Thu 04 May 2023

Kristensson to go from ERC rally driver to racing driver on Rally Islas Canarias

Tom Kristensson is planning to be more than just a rally driver on the second round of the 2023 FIA European Rally Championship.

The former Junior WRC champion competed on Rally Islas Canarias in 2018 during his stint in Junior ERC and reckons lessons learned from that appearance have prompted a change to his normal approach.

Speaking in the build-up to the asphalt-only event, the Pirelli-equipped Bilteknik TRT Citroën Rally Team driver said: “I was pushing so hard in Gran Canaria [in 2018] and I really learned that it’s impossible to push very hard and win because it’s all about racing driving, being more cautious, more precise in my driving, taking care of the car the tyres and the brakes.”

Kristensson’s 2018 Rally Islas Canarias appearance was in a front-wheel-drive Opel Adam R2 (pictured below). Although his Citroën C3 Rally2 is driven by all four wheels, the Swede believes he can still benefit from previous knowledge.

“The cars are absolutely completely different and it’s also quite a long time ago, but I can take knowledge of the surface and the driving,” he said. “The feeling I don’t remember so much, the stages have also changed quite a lot and I don’t have so much to go on. But mainly I think I’ve driven quite a lot with Rally2 cars and I’m quite confident in the driving so I need to find my own rhythm and pace and try to manage this in the best way I can.”

Rally Islas Canarias marks Kristensson’s second competitive outing in his C3 Rally2 and his first on asphalt. However, a test on Tuesday has at least given him an opportunity to adapt ahead of the timed action getting under way later today.

“I have to adapt very fast but I am not so worried about it,” said the 32-year-old. “I was positively surprised about the car on gravel, it was working quite good. I am quite sure it’s a better car on the Tarmac than on the gravel, I am honestly quite calm in this way and I really trust the car and the performance. I think it will be easy to get into it.”

He continued: “I always try to perform my best and there is not much more I can do. The only thing I am really focusing on this time is to enjoy it to the maximum. I am driving this top-level car in Canarias and it’s really nice. That’s the best way for me to perform as good as I can and focus. For sure it’s easier if you have a lot of experience but from the Polish championship last year with a lot of Tarmac driving I am feeling quite confident.”

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