Round 2 of 6: Rally Islas Canarias, 3-5 May

NIKOLAY GRYAZIN (RUS) Position: First
Co-driver: 
Yaroslav Fedorov (RUS) Team: Sports Racing Technologies Car: ŠKODA Fabia R5

“We are very happy because we are progressing and this result is very good. My car fits me like a glove, my driving is not at the limit and we can go faster and faster with more training. Maybe this calm driving is better than pushing but it’s only just the start. Sometimes I have been quicker than Alexey when I am pushing. I am not sure if I am faster than Lukyanuk but I will be faster in the future I think. ERC Junior Under 28 was the target this weekend so it was difficult to try to catch Alexey if I wanted to. When I was faster than him [on stage 10] it was clear driving without big mistakes but I am not sure if Lukyanuk was pushing on that stage. But it was a good time and we managed the road position well [on Friday].”

CHRIS INGRAM (GBR) Position: DNF (withdrew on medical grounds)
Co-driver:
 Ross Whittock (GBR) Team: Toksport WRT Car: ŠKODA Fabia R5

Chris Ingram withdrew form Rally Islas Canarias on medical grounds. He had complained of feeling unwell from the start of the event and spent Thursday night receiving hospital treatment. Although he started the rally, he continued to feel unwell and stopped on the third stage of the event after deciding it was unsafe to continue further. He returned to service in Las Palmas and flew back to his native UK on Friday evening for further medical treatment with the aim of being fully fit for his next planned ERC appearance.

FABIAN KREIM (DEU) Position: Second
Co-driver:
 Frank Christian (DEU) Team: ŠKODA AUTO Deutschland Car: ŠKODA Fabia R5

“I am happy for sure. These guys [in front] have incredible speed and I must say thank you to my co-driver, to ŠKODA Germany and Raimund Baumschlager and his team for this incredible car. Before the final stage we just had a police control before the time control. I was worried at that point [because of the delay] but it was no problem. For the first time here I am really satisfied with our speed, our pace. The main problem was to manage the tyres and we managed it quite good. For sure it was very tricky on Friday morning. The first stage was quite okay, little bit damp. But in the second one, in the middle of the stage, there was a lot of standing water and with the hard tyres it was very challenging. It was a very tight battle with José Suárez and it was not easy to push for the podium because when you try to push you overheat the tyres so not easy to drive fast and smart. But for sure this is down to experience.”

PIERRE-LOUIS LOUBET (FRA) Position: DNF (mechanical)
Co-driver:
 Vincent Landais (FRA) Team: BRC Racing Team Car: Hyundai i20 R5

“It’s very difficult to accept [stopping on the road section with a mechanical problem]. We don’t know what happened. The performance was nice on some stages but the speed wasn’t perfect. It was possible to win more time but the set-up was more of a compromise and not always what I wanted. This rally is good for the experience but I am really disappointed we did not do all the stages.”

LAURENT PELLIER (FRA) Position: Fourth
Co-driver:
 Geoffrey Combe (FRA) Team: PEUGEOT Rally Academy Car: PEUGEOT 208 T16

“It was a fantastic weekend for us with some good times. The scratch [time] in the second stage was really a surprise for us but we didn’t take any risks and the car was perfect. I am really happy for the PEUGEOT Rally Academy team. They all did a good job so thank you for them. We found a good set-up and when it’s a good set-up the time is good too. We take a lot of pleasure from this rally. It’s only my third rally in an R5 car so I am happy with that but I prefer to be on the podium or first. For sure we need to take some experience and we learn a lot. But for the moment it’s a good performance and I am impatient to be at the next [ERC Junior Under 28] rally in Rome.”

HUBERT PTASZEK (POL) Position: Fifth
Co-driver:
 Maciej Szczepaniak (POL) Team: TRT Krezus Rally Team Car: ŠKODA Fabia R5

“It was a tricky rally and I am still trying to catch my experience on Tarmac. In some corners I think I can go faster but we did not want to destroy the car, we wanted to stay on the road. The plan is to get mileage because mileage is the most important for me thing because I need to get some experience on Tarmac so the performance wasn’t bad and we survived. It’s a long time since we’ve been on Tarmac but we tried to improve and improve, we were getting faster and faster. But when it’s your first time here it’s hard to believe it’s working so you have to check before you go faster again. Step by step we improved and our position was not that bad.”

JOSÉ ANTONIO SUÁREZ (ESP) Position: Third
Co-driver: 
Cándido Carrera (ESP) Team: Hyundai Motor España Car: Hyundai i20 R5

“We did the first loop on Friday without taking risks, really calm and smooth. The grip was going and coming and it was hard to find the grip so we didn’t take any risks. Saturday morning was good. We did good times in the ERC and also the national championship. We were too much careful on the second stage [on Saturday], I was told it was damp but the Tarmac was not so damp, just a little dark. But we were in the fight for the podium and I was controlling everything. It’s my first time in the car, we are starting to understand the car and I can push more. But I needed to finish, I needed to know the car to make as best as possible in the ERC but I also could not forget the national championship. We have much work to do on the set-up of the car. We also had some problems but the team us helping me a lot and I am happy to finish, win the national championship, finish fourth overall and third in ERC Junior U28. It’s a good start in my new home.”

ALEKS ZAWADA (POL) Position: Sixth
Co-driver: 
Grzegorz Dachowski (POL) Team: MSZ Racing Car: Hyundai i20 R5

“On the first kilometre of the first stage we hit a kerb and smashed the rim and we were really lucky not to get a puncture. I had a little bit of an off [on Friday] but today I’ve been much more calm because I’ve learned it’s important to go smoothly to keep the speed in the corners and have a really good line. We were a bit late to the first time point [on Saturday morning] because the boys were still fixing the car. Big thanks to them, they fixed it and managed to get it done. I was happy to be here. I am still not confident in what I can do especially after the off but we were slowly improving and making good time and I just want to thank my co-driver, my team and everyone who helped me to be here. Without them this would not have been possible.

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