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Rally Italia Sardegna - Pre-event press conference

It's a little bit different here in Sardinia this time around; we are heading south down to Oristano; what did you think about those stages on the recce?

SL:
The stages were good, when we saw them they were a bit wet because it had been raining the day before so it's difficult to know exactly how sandy and how much gravel will be on the road but the profile of the stages was good, hard surface, they seem nice stages.

Q:
You've just got that fifteen minute remote service tomorrow; does that change your strategy, knowing you haven't got the ability to do a full service if anything does go wrong?

SL:
Yes, but what can we do. When you are fighting you have to push and then you sometimes take some risks. We know it's a bit more risky if something happens it might be difficult to continue but we will try to do as usual and hope that it will go well.

Q:
We're seeing MINI here for the first time, we're hearing there will be a VW announcement later today; the WRC is becoming very exciting again...

SL:
Yes, for sure, there are two new manufacturers coming, we've been only two since a few years so I think it's very good for the sport to have some new challenges. There will be more competition and for sure it will be more exciting. I think it's good for all the WRC.

Q:
What about yourself? Have you had any thoughts about what you might do next year?

SL:
I haven't decided yet.

Q:
Malcolm, when we look at the entry list for this event it's full of Ford Fiestas taking up nearly 55 per cent of the entries. 34 cars in total, that's pretty impressive!

Malcolm Wilson:
It's great. I think we really achieved what we set out to achieve a few years ago, a complete ladder of opportunity within the Ford product range and of course we've been awarded the FIA WRC Academy as well. It was a great boost for us and for the little R2 car, of course there are the Super 2000 cars out as well. We've got 10 Fiesta WRC cars here as well so as you can imagine it's a great moment for us. As you can imagine a few more grey hairs and a lot of sleepless nights, but at the end of the day it's a great position to be in for Ford.

Q:
Let's look back to Jordan, it was a fantastic battle between Jari-Matti Latvala and Sébastien Ogier, who won the rally by point two of a second. Jari-Matti was incredibly disappointed as I am sure the team were. Have you recovered from that now and do you think Jari-Matti will bounce back even harder to try and take a win here?

MW:
The great thing is that we had fantastic pace on that second day in Jordan. In this particular rally I know that both Jari-Matti and Mikko (Hirvonen) really like the stages. He was already saying that if he took some big risks he thought he could pull out a bit more time and the biggest problem everybody knows is basically keeping Jari-Matti in control. The guys feel really confident, let's see.

Q:



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Kris Meeke (GB), Mini John Cooper Works, MINI WRC TEAM
Sebastien Loeb (FRA), Citroën DS3 WRC, Citroën Total World Rally Team
Malcom Wilson (GB), BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team

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