A welcome feature of the recent Rallye Deutschland was the entry of rally veteran Armin Kremer in an M-Sport 2017 World Rally Car.
It was his first rally in a World Rally Car for 15 years, though he has been very active in recent years in Fabia R5 cars.
He pleased his fans by finishing in the top 10, easily the best German driver in the results. And at 48 years old, he was the oldest driver to compete in a 2017 WRC car.
“At the moment, I don’t think I am too old! I am clear in the head, it is no problem,” Kremer said.
“The young drivers drive faster but the German Rally is not an easy rally, it is tricky, like a summer time Monte Carlo Rally!
“I have recently been very active in R5 so I was happy to drive this car. We had a great test and the car is very, very good to drive. So I think I am not too old, I have a lot of experience.”
Armin is also the last German driver to win Rallye Deutschland.
“Yes, that was a long time ago (in fact 18 years) but it wasn’t not important for me that we win the rally, we have no pressure.”
Armin has spent most of his rallying life in Germany, but in 2001 he was European champion, and then one remarkable year (2003) he was Asia-Pacific champion. Surely the Asia-Pacific series must have been a big shock?
Armin Kremer at Rally Germany 2017. (Photos: Holmes).
“Not such a big shock, but it was a good experience. With that behind me I realised I had to make up my mind, rallying or business.
“In 2015 I came back with some starts in the WRC2 rally championship, so that is my heart. Last year we were leading WRC2 through the first day on this rally. Good for me to know that despite my age I still have speed.”
These days, there are not so many active rally drivers who were winning rallies before the year 2000. What do you think about these new cars?
“The sport is just as exciting as ever, these cars are unbelievable, spectacular, it is good for everybody, a good step for this sport. Everybody has a good feeling for them.”
But what about the sport in Germany without a modern day Walter Rohrl?
“Yes it is good, but it has been the same for several years. We need a young German driver who can get more publicity in Germany. For me the next German guy coming in the international rally sport has to be Marijan Griebel.
“I hope he will go to the top of the sport. I push him a lot and I think he is in the moment in a good level, he has been doing well in the European Junior Championship and this event was his first rally in the WRC2 championship.”
And your lasting memories of three splendid days in a 2017 World Rally Car?
“Some big surprises, the speed in a straight line, the width of the car and the speed in fast corners because of the good traction from the aero. And the most important thing is everything we can do with this car.”
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