12 Aug 09
Newly crowned Junior World Rally Champion Martin Prokop is hoping to use his title as a springboard to another level of competition in next year's World Rally Championship.
After four full seasons in a 1600cc two-wheel drive car, as well as being a front-runner in the Production Car championship, the progression to a World Rally Car - ideally a Citroen - is top of Prokop's wish list. But the 26-year-old is also considering the 2010 Cup for Super 2000 cars, as well as ongoing opportunities in the Production and Junior categories.
"My team already has a few Super 1600 cars and a few Production cars, so the easiest way would be to continue like this. But everybody knows that we should make a step up - and for me that step is into Super 2000 or WRC - but it's quite a big step!" Prokop told wrc.com.
Part of the reason for the uncertainly is the fact that Prokop wrapped up the title earlier than he had expected, at a time when next year's technical and sporting regulations are still uncertain.
"We expected we would fight until the end of the season and then see what to do next year. Now we are champions in August and we really don't know what to do," he said. " We have to wait until the FIA World Council meeting [on 21 October] to see what they decide about the future of the WRC and Super 2000. Then we can say what to do.
"If we will not find budget for WRC we have to choose whether to stay with P-WRC or do one more year in J-WRC or if we will try to buy Super 2000. I don't know if it’s a good idea to invest the money in a Super 2000 car yet, I have to wait for the FIA decision," he added.
Prokop said that after winning the title in a Citroen C2, he would prefer to progress to the C4 WRC next year, but felt any World Rally Car opportunities would depend upon the amount of budget he could raise.
Prokop said: "Of course we would like to continue with Citroen because we have very good relationship with Citroen Sport and we know a lot of people there. Also I tested a C4 WRC last year, so we'd like for sure to carry on with this very good team. For me it would be the best outcome but everybody knows it’s about something else - first we have to find budget to do something and then we can ask."
Read more from Martin in our EXCLUSIVE feature posted now in the WRC Extra section.