Before Cyprus Rally
Xevi Pons is making his return behind the wheel of Kronos' third Xsara WRC after missing Rally Japan. The Spaniard is looking forward to his return in Cyprus.
Did you know Cyprus before your first visit last year? How was it for you in 2005?
driving here last year, I didn't know the place. I think it's quite a nice location for holidays. Normally when I think about an island, what comes first to my mind is sea and pleasure. But I don't think the rally drivers will be on holidays next week-end… It will be more of a sauna session! Last year, I drove with a group N car. I can say without any doubt the event is very hard on the cars. At the start of the first stage, the gearbox broke and I started in superally five kilometres after we began. The second day, our transmission broke too and once again superally. Finally on Sunday, we set some quite good times but in the final stage we still had transmission problems. For me, a rally I wanted to forget!”
How would you describe the Cypriot stages? Do you like this event?
“With what happened last year, I can't say I know the stages really much… except that they are very slow with a lot of stones in the middle of the lines. One hairpin follows an other… A tough rally for the machines but also for the drivers and co-drivers.
Normally I prefer fast and wide roads but a good driver should be able to perform on every kind of terrain. So Cyprus isn't my favourite rally but I will try to do my best here.”
How did you prepare for this rally? What are your targets for the event?
“I spent some holidays with my friends. I also focused on the physical preparation with my trainer. Unfortunately, considering the frequency of the events this month it hasn't been possible for the team to organise some tests with the Xsara WRC. So I think I will take maximum profit of the shakedown. My target is of course to finish the rally but on top of everything to get back in the right feeling and speed I had at the start of the season. I have a complete confidence in the Citroën's reliability and I know I can count on the usual faultless job of the Kronos team. My co-driver Carlos and I are as motivated as ever to achieve a good result.”
Press release Citroen Kronos WRT