Drivers: Matthew Wilson
(Stobart M-Sport Ford RT), Jari-Matti Latvala
(BP Ford Abu Dhabi WRT), Petter Solberg
(Petter Solberg WRT) and Sebastien Ogier, Citroen
Matthew, we've seen you in the sport now for many years. Is the passion still there?
Definitely! I don't think we would be here if we didn't have that passion. I've probably said this a few times this weekend but rallying has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. I still get the same kick out of it and every time I jump into the car I still have that same feeling. You're making me feel old here! We are trying for next year to get something sorted so we can return.
Looking back across this season and your time in a World Rally Car, what have stood out as the high points and the low points?
There have been a few. We have been driving WRC cars in the British Championship and stuff like that before, so there are a lot of memories from those days, including winning my first British Championship rally with one of them. And also Japan, and getting that fourth place after the big battle with Companc. We want to go one better and achieve that podium and it's something that we're a little bit disappointed not to have done with the World Rally Car. A lot of memories for sure, good ones too.
There is always a lot of attention surrounding you at home, I hear you have been putting in a lot of training ahead of this event; have you changed your approach at all? Have you done anything differently this time?
We are fortunate here in that we were able to have a test and we don't get that often to have a full week in the car last week. Obviously the Focus is coming to an end but it was still good to have that, and especially having done a little bit in the Fiesta it was nice to get back in the Focus and back into that mentality. That's the preparation we've had and it seems to have gone quite well.
What are the plans for next year? Will we see you compete in an S2000 as part of the Stobart
team again? Is that your hope?
I have been involved with the Fiesta from basically the first time it turned a wheel, which has been quite exciting, and you see the development of the car from day to day because it is still so raw and so new. That's been exciting, and obviously Jari-Matti and Mikko have driven it now as well, but even in the last couple of days before we came here we were doing some endurance work with the engine and stuff like that. Even though you might be running around an airfield you're still learning about the car. It's exciting, definitely. At the minute there is nothing finalised for next season but if we can have a good rally here and finish the year off well then we are in a good position to start looking at next year and what we can do. There are obviously talks happening but at the minute nothing is confirmed. For sure after the driving we have done with the Fiesta it would be a shame not to be out there next year and actually competing. We are working on that and hopefully we can get something sorted.
What will be a good result for you here? These boys are all gunning for the top step of the podium...
I think these three boys here (Solberg, Latvala and Ogier) are going to be going fairly hard, and then you throw Mikko and Sébastien and Dani in and it's going to be one hell of a fight. But as we have seen before, anything can happen, but if we come away with a top four or five finish that would be really good for us.
Jari-Matti, we always see a big battle at Wales Rally GB, maybe even more so this weekend as we have the battle for the runners up spot in the Championship between you, Ogier and Solberg...