Before Rally Catalunya
Born July 2 1979 in Dungannon, Ulster (GB). Fourth season in the JWRC. Finished 3rd in the 2005 championship.
More than four months without competing is a long time. How did you spend it?
"My last outing Ė the Rally Catalunya Ė dates back to
late October 2005. That said, I have been extremely busy ever since, doing sport, fitness training and testing the CitroŽn C2 Super 1600, plus a fair amount of public relations work in order to maintain contact with my existing partners and to try and win over others. I am delighted to be back with CitroŽn for 2006. We have also worked hard to put a budget together to enter in a few events in a WRC car on top of my six JWRC rounds. I also went to Sweden as a spectator. Time has actually flown by these past four months."
The 2005 JWRC ended in Catalunya. As chance would have it, you kick off your 2006 season with the same event. Do you enjoy the stages in the Tarragona region?
"It's nice to be starting my programme in Spain and, in particular, in the Tarragona region. Had it not been for a pacenote problem which cost us dearly, we would obviously have obtained a better result there last year. The car was competitive and I enjoyed the stages. I can still recall them quite well from last year; they are fast, wide and smooth and you tend to cut the corners. They're great! You have to be careful if it rains though. It's a completely different picture then."
What did you learn in 2005? You were one of the favourites last year and finished 3rd. Does that put you under any particular pressure?
"I made a few small but costly mistakes in 2005 and I mustn't repeat them in 2006. My objective is to be more consistent and reliable and win the championship for CitroŽn. I am delighted that the team has placed their confidence in me again. It's a fresh chance and it will be up to me to show what I can do, without any pressure, with a vie w to keeping the Junior title in the CitroŽn camp."
Press release Citroen