On Wednesday, Reina Nitis and she took place in the premises of “Verte Auto” ES motorsport team press conference, where before the upcoming “Neste World RX of Riga” stage was opened both the new “Škoda Fabia Evo RX” racing car design, and the athlete told about the new cooperation with the Lithuanian team.
We offer you an interview with Reini Nitis.
Rhine, how did you get to this collaboration with the EU Motorsport team?
There is not one specific answer to how we came to the cooperation – there was one phone call, one meeting, tests in Lithuania, another phone call, tests in Finland, so far we have reached the point where we will start this weekend. Neste World RX of Riga stage in Riga. Yes, I rode in a rally this year and I have walked away from the rallycross, but I knew that if there was an opportunity to rallycross, then it could happen right at home. Of course, I was also interested in the possibilities of racing in my home, because the rallycross is still in my heart and the love for it has not disappeared. I am glad that we are sitting here at the moment. I’m ready to give on holiday!
Photo: Neste Riga RX
How did the tests go?
While you’re in the tests, you’re always the fastest because you’re driving alone (smiles). We took one test in Lithuania, after which we went to Finland to take the tests on the same track where the world RX stage was previously held. It was difficult to compare our results with the times of the competitors, because on Sunday, when the world RX stage took place, it was raining, so the next day we went on the track, the track was dirty. But the feelings were good, because the car was easy to drive, it listens. When I make small changes to the regulations, I feel them immediately, which is also the most important thing. On Thursday we will conduct the last tests on track 333, where I hope that we will hone the last nuances so that we can put on top with full throttle on Saturday.
How do you feel while driving this car?
From a sensory point of view, it seems that the car is fast on the track. Of course, it was a pity that it could not be compared to all other cars, but it seemed that everything was fine. We have to work at the starts, as a result we will drive to 333 tracks.
Is there a big difference between this and other rallycross cars you’ve driven?
Of course, each car has its own nuances. Same for Hyundai – we know what kind of people work there to make their machine. But what can I say about ES motorsport, then the team works at a high level and even thinks about things that no one else has thought about so far. Necessary or unnecessary, right or wrong – we don’t know, but the team does everything to make the car as fast and good as possible.
This will give you another opportunity to remind other teams about yourself.
It has to be said that after so many years, its ambitions for the world RX are shrinking a bit, because every year you think about whether someone will see you and that someone has to prove something. At the moment, the World RX Championship has not grown to such a level that there is a big fight for good riders. But, of course, I still want to show myself that I can drive the world RX and I can do it fast enough to compete with the fastest. But, on the other hand, its potential is as much as it is today. But it feels great that I can finally drive home again.
Currently, this cooperation is only for the Riga section?
For now, yes, but on Thursday night we plan to sit down and talk, but we can seriously return to this issue on Sunday after the race, when we will see how it has gone.
This year you are driving a rally in a front-wheel drive car. Haven’t you longed again for the dynamics, acceleration and power of a rallycross car?
Yes, the first feelings were a little strange, but very pleasant. In a rally, you slowly pick up speed and then try to maintain it, but here its dynamics are completely different. High speed, active steering. But I am very happy to ride a buggy in my free time, because it gives similar feelings – closing the speed, steering, skidding. You have to put it all together and transfer it to the rallycross car.
When driving a rallycross car, could you feel that you have not ridden it for a long time? Did the senses return immediately?
What is your goal in this competition?
Must be real. We need to understand how much we have covered in training. The car has not participated in the competition this year, so it is difficult to make predictions – I do not want to say that we will win, enter the Top 3 or Top 6. Let’s drive and try to win the best possible result.