by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
GP Week : 01-Sep-2009
WRC FEATURE >> the world championship scene. We met during a Swedish federation talent camp function, and we started talking..." What was it like for a Swede to go into the world scene? "Completely different to driving in your home country -- you have to learn everything in each country. Swedish people might be able to go well when they go to Finland, for example, but when you are really abroad it is quite different. You have to learn every different surface, and it is no surprise to me that it takes such a long time for drivers to get to the very top of our sport. All the top drivers are around 30, and that is no coincidence, even though they have been driving for ten years or so. You can win a stage in the world championship when you are 20, win a rally when maybe youare25orso,buttowinafull championship you have to be around 30!" One of Patrik's worst moments was on the final round of the JWRC in 2006 when he went off the road and it seemed he had lost his chance to be world champion: "That was not the best moment of my life. We had been having a great rivalry with PG Andersson. On the final rally (Wales Rally GB) I went off the road because I missed a corner when I was suddenly blinded by the sun. "Emil and I were hanging there by the seatbelts in the stricken car and I said to Emil that coming second in the championship was still quite a good effort. We had no idea what was then going to happen -- PG went off later on the same stage and the race to the title still hadn't finished. "The SupeRally rules in those days said that if we could retrieve the car and get it brought back to the finish by a certain time after the end of the rally, we could still gain championship points. It was absolutely crazy that the championship was decided by the efforts of the rescue truck drivers ..." Patrik then moved on to the fledgling Super 1600 category: "I really enjoyed rallying the old Super 1600 cars. You have to concentrate on carrying on so much speed through the corners and concentrate on perfect lines. You have to attack all the time. It is the same with Super 2000, because again you do not have a turbocharger. This is more enjoyable driving. "I have driven Group N on some rallies, but the feeling is not the same. In Group N you just feel you can sit back in your seat because you know the power will stop you losing time." He also drove Group R -- what does he think of it? "I think the ideas are good, but when I was driving these cars I do not think it is fair to equate them with Super 1600 cars. Now the R3 engines start to be really good and that makes a difference, but the Clio R3 car is still quite heavy. Certainly our people were struggling a bit with the project but now I think those cars go really well. Certainly it is a cheaper way of competing in the same class. With an R3 you spend maybe only half of the money you spend with a S1600 and the value is almost the same." And this year's Production Car Championship? "This year's PCWRC has been fantastic! The top PCWRC drivers are really, really good drivers. Each day a different driver seems to be the fastest. One day Armindo Araujo in his Mitsubishi, maybe Nasser Al Attiyah with his Subaru, then maybe me in the S2000 car. "The championship is quite equal this year. But don't ask who is to be the champion! I know Araujo and Nasser want the title, but I tell you I want it even more. "I think the Skoda is absolutely the best car if you can keep up your speed all the time. When you must keep accelerating from slow corners, the turbocharged Group N cars are better. The new model Subaru had a lot of reliability problems when they were introduced last year, but the car now works very good. When you see the lines through the stones that Nasser was taking in Sardinia, for example, you know the Subaru must be a very strong car." And what comes next? "I want to stay with Super 2000 until the change in the World Rally Car regulations comes along, and hopefully Super 2000 will be the type of car which will fight for the overall world championship. So, I want to stay in these cars for the next couple of years, in 2010 and 2011. "It isn't a good idea to try to find and then spend a lot of money in the meanwhile in a World Rally Car because it won't be worth it. "I have driven three or four rallies in the Fabia WRC from Norway, the one that PG was driving in Norway. These cars are absolutely good fun, I must admit, but at the end of the day it is all about spending money in the best way. You get more value for your money in Super 2000. "For me I would drive a Clio Group N if that is what it takes to stay in the world championship. "That keeps you in contact with the people, keeps you driving the rallies, that for me is the best plan. The World Rally Championship is the very top of rallying and that is where the top people are. There is nothing else I want to do in my life. "And when I finish this business, I guess I will go home and organise snowmobile Safaris around Kall ..." 43