Jim van den Heuvel is the 2017 TER Production Trophy winner
Jim, the 2017 TER season has just ended, how has it been altogether for You?
Some rallies were very difficult, but in the end I am happy. We won the TER Production Trophy, which was our main goal for the season, I am happy that we managed it. The podium during Tuscan Rewind was also very nice, I never expected to be on the podium with a Group N car this season, to do it once was very nice.
You were also close to a podium place in the final TER standings, and it has been a nice fight with Jaroslav Orsak, particularly during the final round.
I knew from the start that he was going to be quick. I talked with my codriver, we decided to push in the first loop of stages and then to see what the standings would be. He was too quick for us to catch so we decided to leave it. We could not do much more than this and I want to congratulate him, he is a nice guy. We did our best, but it wasn't possible to match his pace.
Jim, what did You like about the Tour European Rally, and do You have any suggestions for the organisers about things they should change for the next season?
All the rallies were good, great stages, nice atmosphere, nice cities. In 2016 we had driven WRC events, one of the main differences we found in the TER is that everybody is made happy by the organisers, with all the events and all the support given, and that is a very good point for TER. If I was to compare it to WRC, for me it's very nice. The only thing I have in mind which could be slightly improved is the points scoring. Now it is possible to gain points even without doing the whole championship, and I believe if this hadn't been the case this season then third place would have been possible for me. But that's how the regulations were this season, and we knew it from the start.
Do You already have plans for next year?
I am doing my best to come back to the Tour European Rally, I hope with an R5 car but I do not know if it will be possible budgetwise. I will have to work this winter to find the funds, and we will probably be back.