Drivers: Aaron Burkart (Citroen C2 S1600), Kevin Abbring (Renault Clio R3)

Press conference:
Q:
Over the past three years the Junior category has been won by a Citro?n C2. Can you make it four in a row?

Aaron Burkart:
Citro?n has quite an impressive record here. I hope that we can make it onto the podium, that would be great. The competition is tough: Prokop and Ogier will be strong and the Suzuki drivers will improve on Tarmac.
Q:
You beat Sebastien Ogier by 10 seconds on the ADAC Eiffel Rally last month, so that has to have boosted your confidence for this weekend?

AB:
Yes, it was nice to beat him, but this is a new rally, a new game, and I am sure that he will be able to push more. But it will be a nice battle.
Q:
Being your home event, is there any extra pressure with that?

AB:
We got so many e-mails encouraging us and that gives us a good feeling.
Q:
What was shakedown like for you?

AB:
We had some questions with the tyres as well. We tried not to push too hard in order not to damage the car.
Q:
And what about the weather?

AB:
The forecast is changing every day. When it rains at Baumholder, it can be like ice. At some corners, you have got good grip and in other corners, it is totally slippery.
Q:
You have scored two fourth positions and a third so far this season and you have already dropped a round, leaving you eight points behind Ogier in the standings. So, do you still feel in with a chance of the title?

AB:
It is quite a strange situation for us. There are three rounds left for us, whereas others only have two rounds left. The Deutschland is my home rally. We will try to push hard and I hope we can survive. Catalunya has nice stages as well. There is not a lot of dirt on the roads there and you can keep the lines you have made up in your pace notes. That suits my driving style. But for this weekend, a podium finish would be great.
Q:
You are the youngest Junior competing this year and you are part of the Dutch scholarship programme - tell us bit about the 'talent first programme'.

Kevin Abbring:
The KNAF, the Dutch Federation, wants to get some young people into the WRC and it is going well. After some selection days, the winners are allowed to start in rallycross and if you win that, you go on to the Dutch Mitsubishi Colt Cup, as I did last year. I won that, too, and now I am here.
Q:
How did shakedown go for you?

KA:
During shakedown I struggled a little bit with the hard compound tyre, but that is the same for everybody.
Q:
What is your impression of this rally, based on what you have seen during the recce?

KA:
The cutting (of corners) is very different here. If it rains, it will change a lot.
Q:
At the last event in Finland you picked up your first points of the season - that must have been a relief to get some points on the board?

KA:
It was a relief, but scoring points wasn't really our goal for this year. Our intention is just to learn as much as we can, as it is only my second season of rallying.
Q:
You broke your leg over the winter - are you back to full fitness now? Does it give you any problems at all?

KA:
With walking and some other things, it can be difficult, but driving is not a problem.
Q:
What do you expect from this rally?

KA:
A points' finish would be great, but we don't push too hard. Maybe we can score some points, but it doesn't really matter whether I come fourth, fifth or sixth.
Q:
You already did the rally last year with a Group N car. Can you benefit from that experience, and from other experience in Tarmac rallies?

KA:
Driving with a Group N car is completely different from what we have now, but knowing the stages is always good. We have also Tarmac rallies in Holland, but this one is completely different.

Comments

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register to add your comment