WRC »

Q&A: Dennis Kuipers, FERM Power Tools WRT

Dennis Kuipers: We had some very good results and I was pleased with the performance.

FERM Power Tools World Rally Team man Dennis Kuipers reflects on 2011, a season in which he finished in the top-ten and scored points on seven occasions.


Q:
Dennis, you took in 11 of the 13 rounds in the WRC this season with the FERM Power Tools WRT. How happy were you with your performances?

Dennis Kuipers:
I was quite happy. We never expected these results. The main goal this year was to gain experience, to drive the rallies and to give the FERM Power Tools brand exposure in the market. We also, of course, were hoping to gain some good results, especially as we did a number of rounds in 2010 in the Fiesta S2000. But in the end we had some very good results and I was pleased with the performance.

Q:
How big a step up was it going from the Ford Fiesta S2000 you used in 2010, to the Ford Fiesta RS WRC?

Dennis Kuipers:
For sure it is a big step. The Super 2000 car is a great car and it is a great car to use to get use to the speed, the rallies and the different surfaces etc, etc. But the WRC car has more speed, it goes a lot faster, and you have to make changes to your pace-notes and adjust them. That was not so easy. But handling wise, it is not a big difference - it is the speed that is. It is about 20 kph faster, that's the big difference.

Q:
You ended the season on a bit of a high with three points finishes on the trot, including that fifth place in France. That must have been a boost?

Dennis Kuipers:
It was very pleasing. Okay in Germany [in August] we already had a good feeling on tarmac and on the second day we were in seventh position overall until we had a puncture [in Panzerplatte 2 - the final test of the day]. We dropped back to eleventh place [before eventually finishing in tenth]. But it already felt good and we were confident on tarmac. Then in France it happened. We had a good feeling again, we didn't have any problems and we got a very good result there.

Q:
You finished in the points seven times in total this year. Did you expect to score so often at the start of the season?

Dennis Kuipers:
No, never, although we hoped we would get some top-ten results. It was nice [to get in the points so many times]. In the beginning you are really happy to get close to the top-ten. But once you have got some good results and been in the top-ten several times, I am sorry to say, you get a bit use to it. Of course you are happy with it. But you always want more and more. I always want to be getting better and better. When you are ninth or tenth now you are happy. But you also think it is possible to get a place higher.

Q:
How much have you enjoyed competing right at the top level in the WRC?

Dennis Kuipers:
I must say it was really good fun. But the most important thing was to gain a lot of experience on the rallies and with the car. We improved our pace on tarmac and on gravel as well. There is still a lot more to improve but I am happy. We learnt a lot.

Q:
What's been the most difficult challenge this year?

Dennis Kuipers:
The most difficult challenge for me, and still is, is improving the pace on gravel. We are not so used to gravel because we are more used to tarmac here in Holland. I had to make big steps on gravel. That was difficult, especially on the technical parts. We had to improve a lot. But I think we did improve on gravel during the season. There is still work to do however, and it is difficult to go fast on the gravel rallies.

Q:
What are your plans now for 2012?

Dennis Kuipers:
by Rob Wilkins



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Dennis Kuipers - FERM World Rally Team Ford Fiesta RS WRC
Dennis Kuipers (NL) Frederic Miclotte (BEL), Ford Fiesta WRC
Dennis Kuipers (NL) Frederic Miclotte (BEL), Ford Fiesta WRC
Dennis Kuipers (NDL) Frederic Miclotte (BEL), Ford Fiesta RS WRC
Dennis Kuipers (NDL) Frederic Miclotte (BEL), Ford Fiesta RS WRC
WRC 2, the official video game of the 2011 FIA World Rally Championship
Dennis Kuipers (NDL) Frederic Miclotte (BEL), Ford Fiesta RS WRC
Dennis Kuipers and Frederic Miclotte, Ford Fiesta RS WRC, FERM Power Tools World Rally Team
Dennis Kuipers and Frederic Miclotte, Ford Fiesta RS WRC, FERM Power Tools World Rally Team
Dennis Kuipers (NDL), Ford Fiesta RS WRC

Start the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.




© 1999 - 2014 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.