3 June 2013
Q&A: Robert Kubica and Maciek Baran
Robert Kubica: It was a difficult and long weekend. A long week actually – it started with the recce. For me, I am used to a very flat and clean circuit, coming here in recce was already something of a shock for me – but then it was worse on the rally...
Robert Kubica and co-driver, Maciek Baran reflects on their dominant WRC2 class win on the Acropolis Rally of Greece...
Robert, congratulations. How does it feel to have won the WRC 2 Championship category?
It was a difficult and long weekend. A long week actually – it started with the recce. For me, I am used to a very flat and clean circuit, coming here in recce was already something of a shock for me – but then it was worse on the rally. I never saw such a condition or drove in it. But we got through with no problems, except some dust in SS1 and one spin. It's a great result, great for experience. We gained a lot of experience especially in narrow, twisty roads. This is good knowledge for the future.
This was the polar opposite for you. Did you ever think you could win?
Greece is quite a special event and I heard many stories. When I went to the recce and I saw it was much harder and then in the rally it got worse, I have no experience and everything I saw I had to learn. If I was expecting to win, it's difficult to say. I knew if I come here and drive my way I would be able to make a good result. In the end winning is always difficult, especially something like the Acropolis, this is such a difficult rally – actually all rallies are difficult for me this year! Every single rally is a different character. In Finland you have the jumps, in Sardinia there are many difficult places and also the Tarmac. Everybody expects this to be much easier for me, but Germany and France will be tough rallies for me.
Even when you built your lead you kept your pace up. Were you comfortable?
Yes, the pace and risk were comfortable. In this condition you cannot push 100 per cent first time in the stage. Today was the most difficult day; these cars are not built, especially in gravel specification, to drive slowly, you have to put energy in the suspension and tyres to get grip. I drove slowly in the first stage and there was no grip at all. If you go slow, you risk more. We changed the car to suit the rough conditions and I took a slower pace to the finish without the risk. And I got no punctures – this was not so easy. All good.
Robert how do you rate your chances for the Championship?
I rate my chances as zero. First because I am not concentrating on it, it won't be… not a shame, but a bit crazy at the start of the season. I had no experience before Portugal, I had not driven on gravel and most rallies are on gravel. If you ask me to think about the Championship, I am not thinking about it – I approach every rally like this. I like to go fast and bring the car to the limit, but rally is a lot of experience and I don't have any. I have good skills to bring the car to the limit, but this is 10 or 30 per cent, the rest is experience of the roads and conditions and I am discovering these every time I come to the rally. This is a big challenge and this year, all the time, I am learning all of the time. This is why Acropolis is so productive an event for me.
What was the best thing about this weekend Maciek? How tough was it?
It was really hard days for us. The greatest moment is right now, or an hour and a half ago when we were at the finish. The toughest was today, the competition was very nice, but today when we had enough gap we should drive slowly. It was difficult to stay on the road and stay in one piece. It wasn't easy.
Did you have any moments?
Of course when you drive, already every driver has moments. Fortunately, we are here winning. Everything has gone well.
How special is this result with Robert?
This is my best result in WRC overall and in WRC 2, so it's something special.
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