5 October 2008
Rally Catalunya: Rally reactions - Day 3.
Sebastien Loeb [Citroen Total WRT]:
"It won't surprise anyone to learn that I am delighted with this win. The Riudecanyes and Santa Marina stages we contested today were quite similar to those of the first two days, but the Serra d'Almos test was different from the others. It was narrow, the asphalt was in a fairly poor state and it was quite bumpy. We took special care not to pick up a puncture, just as we did all weekend, and that was one of the main concerns on this rally. In order to make the most of our Pirelli Pzero WRC Hard tyres, I had to adapt the way I drove to manage their rate of wear. But we didn't make any mistakes and our C4 WRC performed impeccably from start to finish, and that has taken us a step loser to both world titles, although there's still a long way to go."
Daniel Sordo [Citroen Total WRT]:
"This is our third consecutive silver medal on our home round and the third time we have contributed to a one-two finish here for Citroën. I would obviously love to win this event one day, but I am happy with today's outcome. It was a superb weekend for us, and there was much less corner-cutting this time round compared with previous years. We profited from Friday's run to make some set-up changes to adapt the car to our tyres and I then fell into a quick but safe rhythm which enabled us to defend second spot. Our C4 was awesomely competitive all the way to the finish and monopolising the top two positions today is a great reward for everyone in the team. It has enabled Citroën to close in on the title and we will do all we can to reproduce the same result in Ajaccio next weekend!"
Mikko Hirvonen [BP Ford Abu Dhabi WRT]:
"This wasn't how I wanted to take a podium and I really have to thank François. He was a true team player and helped me to score an extra point. Winning the drivers' championship will be very difficult now but it isn't out of the question so I will keep trying. I finally found a good rhythm yesterday afternoon and I've learned a lot about driving on this surface this weekend. In Corsica we don't know what will happen but Sébastien and Dani are very strong this year [on asphalt]. We will work to try and be in front of the Citroens because our car is very suitable for Corsica."
Francois Duval [BP Ford Abu Dhabi WRT]:
"The team forced me to give the podium place to Mikko Hirvonen. But despite that I had a very good rally. It was a good weekend for me and I'm happy to be back in the Ford team. I made no mistakes and suffered no punctures and this has given me real confidence for next weekend's rally in Corsica. This isn't my favourite asphalt event because the surface is too pure and too smooth, like driving on a motorway at times. However, I found a good set-up for my Focus, my pace was consistent and I enjoyed the tougher and more slippery roads yesterday. I'm going to go at the limit in Corsica now."
Petter Solberg [Subaru WRT]:
"For sure it's been a tough rally for us, and fifth place is fifth place but it's good to be a little way up there. The car actually felt a little better in the last two stages after I made some changes, so it's the right direction but we still have more to do. Now we have Corsica straight after to continue this work."
Jari-Matti Latvala [Stobart VK M-Sport Ford WRT]:
"This rally started off quite frustrating for me but actually, when I look back, it was positive and we found a good setting. Without a test before the event it took us some time to get things feeling the way I wanted and Friday morning was frustrating as I didn't have a good feeling and also my confidence was low. But we changed some things and I started to drive a bit less aggressively and that seemed to work. The setting we found on Saturday is working and the first stage we had today was great – I can say it was one of my best stages on tarmac this year. Now the car setup is right I have the confidence to push some more so from that point of view it has been very productive. Also I'm pleased to have scored some more points for my old team Stobart and hopefully I can repeat this next week in Corsica."
Chris Atkinson [Subaru WRT]:
"For me I had a good weekend and personally I feel I drove well. If we had the same times all weekend we'd have been with Petter as we matched him all weekend. But I'm happy with my performance and satisfied with my driving. We won't make any real changes for Corsica."
Andreas Mikkelsen [Ramsport Ford Focus RS WRC]:
"I am very happy to have finished this rally."
Matthew Wilson [Stobart VK M-Sport Ford WRT]:
"It's always great for me to score more points for the team and especially here in Spain as most of the top drivers have had tests before the rally. It was also important to not make any mistakes with Corsica so close as this takes some pressure off the Stobart team mechanics and we haven't put a wheel wrong here. We tried a few different settings, which took some time, but got a good diff setting and feeling with the car on Saturday. We tried the soft Pirelli tyres this morning and they felt positive in the middle stage, and we were able to leave the braking slightly later, so that information is very useful heading to Corsica. With no real testing I find it beneficial to have two events very close together; we finished off this rally well, with a good setup and confidence, and that means we will start in Corsica with this fresh in my mind."
Brice Tirabassi [Subaru WRT]
"I am happy with this weekend as we have had good performance and also learnt a lot. I feel more comfortable with the car for Corsica, which is important, but as well as learning a lot this weekend we have also got a good result which I am pleased with. It has been a good weekend for me, and I hope we can continue to learn and get better next week."
Henning Solberg [Munchi's Ford WRT]:
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