Drivers / co-drivers: Jari-Matti Latvala
and Miikka Anttila (BP Ford Abu Dhabi WRT), Sebastien Ogier
and Julien Ingrassia (Citroen Junior Team) and Sebastien Loeb
and Daniel Elena (Citroen Total WRT).
Malcolm Wilson (BP Ford Abu Dhabi WRT).
Jari-Matti, after what has been a thrilling Rally New Zealand it is you that takes victory after what has been the third closest event in WRC history; it's been an awesome weekend!
It's been a very interesting weekend. For me it's been, I would say, a little bit of a strange rally, because I have not won a single stage in this rally but in the end I'm the winner. So it seems that the consistency matters. So I was a little bit lucky that these guys beside me made mistakes. But anyway you need to finish the last stage and our time comes, so in a way a great weekend.
How did you feel going into that final stage – because it was such a battle for the finish between so many drivers, how did you balance wanting to push and wanting to hold the points that you already had?
When I started this morning I though okay the main thing is to keep the third place. But things obviously changed and going in to the last stage I just thought that if I drive fast it's good, as I have been driving so far – if I don't start doing a massive push, because I know what happens then when Mr Latvala starts to push too hard! It's happened so many times, but it worked this time and I am very happy about it.
Obviously Sebastien Ogier
had his problems on the final stage in the final section, so I guess you had no idea what was going on until you crossed the finish line?
I got some splits and we were five seconds ahead of him and then suddenly we were two seconds ahead of him and I noticed he was going very quick. At that moment I tried to push a bit harder, but then I made a mistake, went too much wide and hit a bank and nearly went off the road. Then I started to realise it's maybe lost, then the third last corner there was a bumper on the road and then I realised something has happened. I came to the finish and I didn't know exactly how the times were. I walked to the board, I had the time that Miikka had taken with his stopwatch and I looked at the times of these guys and I was surprised our time looked quite good. When Miikka got the time on the time card we really knew that we had won the rally.
A win in 2008, a win in 2009, a win in 2010 – how does this rank against the others?
It would be nice to win more rallies during the year than just one that I have done so far. This is the best victory - because we did 400 kilometres of competition and at the end it was only two seconds. Obviously for me I wasn't maybe the fastest, like I said, but at least now I have the consistency and that is why I was very happy about it.
Miikka, Jari-Matti says he thinks this is the best victory – do you think that as well?
At the moment it really feels an incredible thing to win this rally. Let's say that the first rally win was also nice, but for sure it was very, very nice to win it, but still if we think another way it was so close, I mean 2.4 seconds we were ahead of Sebastien (Ogier) and Julien. So it's such a small time it could have been the other way round as well – so this time we were the lucky ones.
Does this mask what happened in 2008 now – does this make you forget about Rally New Zealand 2008?