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Q&A: Xavier Pons - EXCLUSIVE.

by Rob Wilkins


Xavier Pons will make his debut with the Subaru World Rally Team on the Rally Finland next month having concluded a deal that will see him compete with the Banbury-based outfit on all the remaining events this season, as well as doing a full-year in 2008. Here he speaks exclusively to Crash.net and looks ahead to his maiden outing in the Impreza WRC 2007...


Crash.net:
Xavier, first up, congratulations on securing the drive with Subaru - you must be really looking forward to the Rally Finland, your first outing with the team?

Xavier Pons:
I think it will be a good rally to get to know the team and to do some kilometres in the car. Obviously on all rallies I want to do well, but there will be a lot of local Finnish drivers there and nobody will expect a great result. I will be able to have a 'quiet' rally and improve my feeling with the car ahead of the next rally.

Crash.net:
How did the deal come about?

XP:
It was some time ago that I started to have conversations with Subaru and it wasn't until recently that we finally came to an agreement. I am a young driver and I want to show my talent with them and show that I can be a fast driver in the future.

Crash.net:
How have preparations been going for your first outing with Subaru?

XP:
I am now starting to get to know the team and during July I will do two days of testing - one in Finland and one in Germany. At the end of the month I will also do a bit more running and before the first rally I will do another three-day test. That will be important to get to know the car.

Crash.net:
Have you tested with the car at all yet then?

XP:
No, I have just met with the team and the key people. My first contact with the car will be this week.

Crash.net:
Have you had a chance to speak with your new team-mates Petter Solberg and Chris Atkinson? Are you looking forward to working with them?

XP:
Yeah, I am very, very happy to work with two drivers' of that level. I was lucky last year and had an opportunity to work with the world champion, Sebastien Loeb and now I have the chance to work with another two good drivers. You can always learn from working with different drivers.

Crash.net:
Of course you have done three events this season in a privately entered Mitsubishi. Will that experience be of any help?

XP:
Obviously the results weren't so good [in Monte Carlo, Sweden and Norway] - and after the opportunity I had last season [with Kronos Citroen] they were three difficult events. But the chance to do the Rally Norway, a new event, that is good for the future - it is important to have the pace notes and know the stages there. It was a good idea to do these three rallies.

Crash.net:
What are your targets for Finland - and the second half of the season as a whole?

XP:
For Finland, like I said, I want to do as many kilometres as possible and get up to speed as much as I can. For the rest of the season, rally-by-rally, I want to try and get as high as possible in the overall classification. Obviously it would be nice if I can get a podium before the finish of the year.

Crash.net:
How much of a boost is it for you to know that you also have a drive with Subaru in 2008?

XP:


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Xavier `Xevi` Pons [Pic credit: SWRT]
Petter Solberg (NOR) / Phil Mills (GBR), Subaru WRT Impreza WRC 2007. Acropolis Rally of Greece, 31st May - 3rd June 2007.
Xavier `Xevi` Pons and co-driver, Xavier Amigo [Pic credit: SWRT]
Bryan Bouffier (FRA) Xavier Panseri (FRA), Hyundai I20 WRC
Bryan Bouffier (FRA) Xavier Panseri (FRA), Hyundai I20 WRC
Bryan Bouffier (FRA) Xavier Panseri (FRA), Hyundai I20 WRC
Bryan Bouffier (FRA) Xavier Panseri (FRA), Hyundai I20 WRC
Bryan Bouffier (FRA) Xavier Panseri (FRA), Hyundai I20 WRC
Bryan Bouffier (FRA) Xavier Panseri (FRA), Hyundai I20 WRC
Bryan Bouffier (FRA) Xavier Panseri (FRA), Hyundai I20 WRC
Bryan Bouffier (FRA) Xavier Panseri (FRA), Hyundai I20 WRC
Bryan Bouffier (FRA) Xavier Panseri (FRA), Hyundai I20 WRC
Marco Tempestini (ITA) Nicola Arena (ITA), Subaru Impreza
Marco Tempestini (ITA) Nicola Arena (ITA), Subaru Impreza
Gianluca Linari (ITA) Nicola Arena (ITA), Subaru Impreza
Gianluca Linari (ITA) Nicola Arena (ITA), Subaru Impreza
Gianluca Linari (ITA) Nicola Arena (ITA), Subaru Impreza
Gianluca Linari (ITA) Danilo Fappani (ITA), Subaru Ipreza

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