Q&A with Aaron Burkart and André Kachel

JWRC 2010 Champions


26 October 2010 - 17:05
Q&A with Aaron Burkart and André (…)

Last weekend’s Rally de Espana was an emotional roller-coaster for Aaron Burkart and his co-driver André Kachel.

The German crew tackled the event in the lead of the JWRC standings and looked en route to clinch the title when a mechanical failure caused them to crash out of Saturday’s opening stage. Burkart was devastated but desperate to restart on Sunday morning, under SupeRally regulations.

He did so and couldn’t believe his luck when his rival Hans Weijs Jr had a mechanical problem and lost more than 10 minutes on the penultimate stage of the rally. The Dutch driver was relegated from 1st to 3rd, while Burkart was in fourth place, which meant the German became the last JWRC Champion.

Here is what he and co-driver Kachel had to say during the post-race press conference:

Aaron, congratulations on winning the FIA Junior World Rally Championship after an incredibly dramatic weekend! How do you feel?!

“Of course at the moment, it’s crazy. It’s for me, it’s amazing. It’s a crazy weekend. We crash the car on Monday [in the test], the guys have a lot of work to do and then we retire on Saturday. It’s been a crazy weekend. You guys came to me and told me to make something and now we have something!”

Yesterday morning disaster struck on the opening stage when the wheel came off your Suzuki – did you feel it was all over then?

“In the first moment I was completely disappointed, then we recovered and saw no big damage to the car. The place could have been worse [where we went off]. We say: “Hey, there is still a small chance, let’s try whatever we can do.” When we saw Lemes changing tyres [in the stage] and Weijs said to me [at the end of the stage] “This was really tough,” for me, it was too! Then I saw Hans in there, everything was going mad in my mind. In the end, ‘it ain’t over ’til it’s over’. That’s a very bad saying, but it’s true.”

What does it mean to you after the years of competition in this Championship to finally claim the title?

“It was a good feeling. In the first moment I couldn’t get the things together in my head, then the guys came and told me to get out of the car, but I couldn’t, I couldn’t believe it – then the co-driver told me we had to go because of the 75kph average speed back to Salou!”

André, you have achieved the goal?

“I believe the real feeling will come later after the press conference: there will be a big scream inside the hotel. Today Harry Hunt was five minutes ahead and our goal was to be faster than him. This was a really good job of Aaron, we see Harry in the stage and I can’t read the notes. No, it’s unbelievable.”

Much of a celebration tonight?

“Of course, we will have a good party. I hope Hans will stay, I really feel sorry for him. He has been fast and made no mistakes, and I feel sorry for him, this is the problem. On the other hand, if he’d won, it would be difficult to say: “Congratulations, let’s have a beer.” He’ll be okay later.”

Next year?

“Well, honestly we don’t know. There are three options, this is the Juniors, the C4 WRC and the Ford WRC, the rest, we really don’t know. I’m sorry.”

This title helps, though?

“I hope it will help quite a lot. We will try now to get to the teams and the sponsors and see what we can do. We hope to see you again next year. »



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