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GP Week : Issue 2
between the roads in the north and the south, though the roads round Cork are faster than usual. What is the commercial basis of your rallying in Ireland. Is it Pirelli? In fact our main backing comes from a consortium of people who are involved with the Global Group of foreign property developers. They sponsor the Irish Tarmac series itself and use rallying as a promotional exercise. There are four other drivers involved in this scheme as well. Won't you miss the outside world this year? I would like to do some rallies outside the British Isles again, especially the PCWRC rounds in the world championship like I did over the past four years. This year I am finding it harder to put a programme together than I can ever remember. I do not think I am alone in that. What special memories do you have of the Production Car championship last year? It was up and down. A bad time in Sweden, winning the category in Mexico was great, then the punctures in Ireland. The best thing about it all was that we were competitive on every event we did. We got plenty of fastest Group N times, and of course I was very disappointed with throwing it all away at the end of the season when I broke my shoulder. You are now 36 years old. What are your ambitions for the future? (Laughs) Make some money out of rallying! Maybe I have got to find a real job in my life and go rallying as a hobby. I would really like to get involved in a Super 2000 team. I think I have a lot got to offer in that. Obviously I would love to have a crack at a programme with a full works team but there are not many of those these days. Maybe I will have a bit more time to help at our Rally School. And your brother David? He is working very well with his team this year which is sponsored by a training company. How he became involved with them is an incredible story on its own. When David had to withdraw from the PCWRC in 2006 he had pay the FIA a fine and also pay the entry fees for each of the events he missed, a total of some £25,000, a ridiculous amount . Finally he ended up being unusually grateful to the FIA – a guy phone him up saying he would sort out the fine if he could sponsor David in future! That is how the TQ.com team started! Your associations with Pirelli seem to be working well. Yes, and I must say the way that Pirelli are working with the world championship also seems to be going well. I think they are doing a very good job with their control tyre work. With so many rallies already having all different surfaces, their service has been going exceptionally well, especially when you remember that mousse inserts are not allowed any more on World Rally Cars. The only punctures that have happened have come about through drivers hitting things. I have not heard one complaint from drivers about Pirelli's control tyres this year. I am very impressed. 39 RALLY CHAT >> British in an Irish World