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New Zealand - Pre-event press conference

No. First of all I was talking to Sébastien (Loeb) about it. I don't have any other options, you know. If I had the chance I would rather test in Europe. It costs more to do the test, and to use the car you use for the rally is not a good idea. So, it's rather like a shakedown of the car because it was brand-new rebuilt and just to check and recheck everything. But I am sure all the other teams have done a proper job before the rally, you know, testing on a similar type of roads in Europe. You know I take my only choice but I am happy.

Q:
You will start from second on the road; from what you have seen from the recce with regard to the level of gravel do you think you will still be at a disadvantage?

PS:
This is a little bit different type of rally with the gravel. This is more sticky gravel. Maybe the top four or five cars; it is a disadvantage on all the cars but of course much more on Sébastien (Loeb). But driving will be very slippery…. But the second loop it will be difficult for Loeb and better for us. I think it will be the same guys who will be up there fighting again anyway. It's not nice to be first on the road, that's for sure.

Q:
Jari-Matti, you have said that the car feels like it is 'dancing on the road' here in New Zealand; can you explain what you mean by that?

J-ML:
Obviously here, you have big camber on the road so many times you have places where you go left and then over the road to the right. You go over the camber basically. The car might go a little bit in the air from the left to the right. It's a bit of a feeling like dancing but because it's turning all the time. It's a little bit like Rally Finland on the surface but it's turning all the time. Finland is much, much faster and flat roads. Here it's just like it's turning all the time and that's why I say the car is moving all the time, a bit like dancing.

Q:
This year has seen you deliver a more consistent performance than in 2009; are you happy with the way the season is going so far?

J-ML:
It's been good but we got the little minus in Turkey. But least we got some points from there for the team and even a couple of points for myself. But generally, yes, it's been a good start of the season. We need to just concentrate to carry on and try to get those things that happened in Turkey out of the way. I need to just keep concentrating on my own driving and see how the times will be against these guys. Obviously Marcus Grönholm would say that I want to concentrate on my own driving...

Q:
What will be the approach from you this weekend? You have a good road position on the opening day…

J-ML:
I need to just keep continuing with my own driving and see how the times will be against these guys. And see if we get the benefit (from the road position). But, well, I don't want to start pushing too hard. I just want to keep concentrating on my own driving and see how the times come.

Q:
This event marks the 25th World Championship start for you and Julien (Ingrassia). New Zealand was a late addition to your rallying programme and you have never competed here before. What are your thoughts so far?

SO:
I'm very happy to be here; it was not my plan to come here with Citroen, so it's like a bonus for me. It is a rally I wanted to do in the future so it is important for me to learn the rally here and as the other drivers say there are some fantastic roads. So I think it is going to be a privilege to drive here this weekend.

Q:
You have had a strong start to the season with many impressive performances, how do you evaluate your season so far?

SO:


Tagged as: Ford , Latvala , Citroën , Ogier

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Sebastien Loeb (FRA), Citroën C4, Citroën Total World Rally Team
Sebastien Ogier collects his WRC champion`s trophy at the FIA Prizegiving in Doha
Sebastien Ogier and VW celebrate at the FIA Prizegiving
Ford Olsbergs MSE celebrates winning the RX Teams` Championship
Jari Ketomaa (FIN) Kaj Lindstrom (FIN), Ford Fiesta R5, WRC2 winners
Jari Ketomaa (FIN) Kaj Lindstrom (FIN), Ford Fiesta R5, WRC2 winners
Nasser Al Attiyah, Giovanni Bernacchini (Ford Fiesta RRC, #40), WRC 2 World Champions
Jari Ketomaa (FIN) Kaj Lindstrom (FIN), Ford Fiesta R5, WRC2 winners
Jari Ketomaa (FIN) Kaj Lindstrom (FIN), Ford Fiesta R5, WRC2 winners
Nasser Al Attiyah, Giovanni Bernacchini (Ford Fiesta RRC, #40), WRC 2 World Champions
Nasser Al Attiyah, Giovanni Bernacchini (Ford Fiesta RRC, #40)
Nasser Al Attiyah, Giovanni Bernacchini (Ford Fiesta RRC, #40), WRC 2 World Champions
Mathew Wilson (GB) Scott Martin (GB), Ford Fiesta RRC
Mathew Wilson (GB) Scott Martin (GB), Ford Fiesta RRC
Martin Prokop, Michal Ernst (Ford Fiesta RS WRC, #21 Jipocar Czech National Team)
Mathew Wilson (GB) Scott Martin (GB), Ford Fiesta RRC
Mathew Wilson (GB) Scott Martin (GB), Ford Fiesta RRC
Henning Solberg, Ilka Minor (Ford Fiesta WRC, #16)

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