1 January 1901
Rally Ireland - Post-event press conference
Driver / co-driver: Sébastien Loeb and Daniel Elena (Citroën Total WRT), Dani Sordo and Marc Marti (Citroën Total WRT) and Mikko Hirvonen and Jarmo Lehtinen (BP Ford Abu Dhabi WRT).
Team principal: Olivier Quesnel (Citroën Total WRT).
Sébastien, congratulations on win number 48 and your second Rally Ireland victory. A tough weekend?
It has been a very, very difficult weekend. The conditions were really tricky, especially the first day. We started with the tarmac tyres and it was nearly impossible to keep the car on the road in these conditions. We understood it was a tyre choice mistake and snow tyres were working very well in these conditions, so from that point the feeling was a bit better and the car was working well for me absolutely no problem at all.
Even with the winter tyres was it difficult to get into a rhythm on the stages when they were so soaked with rain?
It was important to take a good rhythm, to be concentrated, because we had a lot of information from the safety crew that there was a lot of water here and there. I had to listen to the notes and to be 100 per cent concentrated and so for us to take a good rhythm was a good solution and I had a really a good feeling.
You said it was tough, you said it was a challenge. We saw some moments, were there any big moments when you thought maybe it was going to be all over or not? What happened in SS18?
When it happened it was not a complete loss of control but I went a bit on the grass and when you are in the grass you don't know if there's a stone or not. If it's only grass it's okay but if it's a stone it can break something so I was a bit lucky, but other drivers were all a bit lucky one or two times in the rally.
Daniel, it has been a big challenging event, what have you thought of Rally Ireland this time around?
This was very difficult with the weather conditions. It was very slippery and more difficult with water on the road and if you have no safety crew here you have just five cars at the end of the race. For me it is more important to take safety crews on tarmac for all drivers, not just for manufacturers. If you have a gravel crew, then it is not just 20 cars at the finish but 40. It is for safety. It is important and here it is most important, not for performance.
Dani, you have equalled your result from Rally Ireland in 2007; was it tougher this time around?
I am really happy. Not bad for the start of the season. It was a little bit tougher than 2007, on the first and second day particularly. Also for the tyres, but after that with the winter tyres it was going very well.
You made your way to second position through day one – how much were you pushing on the opening day?
I pushed on the first day on the first stage and also on the second stage but on stage three I tried all the time but it was really very difficult to go faster. After Mikko's problem with the steering, it was more easy.
What is your aim for the 2009 season?
Yes, I will try to finish in second position in the Championship because it is very difficult to get in front of this guy (Loeb) but second position is not bad. It will be difficult with Mikko and others but I will try to get points for me and the Manufacturers' Championship.
Marc, how did you find Rally Ireland?
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