Norway: Quoteboard - Day 1

Sebastien Loeb [Citroen Total WRT]:

"I'm delighted to have been able to fight with the Scandinavians at the sharp end. Staying on the road isn't easy at these speeds and we're on the limit pretty much all the time. The conditions were especially challenging second time through because the Group N runners had left a layer of crushed ice on the lines we take with our WRC cars. I could see that Hirvonen's tyres weren't in ideal shape going into the last stage. I don't know whether he slowed down deliberately to hand me the lead, but the fact remains that we're in front this evening. With the gap standing at less than three seconds, I would have preferred to have been second on the road tomorrow, but I don't think running first will be an insurmountable problem. We shall see."

[Speaking in the mid-day service] "The organisers took the initiative of sending a snowplough through the stages between recce and the start, which meant that running first on the road wasn't such a big handicap. I feel confident - the balance of my C4 WRC is perfectly suited to these conditions and I'm really enjoying my fight with Mikko."

Mikko Hirvonen [BP Ford Abu Dhabi WRT]:

"I knew I would lose time on the [last] stage because it was twisty. When we saw how much time we had dropped to Loeb mid-stage, I decided to slow. My lead would have been so small that it made sense to take the advantage of starting behind him tomorrow. I can follow his split times and react accordingly. It won't be easy but I like to be the guy chasing and not being chased."

"It was great fun driving flat out in these conditions and I feel confident. I need to be more careful with my tyres because I seem to be more aggressive in terms of wear than my rivals. The heater didn't work in the car and all I had to keep me warm was a small heater attached to my driving boots on the liaison sections. I feel so cold that all I want now is a hot shower and my bed!"

Jari-Matti Latvala [BP Ford Abu Dhabi WRT]:

"I didn't really find the right feeling [this morning] so I made the car set-up a little softer during the short service before the afternoon loop. I had a good winter test in December so I didn't want to make big changes, just a few small tweaks."

"My driving was better this afternoon. When the car came out of the ruts it slid too much so I had some learning to do. I'm a little disappointed to have dropped time this morning but I'm back in the game tonight. Tomorrow's stages are much faster and I'm third in the start order, which I think is the best position."

Daniel Sordo [Citroen Total WRT]:

"Driving on snow isn't my speciality, but I've got to say that it's beginning to come more naturally to me. I have a good feeling with my C4 WRC, as well as with the set-up we have chosen for this event. I still don't have enough confidence to be able to mix it with the others, especially through the twistier portions, but I can't wait for the second day to start so that I can continue to learn."

[Speaking in the mid-day service] "I dropped some time through those portions where I was using my notes from 2007, and I also stalled in a hairpin. I had great fun, though, especially through the parts where I felt I had the confidence to push harder. I'm reasonably pleased with the way things stand at the moment."

Petter Solberg [PS WRT-Citroen Xsara WRC]:

"I'm happy. My position to the leaders is actually better than i had thought it might be at this point. Okay, we don't have the big speed, but we knew that was going to be the case. I've come here for fun, we've got to remember that. At the moment, I haven't made the big push yet, but there's more speed to come from me."

P-G Andersson [Skoda Fabia WRC]:

Related Pictures

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Sebastien Loeb (FRA), Citroën C4, Citroën Total World Rally Team

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Dafydd Larcombe - Unregistered

February 14, 2009 12:35 PM

Richard, come on now, you been about long enough to know that tactics are part of the sport, it was when I was driving in the ninties and and still is today. whats ruining the sport is a few people whinging about it istead of ambracing the battle like we see today. Cotez, I dont think for one minute that Ford underestimated the Citroens, in Loeb you have the best driver in the world in any sport, you dont undersestimate a five time world champ who has won on every surface. This is a serious game here. I think the battle so far this morning between Loeb and Mikko has been imense and I only wish I had put down to go to Norway now. Who ever wins will of thouroughly deserved thier victory.

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