Post Canarias press conference

Post Canarias press conferenceFrom ERC Media [ 05/05/2019 ].
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Pepe López/Borja Rozada, Chris Ingram/Ross Whittock and Łukasz Habaj/Daniel Dymurski attended the post-event press conference following Rally Islas Canarias, round two of the FIA European Rally Championship. A transcript follows. Rally Islas Canarias, FIA European Rally Championship Round 2 of 8 Podium Zone, Santa Catalina Park, Las Palmas 19h00 (local time), Saturday 4 May

Q:
Congratulations Pepe, your first win in the ERC and the first by a Spanish driver in the ERC since 2007. How does it feel?

PL:
I'm really, really happy. It's an honour to win this rally and represent Spain in this event. We worked hard for this victory and this result reinforces that. I want to thank Citroën Racing, all my team and all the people who made this possible. Last year was difficult with not so many opportunities but it was important for my career to be in this situation. It's a pity Alexey stopped on the first stage because it was a good fight. But my splits were good in that first stage. When you have an advantage of more than 30s it's really difficult to keep your mind on the pacenotes, on the road and just drive. But we did it. It's the best moment of my career.

Q:
It's also an important result for the Súper Campeonato de España, right?

PL:
We achieved our main objective of the rally. It was important to win for our Súper Campeonato de España campaign but it has been a privilege to fight against all the ERC drivers and win the rally.

Q:
Borja, you have worked with Pepe for a few seasons. How good was the performance this weekend?

BR:
My good friend Pepe López showed good traits last season and with the work that he has put in, this achievement is a natural result of his progression.

Q:
The day started with a big fight with Alexey Lukyanuk but when he retired, how hard was it to keep the focus?

BR:
It was very difficult to have a good rhythm when Luyanuk retired. It's quite complicated to redirect your attention when you see yourself up there at the top of the table.

Q:
Chris, two ERC rallies and two podiums in a row. You must be very pleased?

CI:
Yes, really pleased. The team have done an incredible job. The car has been perfect, Ross [Whittock] has been perfect, the tyres have been perfect. I didn't have any confidence at the start: we were P16 on the Qualifying Stage and ninth on the first stage. I'm under so much pressure because I've got no money, I can't afford to crash because that's the end of my career. I have to take it step-by-step but we proved at the end of the rally that, when I'm in the zone, I have the pace. We need to get some more sponsors and I'm sure we can win.

Q:
How good is this result for your championship?

CL:
Yes, very good, two good scores now, the same as Łukasz [Habaj], so we're going to have a big fight in Latvia.

Q:
Ross, as well as a good result you also scored some stage wins. You must be very satisfied?

RW:
Yes, we proved our pace at the end with the stage wins but we've got to be doing that from the first stage and hopefully one day we're at the top step of the ERC.

Q:
Łukasz, a fantastic third place on only your second asphalt rally with the ŠKODA Fabia R5 and continued leader of the ERC championship classification?

LH:
Yeah, that's the most important thing for us actually, points. We're looking at the championship. In our discussions before the rally, I was actually pointing to Pepe López as one of the top contenders here. I expected him to be very fast here and also Chris. I even thought that on the Qualifying Stage that his P16 was a little bit of a trick to save tyres and get a good position without wearing out his tyres! For us, it's great. Second rally, second podium. The most important thing is that we're still leading the championship and we scored some good points, although today was very difficult.

Q:
Daniel, talk to us about that dramatic afternoon, getting on the podium so close to the end.

DD:
This afternoon's last loop was very dramatic for many crews. Our plan was to fight for a good position and finish the rally. We had a clean run and a good position on the last two stages, so now we are here.