21 Dec 09
Norwegian Eyvind Brynildsen is the latest driver to confirm an entry in the FIA's new championship for Super 2000 cars (S-WRC) in 2010.
Brynildsen, 21, has contested the Production Car World Championship for the past two seasons, and finished 2009 with group N victory in the Rally de Espana and a dominating drive in Rally GB - both at the wheel of his new Skoda Fabia S2000.
After announcing his switch to the new S-WRC, Brynildsen talked to wrc.com about his recent results and his plans for the future:
We last saw you in action in Rally GB, where you won the P-WRC contest by two minutes, but were later excluded for a technical infringement (read our separate story). Have you got over the disappointment yet?
"Of course. After such a good first rally with the Skoda in Spain, we started off on gravel in GB feeling very positive and again the rally was absolutely perfect. Then afterwards we were excluded. Okay, that was a disappointment, but it was nothing to do with me, it was just a small administrative fault from Skoda's side. I was the first in the team to say, okay, let's forget about this, let's go out, have dinner and enjoy the feeling that we beat everyone else by two minutes. It's really important in this sport to pick up only the good things. You have to forget about the bad things and move on."
There are some big names already registered for the new S-WRC - how tough do you think the championship will be?
"I think there will be more of a fight to be world champion in S-WRC than in the main WRC, because in the WRC there are only two or three drivers capable of reaching the level of Sebastien Loeb and Mikko Hirvonen. In S-WRC I think there will be about 10 drivers who can win. You've got a selection of Production and Junior champions like Martin Prokop, as well as ex factory drivers like Janne Tuohino and Xevi Pons. It won't be easy to become world champion against so many good drivers."
What made you choose the Skoda Fabia over the Fiesta which is proving so popular?
"The Fiesta does look good but we already know that the Fabia is a really good car. The team running it, Rene George, made me an attractive offer for 2010, they want to work with me and I felt the same about them. We've put together a good group of people in the team. It’s quite a young team and we're all hungry for success - that's important. We're not 100 per cent there with the budget for the whole season yet but we have made an agreement with the team that we will find the final bit together. The important thing is we're ready for the season and even though we don't have the full budget in place I believe we will find it. I'm hoping for a sponsor contract for Christmas!"
Can you become the first winner of the S-WRC title?
"I hope so. Also I hope I can become the first Norwegian after Petter Solberg to take a world championship title. I'm not hiding anything here - I want to be world champion and I hope I have proved that in my two years in P-WRC. So far I've won stages on snow, gravel and tarmac - I hope that shows I'm an all-rounder. Unlike a lot of people from my part of the world I didn't start off with rallies like Finland or GB. Instead I chose rallies like Japan, Australia and Germany, where I tried to become good on all surfaces. I hope I did something smart when I planned my career."
As a fellow Norwegian, has Petter Solberg give any assistance in your career so far?
"Between the ages of 13 and 15 I drove for Petter's kart team, so even back then he was starting to help me. Now I probably speak more with Henning, but I speak to Petter as well and those two are both really good - especially with motivation. That's very important when it comes to finding sponsors. Sometimes it can be really tough, but if I'm struggling I only have to look at them to be reminded that it is possible - that really helps."
So what's your long term goal?
"Well, I'll be 22 in January, and I have started 20 WRC rallies so far, so I have a reasonable amount of experience but at the same time I understand that I have a lot to learn. I ask a lot of questions - I have to. I hope that by 2011 I'll have proved I'm good enough, young enough and brave enough to become a manufacturer team driver."