11 September 2011
Rally Australia - Post-event press conference
I'm sure everybody knows that it is going to be up against those two Citroëns that are there, and Petter as well. We were happy with our pace in Germany and now we have a test plan so we hope we can improve our car so we are definitely not giving up at this point. We have to keep on pushing now that we've got the boost from his rally; hopefully we will go even faster in France and we are really able to fight over there.
Jarmo, the fight for both Championships is now back on. Citroën could have won the Manufacturers' title here this weekend. How do you now capitalise on the fact that everything is game on again? Does that fact change your approach to the rest of the events?
I hope this week gives that extra push to the whole team. We've been struggling a bit throughout the season and I hope that we really get the next step and I know we have a lot of work to do for Tarmac. We need to be realistic but like I said, I hope and I believe this was the extra push we need for the oncoming events.
What did you think of the event here? Would you like to return?
Definitely I'd like to come back. It's a very enjoyable rally. Friday, conditions made this a little bit different. It wasn't enjoyable all of the time but 90 per cent of the stages were really, really nice and enjoyable all of the time. It was great fun to be there.
Jari-Matti, it's second overall when it could have been a win. You were a team player today and slowed to help Mikko but how are you feeling at the end of it?
I lost my chance in the Drivers' Championship in the spring time when I had three bad rallies in a row and I said this already in Greece that it's now all over from my side and I need to support Mikko if he has a chance for that and now was the time so I feel okay. It's never a nice feeling to slow down and drop behind. Of course, nobody enjoys that but you need to see the bigger picture and the main thing was I had a good feeling, the speed was there. They've given me a good feeling from this rally and at least I'm really happy for the team that I can see the whole new speed coming for the next three rallies.
How important is this result in terms of motivating everybody within the team?
It's a big thing. I think there's been a little bit of frustration within the team because there have been a lot of things happening and we haven't won a gravel rally until now, so of course it will boost a lot.
Let's talk about the event itself. You had some moments out there – what was the biggest scare of the weekend?
I think I have been very unlucky in some rallies this year, but now I had a lot of luck with me. I had a scary moment two kilometres into the first stage on Friday morning and I spun and went backwards into the forest. Even today I went wide on one of the corners and there was a big tree and I could just hear a little touch. But there was no damage on the car so it must have been a magic touch. The scariest moment was on that first stage, the same place where Ogier went off the road on the first passage that was fully muddy on that corner. When you came to the top of the crest, you couldn't see, then suddenly we hit at least a two metre diameter big wood but somehow it caught back so that was a scary moment.
It's back to Tarmac next, how are you feeling about that?
Last year, I had some good stage times in France. I like France more than Germany. Germany has never really been good for me. I have always had trouble over there which I have to improve for the future. I feel quite comfortable to go to France. It was a very difficult rally last year but I'm looking forward to it. I know the Tarmac is grippy over there and we have a good testing plan coming up. So we need to make sure we get all the benefits from testing so that we are strong in the rally.
Miikka, how are you feeling about the return to Tarmac when we go to France and Spain?
We saw at the start of Rally Germany that we are competitive as we were leading the rally after the first stage, so we are not far away. Also the other stage times show the same way, so we are having some Tarmac testing coming so I think that we will be stronger on the Tarmac as we have been as a team earlier.
Is there a sense of relief in the team now that both of you have managed to seal a one- two here in Australia?
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