Czech driver Martin Prokop ended Rallye Monte Carlo among the top ten, scoring two points and finishing on 9th spot overall in a rally which was, as he put is, pretty difficult to conquer.
Not only did Prokop come to Monte Carlo in new car (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) but he also got a new co-driver only few days before the start of the event. Combined with exhausting Monte’s 2012 schedule and tricky weather, Prokop is happy with the outcome.
Prokop’s rally was largely shaped by accident on first day, which costed him some time and confidence, but as the track dried out he regained some of the speed, admitting he did not want to risk losing out everything due to serious off. In good conditions, Czech found more confidence in car and was able to push.
Martin Prokop and his new co-driver Zdenek Hruza had an interesting interview with Czech portal Volny.cz, explaining their Monte adventure, and from lots of interesting bits and pieces one cannot overlook the fact that Prokop is also not particularly fond of suggested longer format rallies in future.
“Monte is Monte, this is how this rally was once run so I can understand that, but if you spend 12 days for one rally and exchange hotels day by day then it becomes pretty tiring. I would like them to reconsider the idea of such rallies being more common in WRC calendar”, Prokop urged.
Interview also reveals some odd events taking place within Czech team’s Fiesta, such as Prokop and Hruza barely making it into service in time because they got caught up in listening to music in their intercom during long road section towards Monte Carlo!
Prokop admits he was not fully prepared for Monte’s changeable conditions, but quickly adapted what seemed to be ideal combination of tires – diagonally equipped studs: “You never would have though, but that actually worked. With previous cars and active differentials that would not be possible, but new differentials understand your ideas and car is actually very responsive with diagonally mounted studs. You just need to keep an eye on the road and work out special strategy for mixed surface corners.”
Regarding the new car, Prokop says Monte was both ideal and not so good place to make first steps in a new machine. “After the accident we slowed down a bit, and I took that time to get to know the car a bit better. You need to respect the new machine otherwise it will bite back, especially if there’s also snow and ice out there.”
When asked about plans for this season and rallies he’s looking forward to most, Prokop was quick to respond: “I mostly look forward to taking part on Rally Finland”. Interestingly enough, Czech mentioned same rally when asked about the event which scares him the most. :)
You can read full interview here (in Czech).
photo credits: Best of Rally Live – Michelin