by Rob Wilkins.
Skoda team leader Armin Schwarz is part of the 'old guard' in the WRC, having made his debut on the RAC Rally GB back in 1988. The German is currently in his second year with the Czech manufacturer, having rejoined the outfit in 2004.
Thus far, neither party has enjoyed the best of results this season as, on the whole, the Fabia WRC has struggled to match the other manufacturer entries.
Speaking exclusively to Crash.net Radio
, Schwarz speaks about his season thus far, his hopes for the next event and, controversially perhaps, why the exit of Peugeot and Citroen could well be a positive.
Armin, the WRC is off to Greece next weekend for the Acropolis Rally, which marks the halfway point in the season. Skoda has had quite a tough time of things this season, haven't they?
Yes. I think there have been some circumstances which we really didn't need. And I think, at the moment, it is not really... the current situation is, for sure, not where the car is. But certain things haven't come together - and, for that, it didn't look so good until now.
You're best result thus far this season came in Mexico when you finished ninth. Have you personally been disappointed with the season to date?
It was disappointing until now. I think we could have had a few good points in Sardinia, in Cyprus and in Turkey, but we couldn't get it to the finish.
We spoke to your former team-mate, Toni Gardemeister, a few months back, and asked him what was needed for Skoda to go forward. He said they need more reliability and more engineers. Would you agree with that?
In one way, yes. I mean, it is not just more engineers, I think more testing would be required. Also, I think a different planning on that what we are going to develop should help.