Rally Sweden - Pre-event press conference

Monte-Carlo was something special for us, with my team and DMACK we were ready for different conditions. We had a good test for dry or wet tar, but we were not ready for the snow and the snow came for the shakedown. It was a really difficult event and the most important thing was to stay on the road. We had a lot of big moments. Maybe ours was the most damaged car – apart from Jari-Matti and Evgeny's – and we were very happy to be at the finish. We were happy with 10th place, but when we jumped to seventh, this was amazing!

This will be your second year in a WRC car. After last year's 'learning experience' what are you hoping for in 2013?

Martin Prokop:
Let's see, we have quite lot of experience with the new car, but this is a different level of racing from the Junior category or even the SWRC. It's a different level, all the guys are on the same level. Now everything is new for me and the level and speed of the factory guys is very high. We are getting closer, but we have to fight with a small team. We are doing our best, things are still improving.

Who do you compare yourself with this year?

Martin Prokop:
I try to see all the drivers. Last year I compared with Mads Ostberg, who was the best private driver, it was good to see his speed and compare, to see how much we lose per kilometre. But now he is the factory driver and we have to see how is the level of the drivers and which drivers are on the events I did last year. I have no real target.

What stages stand out as being the most difficult? Do you enjoy rallying on snow? What will be the toughest challenge for you this weekend?

Martin Prokop:
I started here many times. But still, when I come here for the first time in a year, I find a piece of white material and I can't understand how slippery it is! The Scandinavian drivers do understand whether the dirty snow is more slippery, or the white, or where is the black ice? On every race, I am trying to find the limit. In previous years I was the fastest non-Scandinavian in the category – it will be hard this year.

A question for all of you: where will you start on the road?

Mikko Hirvonen:
You first… [Latvala]

Jari-Matti Latvala:
Mikko will start position 16. For me, anything after 10.

Mikko Hirvonen:
I agree.

Evgeny Novikov:
For me after eighth place, but we don't have so many options.

Martin Prokop:
Somewhere in the middle, 10th place.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Mikko Hirvonen (FIN), Citroën DS3 WRC, Citroën Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team
Martin Prokop (CZ) Jan Tomanek (CZ), Ford Fiesta WRC
Evgeny Novikov (RUS), Ford Fiesta WRC, Qatar M-Sport WRT
Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN), Volkswagen Polo WRC, Volkswagen Motorsport

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