Interview with Pontus Tidemand

Pontus Tidemand talks about everything and did not hesitate to answer all the questions we asked him.

Q: Hello Pontus! First of all, I want to thank you for the interview and of course for your time! To begin with, how would you describe the last season?

A: I think it was an overall good season where we've had great results. We finished second in Sweden, won in Mexico, Argentina and Portugal. Bad luck hit us in Turkey and perhaps that's where we lost our chance at defending our champion title from 2017. We ended our season with a second place in Wales as well so we've had good results, but this time it wasn't good enough. 

Q: Skoda didn’t renew your contract. What’s your plans for 2019? Are you in discussions with a WRC team? 

A: I can't say much about it at the moment but I want to move up and forward for sure. 

Q: I have a difficult question for you. Did it make you sad the fact that Skoda chosen Jan Kopecky over you to become a 2018 WRC2 Champion and didn’t give you the opportunity to fight for the Championship in Australia?

A: I definitely don't think that was the case, we lost our chance before that so not going to Australia was a decision I fully understand. Skoda let us have an honest fight all season and this year, Kopecky had the upper hand after great performances. 

Q: What will you keep from your cooperation with Skoda?

A: I'm so proud to have been a part of Skoda Motorsport for four years. We've worked flawlessly together and aimed towards the same goals and enjoyed a lot of success, like winning the APRC 2015 and WRC 2 2017. They have given me a perfect car at every rally and made it possible for us to perform like we have. I'm so grateful for everything I've learned about teamwork and car development during these years and that's what I will take with me when moving on. 

Q: Now, if you don’t mind, I would like to talk about two drivers. Your ex teammate Esapekka Lappi promoted in the WRC category. Teemu Suninen is also in WRC despite the fact that he had never become a WRC2 Champion like you. Do you feel a little deprived in comparison with the other two drivers?

A: There are so many great drivers out there and we all compete for the same few spots in the WRC. I'm not thinking about what others do, I'm focusing on doing my best every time I get in a rally car and I hope that will take me to my ultimate goal. We all deserve those WRC seats, you just need a bit of luck and right timing to get there. 

Q: I would like to take you a little back in time and specifically in 2014. A number of your supporters had met you for the first time in World Rallycross. How would you describe your experience in Rallycross? 

A: I had a good time competing in the World RX in 2014 and picked up some new experiences. It's intense as you compete with a much more compact programme and spend less time in the car compared to four whole days in the car at a WRC event. There were lots of fierce fights on the tracks and I learned the importance of being in the game from start to stand a chance. 

Q: Is there a possibility to see you back in Rallycross for a few races in 2019?

A: I'm fully focused on staying in the WRC, that's where my heart is. 

Q: As a professional rally driver, what advise will you give to a new rising rally driver who begins his first steps in the world of rallying?

A: Be patient and try to learn as much as possible - both about driving and the work behind the scenes. Start from scratch with small local rallies is the least cool car you can find and work your way up. You will grow for every rally you compete in. And don't be afraid to make mistakes, that's how you learn your limits and make it possible for you to succeed the next time. 

Q: You took part in Rally Acropolis many times. How would you describe this race?

A: Amazing in so many ways! The scenery were fantastic and the rally fans were so supportive to every driver. It was challenging and big risks to get punctures but it was exciting and interesting every time. I really enjoyed driving in Greece. 

Q: Before we close our discussion, do you want to say something to your Greek supporters? 

A: Thank you for all your support, I really appreciate it and I hope to see you soon - in Greece or somewhere else in the world! 

Q: Pontus, thank you so much for your time and it was my honour to take an interview from you! I wish you all the best for your career and I hope you will have a seat next year with a WRC team! 

A: Thank you so much, the pleasure was all mine. 

Photo Credits: Skoda Motorsport

P.S. This interview was taken on December 2018!

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