident. It took a few months to rebuild my body, and then it was okay.

Q:
Are you back to 100 per cent now?

HW:
Now I'm okay. We are back on tarmac again. I hope it can be good again.

Q:
This is the first time we return to tarmac since Ireland – very different tarmac here in Catalunya; do you prefer this style of surface?

HW:
It's nice. I hope the rally is dry, there's not so much risk. It's like circuit driving. You need to have good lines and keep the speed in. You need to make sure you look after the tyres; you can't destroy them straight away.

Q:
Will you be battling at the top end of the field this weekend?

HW:
I hope to get on the podium and to battle to win. We will see, everything must go well.

Q:
Your team-mate Kevin Abbring sealed his first JWRC win in Poland. Has seeing him do that made you want to push harder to achieve a win this year?

HW:
I want to win, of course. We are in a good way here, on gravel we were not in such a good way – we missed a lot of testing. On the last rally I tried to win but so many things were not going so well. You can see on Sunday, I will push for the win.

Q:
Do you have any news about next year?

HW:
I don't know exactly. I hope to drive Juniors next year, it's a lot of tarmac. It's good for me. I hope I am here for next year.

Q:
KNAF, the Dutch Federation, has a chance to retain the ASN Cup. Are there any strategic considerations?

HW:
Yes, it will be good to win that. It's better for the next year.

Q:
Simone, last year you were in an R2, this year the Suzuki Swift 1600 – how have you found it this year?

Simone Bertolotti:
Of course, the Suzuki is better than my car last year. Now we have a little test and we find the solution for the tarmac. Now the car is fantastic and really fast. I hope we are also fast, like the car.

Q:
We saw you on the podium in Ireland in third position; do you think it is possible to achieve a podium here?

SB:
For sure, we are here to reach the podium. But the race is normally quite hard and difficult. In Juniors there are not too many drivers, but the level is very high. It's hard to make the podium when there is [Kevin] Abbring, [Martin] Prokop and drivers like that – but I think we are in a good way.

Q:
How much does the weather affect these stages?

SB:
If it starts to rain on this type of road it can be quite tricky, but it's the same for all the drivers. You will just have to push and see who is the fastest.

Q:
Are there any plans for next year? Could we see you back in Juniors again or will you move on to another category?

SB:
I hope another year with Suzuki, but I hope. We have to see what we can do for next year.

Q:
A good result here would help?

SB:
For sure, good results help – it makes it easier with the sponsors if you go fast. We have to see what happens. Now we have the rally to do, after the rally, we can see what we can do.



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Simone Bertolotti (I) Daniele Vernuccio (I) Suzuki Swift S1600
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