The German driver is seven points clear of fellow Suzuki Swift runner Karl Kruuda in the standings after four rounds. However, it is Hans Weijs Jr, who will line up in a Citroen C2 Super 1600, who is set to be Burkart’s biggest threat.
Here’s what Burkart had to say on the eve of Rallye de France:
It’s everyone’s first time in Alsace, which should help to even the playing field. How are you going to make the most of this?
“One of my strengths is writing good pace notes to cover new stages, I hope this will give me an advantage on this rally.”
We’re nearing the end of the season and the Championship’s within your grasp. How are you going to secure the trophy?
“It has been crucial for me to score points on every rally this year, so we are trying to go flat out with taking any risks - not easy! Honestly, this will be a difficult rally and it will be a tough task to win the Championship.”
With one round to go you’re in the lead but Kevin Abbring and Hans Weijs are snapping at your heels. How can you hold your advantage?
“By surviving Rallye de France. It is very fast, very dirty and very slippery on the stages. If I can complete this rally, then I will push in Spain where there’s a day’s rallying on gravel again, which is a good combination for us.”
What plans do you have in the pipeline for 2011 and how could a win in the J-WRC help this?
“I have lots of thoughts about next year at the moment, but I’m not sure of anything yet. Of course to win a Championship title is always helpful in any discussion with new partners and sponsors though.”
The FIA Word Council announced that the J-WRC will be replaced by the WRC Academy in 2011. How do you think this will change World Rally for young drivers new to the sport?
“It depends on your perspective. All the drivers will be competing in the same conditions - for example all in the same make of car - which will provide a better comparison. The cost of taking part will also be less. On the other hand it’s always good to have many different manufacturers and car in a championship, because more people invest in it. For this reason it is good that the other 2WD cars will be eligible for the P-WRC from 2011.”