3 September 2009
Pre-event press conference – Australia
I compare myself with Henning (Solberg), and his brother (Petter Solberg). So when I start the rally here I will try and match my times with Henning.
Do you think these stages will suit you?
As Sébastien said, there are some different stages. But mostly there are faster stages, high speed, I think. The rally will be on smooth roads that are very narrow and twisty. We will see.
Henning, the last time you competed in Australia it didn't end well, an accident in Perth meant you could not complete the rally. Hopefully we won't see a repeat performance here?
I'd compare these roads with New Zealand and I have done quite well there. If I can get the set-up as it was last year, then I will be happy.
You currently lie fifth overall in the Championship and we have seen you on the podium – has this been one of your best years?
It has been one of my best years. Cyprus, Greece and Finland were very good for me; I hope we can replicate it this weekend.
You are the only Solberg competing this weekend as Petter elected not to come to Australia – you going to miss him?
Yeah I miss him – as my brother. This will be my first rally without him this year.
It is of course good for you in terms of the Championship?
He will be very strong in the last two rounds of the Championship.
The two last rallies of course, everybody is wondering what car he will be in. Has he told his brother what car he'll be driving in Spain and GB?
All that I can say is that he will be driving a car that has a French built rally engine.
A French-built rally engine… which both the Ford and Citroen have? Thank you for that insight Henning...
Mikko, you are first on the road here; will that be difficult on day one from what you have seen on the recce?
It's going to be quite difficult tomorrow, especially if it stays dry. On some of Friday's stages there is a lot of loose gravel. It's going to be a bit of a disadvantage, I don't know how much better it's going to be for Sébastien behind me, but for some of the guys further down it could be pretty fast. But, we'll see on Friday.
We hear it may rain tomorrow, how much would that benefit you?
For sure it might help a bit, so I will be dancing tonight to get the rain happening!
What is going to be your approach then? Are you going to be cautious at all?
I can't really be too cautious otherwise Sébastien will definitely run away from the start. So I will try and find a good rhythm, like I had in Finland, and hopefully we will have a good fight again. For sure it would help me out if I could get more points that Sébastien, but okay, it wouldn't be the end of the world because there are still two rallies left, though it would be a lot more difficult (to win the Championship).
We haven't seen you on the top step of the podium since Argentina – which for you is highly unusual. How keen are you to change that statistic here?
I won a go-kart race! I know it will be tough again. I know that it will be very, very fast, so we will see. We will try our best; it is difficult to know who will be able to have a good rally.
Tagged as: Ford , Mikko Hirvonen , Sebastien Ogier , press conference , Henning Solberg , Sébastien Loeb , Citroën , Australia , Ogier , Repco Rally Australia , Rally Australia
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