WRC.com spoke to the Scandinavian aces to find out what’s gone wrong and why neither driver is about to give up on their dream of success in the WRC support series this season.
Patrik, it’s fair to say 2011 hasn’t gone according to plan for you after your exclusion in Sweden and your crash in Portugal?
Patrik Flodin: “We are of course really disappointed having started this year with a very good feeling and a goal to win. Sweden was a disaster and Portugal was terrible. Now we need to have some magic.”
And some luck as well?
PF: “We have been missing good luck. In Portugal we went off the road and it was my fault, I don’t blame anyone else - that’s rallying. But after that we had too much problems with the suspension or whatever.”
It’s not been a great start for you either Anders, has it?
Anders Grondal: “In Sweden I was very comfortable. Patrik was out with his exclusion so it was so disappointing that the engine let me down. It was looking like quite an easy win but then it all went wrong.”
So getting a strong result in Portugal was really important for you?
AG: “It was an opportunity to get some really important points. I had a good start and I was quite surprised because it was my first time there. I was running second behind Hayden Paddon, looking for a good finish but then we made an error and had a big crash. From possibly having one win and one second place we have nothing and the car was really badly damaged.”
Can it be repaired?
AG: “It’s not looking too good. It’s at [car builder] Prodrive [in the United Kingdom] being checking and it’s at the limit of needing a big repair or a new body shell. Either way it’s going to be very expensive and it’s not good for the budget.”
Does that mean you’ll struggle to carry on?
AG: “We will do as many rounds as possible and hopefully there will be some people out there that can help us.”
Turning back to you Patrik, can you still win the championship?
PF: “We need to have good results, then we have to see what the other guys are doing because we need them to have problems. I will only have a chance if something happens to them.”
So you haven’t given up?
PF: “I have to believe I can do it in Argentina [where the next round of the PWRC will take place]. It’s a tough rally but I have to go for victory. It’s going to be hard but I won’t give up.”
Anders, what can you achieve this season now following your disappointing start?
AG: “For sure the championship is over so I just hope I can go out and get experience for next year. I want to come back fast but get to the finish of some rallies. To do that my luck needs to change.”