Drivers: Sebastien Loeb
(Citroen Total WRT, Petter Solberg
(PSWRT) and Henning Solberg
(Stobart M-Sport Ford RT)
Malcolm Wilson (BP Ford Abu Dhabi WRT)
Sebastien, after your win in Mexico you now lead the Drivers' Championship by six points over Mikko Hirvonen, which puts you first on the road here. How much of disadvantage is that? Is there a lot of loose gravel to sweep?
Enough! I do not know how it will be exactly. There are a lot of big downhill sections and narrow, downhill areas with stones. I will try my best as usual.
There has been a lot of rain in the region and the organisers have worked hard to repair damage to the stages, have you noticed any difference from 2008?
Yes. I don't know if it is the rain. Two years ago they put some Dead Sea water on to compact the surfaces. This year there is some more gravel on the surfaces and it is a bit loose. Still, we do not know if it will make a major difference.
You are competing in a fantastic landscape but one that many drivers find difficult to make pace notes for. How have you found it and have you made big changes to your existing notes from 2008?
Yes it is difficult. There are a lot of places where you see nothing over blind crests. Sometimes it is in the middle of nowhere and there are no trees for guidance, just roads over crests. You need to be very precise. You have to be on the right line and have precise notes. You need to trust them. One metre either side and you may hit a rock. The first day is worse than the second day. I just have to drive.
In 2010 Citroen
will switch to the DS3 as their WRC car; what if anything can you tell us about the development on the project?
Nothing special. I drove two days on gravel and snow. This is the first phase of development. The car is quite different because of the regulations. It is a smaller car and it is difficult to compare to anything. I will tell you later.
Last time around there was an unfortunate end to your Jordan Rally with the accident on the road section. Conrad Rautenbach
is not here this time, but the road section still is! How cautious are you going to be?