27 May 2010
Portugal – Pre-event press conference
Drivers: Jari-Matti Latvala (BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team), Sebastien Ogier (Citroen Junior Team), Ken Block (Monster World Rally Team), Dani Sordo (Citroen Total World Rally Team)
Jari-Matti, the win in New Zealand now puts you in second position in the Championship overall, your consistent formula paid off there; will you adopt the same approach here?
It was a very special moment. But it was also the battle how we got it, those last three corners made the result: when Ogier made his mistake. At that moment, I didn't know at the end. It was a big confusion. But it was also good because we won it by not being fastest on any of the stages. It was special and nice for the team with the 75th win. But now we are in Portugal and New Zealand is history.
What's your approach going to be here?
I try to keep going, that's the plan to keep the consistent driving.
Portugal 2009 was the scene of the biggest accident of your career, the same stage remains for 2010. Was there any trepidation when you went through there on the recce and how much have you adjusted the notes from that section last year?
The stage will be run the same as last year, okay towards the end there are some changes, but that area is the same. I did some work with the notes. The distances [in the notes] were incorrect, especially in that place the distance was wrong. That was one of reasons I go off the road. We slowed down there and had a look. It looked even more narrow than last year and very nasty. It's very well marked in the notes now.
We are in Portugal a little later in the season than in previous years; the temperatures are higher so what difference will that make in terms of tyres this year?
I think the tyres could be an issue on Saturday afternoon. We need to be careful; when you want to push you need to remember how this is going to use the tyres. You need to find the balance – that's a very important part of this rally.
Straight after New Zealand you competed at the Nurburgring 24 hour race, how was it and what did you learn from it?
It's different to rallying. The Nordschleife reminds me of a long special stage, it goes over the valleys and hills and it's quick. It's the same wide road as in Catalunya, not like the modern circuits. It was interesting and there were a lot of very fast cars overtaking, a lot of traffic. You have to follow the mirrors a lot. I had a little incident in practice: I was watching the mirrors and I hit the right side of the car. But that was experience too. It was good experience. I look at the other guys and I had a feeling I was turning in too early – I was not brave enough. When you go early in you can lose at the exit, that's something I need to work on in the test.
Sebastien, you narrowly missed out on victory in New Zealand after what was an impressive performance there. Is the goal to aim for the top step of the podium here also?
I will try to continue. It was a very good rally for us in New Zealand. After the finish it was a big disappointment, but I am still happy with my race – we improve from the start of the season and that's the most important. I did this rally last year, I know it a little bit better, I arrive here with confidence.
Do you feel your confidence in your ability has increased this year after a string of good results?
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