FIA Junior World Rally Championship driver quotes after Sweden Rally

FIA Junior World Rally Championship driver quotes after Sweden Rally

19.02.2018: CREW BY CREW Jean-Baptiste Franceschi (4th): With limited experience on snow, Franceschi knew that the Nordic drivers

CREW BY CREW




Jean-Baptiste Franceschi (4th):



With limited experience on snow, Franceschi knew that the Nordic drivers would be difficult to beat this weekend, but held his own as one of the front-running non-Scandinavians. Locked in an intense battle for fourth place with fellow Frenchman Terry Folb, Franceschi came out on top by just 1.5 seconds.



“I learnt a lot on this rally. It’s my first time on snow and my first experience with these tyres so I’m really happy with this result. It puts us in a good position ahead of our home event in Corsica.”




Terry Folb (5th):



Folb might not be accustomed to competing on snow, but it didn’t take the Frenchman long to get up to speed. Battling with Franceschi for fourth place, Folb had the upper hand before missing out by the smallest of margins through the event’s closing stages.
 


"Yesterday was a much better day for us. We didn’t have a very good start this morning and I think I must have been sleeping on the first stage [SS17] as we didn’t have the right speed. We pushed hard through the final two stages to try and catch Franceschi, but just missed out.”




Callum Devine (6th)
:



Devine stepped up as he took a step into the unknown this weekend. The Irishman’s first taste of competitive driving on snow came on the pre-event Shakedown, but he displayed a high level of adaptability by quickly getting on the pace. Despite being one of the most inexperienced winter drivers in the field, Devine showed progress throughout the weekend to secure sixth place overall.



“It’s been difficult but it’s also been a lot of fun. This was my first time competing on snow and I learnt a lot. We’ve been learning as much as we can, as quick as we can, but the guys in front of us have been pretty fast here.”




Emilio Fernández (7th):




Adopting an intelligent approach to his first event on snow, Fernández has been improving with every stage. Gaining knowledge and experience, the Chilean’s hard work and enthusiasm was rewarded with a stage win on Saturday’s final speed test – an amazing achievement considering his inexperience of winter rallying.



“Racing here in Sweden is very nice – I’ve never been here before and I love it. Everything surprised me on this event, and I can say that it isn’t easy driving in these conditions. But now we are here and we have finished the competition well.”





Luca Bottarelli (8th):



Bottarelli implemented an intelligent strategy to best cope with the unfamiliarity of competing on snow. Throughout the field those with and without experience were falling foul of the conditions, but Bottarelli kept his cool – completed all of the stages unscathed so as to take the maximum experience away from this weekend’s tricky encounter.



“This was my first time on the snow and I think it’s normal that we found some difficulties. But we enjoyed it and tried to improve on every stage.”




David Holder (9th):



Hailing from New Zealand, Holder knew that he would have much to learn on the snow-covered stages of Rally Sweden. He may have diced with the snow banks, but he completed all of the stages to take maximum experience and enjoyment.
 


“As our first time on snow it’s been a very challenging rally for us, but also a pretty mega experience. We were in the snow banks a few times but managed to continue without any damage to the car – and we’ve learnt a lot about competing on this surface.”






Tom Williams (10th):



Williams might have endured a difficult start to the season this weekend, but the young Brit displayed a determination that will see him go far. Eager to learn, he took every opportunity to further his knowledge. Rolling his Fiesta on SS4 he refused to give up the fight and, despite some substantial time loss, made it back to service without missing a single stage.



“It’s been a difficult rally and I think our main problem was the pacenotes. I genuinely couldn’t believe how fast the straights were and my notes weren’t quite right for the corners. But we did what we came here to do. We finished the rally and showed some good progress.”





Theo Chalal (11th):


Having no previous experience of winter rally this event was always going to be something of a learning curve for Chalal, but the Frenchman showed a real enthusiasm and determination. After becoming stuck in a snow bank on SS2, he then rolled his Fiesta on SS6 but persevered to get the car back on the road – completing all of the stages to take maximum experience for the future.


“This rally was really strange for me and we had a lot of problems during the first day – a spin from a car in front putting us in the snow bank [on SS2] and then a roll [on SS6]. Luckily we got the car back on its wheels to make it through all the stages.”





Ken Torn (12th):



Having secured four stage wins, Torn had been on course for a podium finish this weekend. Taking to the snow with ease, the Estonian looked comfortable behind the wheel and was just 20 seconds adrift of the lead on Friday evening. But as the action turned to Saturday, he rolled on the first stage of the morning (SS9) and fell from the fight. With his car repaired by the M-Sport Poland technicians, Torn finished the event under Rally 2 regulations.



“Our driving was going quite well but in a fast corner on SS9 the rear started to slide. We hit the snow bank with the front and rolled. Overall, this rally was a good opportunity for me to learn and I think our speed is quite good.”
 



Enrico Oldrati (DNF):



After going into a snow bank on SS4, Enrico Oldrati damaged the radiator of his Fiesta. Upon inspection at the service park, the damage to the engine proved too severe and the Italian was regrettably forced to withdraw from the event.



"On the first stage I was trying to get a feel for the car because I had no experience on ice. On Friday morning we started well but I had a problem with my sunglasses which steamed up. I couldn’t see and I lost a lot of time but I wasn’t worried because the most important thing was to complete the stages and get the experience.



“After that, we focused on the set-up and I felt as though I was getting better, but on the fourth stage I lost my concentration on a long straight when the windscreen steamed up. I didn’t get a note from my co-driver about a left turn and suddenly I saw a snow bank in front of my eyes.



“A big thanks to the spectators who managed to push us back on the road, but after 100 meters the high temperature signal appeared. Unfortunately, we had lost the coolant and cooked the engine.


“I felt very good on these snowy conditions. I tried to drive as clean as possible and wasn’t pushing too hard. Also the car was new for me and its speed was amazing – driving at 170 kilometers per hour on snow was a wonderful experience.


“Now, we need to take a positive attitude forward to the Tour the Corse where I’m looking forward to getting back behind the wheel again.”


 



RALLY SWEDEN CLASSIFICATION



1. Dennis Rådström / Johan Johansson 3:15:26.0
2. Emil Bergkvist / Ola Fløene +7.3
3. Julius Tannert / Jürgen Heigl +4:43.3
4. Jean-Baptiste Franceschi / Romain Courbon +4:52.7
5. Terry Folb / Christopher Guieu +4:54.2
6. Callum Devine / Keith Moriarty +6:27.9
7. Emilio Fernández / Joaquin Riquelme +15:02.1
8. Luca Bottarelli / Manuel Fenoli +15:43.9
9. David Holder / Jason Ronald Farmer +19:16.7
10. Tom Williams / Phil Hall +48:45.2
11. Theo Chalal / Jaques-Julien Renucci +54:00.2
12. Ken Torn / Kuldar Sikk  +55:52.4





RALLY SWEDEN STAGE WINS


Dennis Rådström / Johan Johansson - 9
Emil Bergkvist / Ola Fløene - 5
Ken Torn / Kuldar Sikk  - 4
Emilio Fernández / Joaquin Riquelme - 1







CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS



1. Dennis Rådström / Johan Johansson - 34
2. Emil Bergkvist / Ola Fløene - 23
3. Julius Tannert / Jürgen Heigl - 15
4. Jean-Baptiste Franceschi / Romain Courbon - 12
5. Terry Folb / Christopher Guieu - 10
6. Callum Devine / Keith Moriarty - 8
7. Emilio Fernández / Joaquin Riquelme - 7
8. Luca Bottarelli / Manuel Fenoli - 4
9. Ken Torn / Kuldar Sikk  - 4
10. David Holder / Jason Ronald Farmer - 2
11. Tom Williams / Phil Hall - 1






Anna Louise Rudd- photos M-Sport

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19.02.2018 / MaP

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