Drivers / co-drivers: Sebastien Loeb and Daniel Elena (Citroen Total WRT), Mikko Hirvonen and Jarmo Lehtinen (Citroen Total WRT) and Petter Solberg and Chris Patterson (Ford WRT).

Team principal: Yves Matton (Citroen Total WRT).

Press conference

Q:
Sbastien, congratulations on your third win in a row this season. It seemed like a flawless performance this weekend, how do you feel it went?

Sebastien Loeb:
We are very happy to be here. It has been a great battle over the weekend, especially with Mikko. It was really a good fight, over two long days, on some beautiful roads so I really enjoyed myself.

Q:
A battle with your team-mate Mikko Hirvonen throughout Friday and Saturday, how much were you pushing to the limit on the stages?

Sebastien Loeb:
Yes, we were pushing all the time and we were really flat out. The conditions were not easy so there was also the question of not doing too much - that's my problem here. Every day has been tricky, it has been raining a lot, it looks sunny sometimes, and then suddenly a shower. So the most difficult time was when we had the hard tyres on - like yesterday afternoon, was really difficult.

Q:
What is so enjoyable about competing on these stages?

Sebastien Loeb:
It is a very beautiful rally. They are really nice flowing roads with some camber so you throw the car from one side to the other. It is really an incredible feeling to be here. You need to be flat out all the time so it's really great.

Q:
Tyre selection was crucial here, you always seemed to get it right - is that just experience?

Sebastien Loeb:
It's not easy to make the right tyre choice. We only had 10 soft so it was a bit difficult. And with rain at times - we just had to run with that.

Q:
Daniel, what is the event like for the co-driver?

Daniel Elena:
For the co-driver, it's really fantastic. It's really fast with good camber. The car is always moving and the feeling is fantastic. They are sensational roads.

Q:
Why do you like the event?

Daniel Elena:
I love this country! The roads are very fast and for me, it's the best rally in the world because you enjoy it. The stages aren't so dangerous.

Q:
Mikko, second position overall after a good battle with S?bastien. We have seen great pace from you, are you happy with your performance?

Mikko Hirvonen:
I am a little frustrated. Coming back to New Zealand, this is a rally that I really wanted to win. We had a really great fight for the first two days and it's just annoying because sometimes you can take half a second, maybe a second out of him then he comes back. I really enjoy these roads and I loved every minute of it.

Q:
We saw you trading seconds with Sebastien across the stages yesterday, how difficult was it to even take a small amount of time out of him?

Mikko Hirvonen:
Yes, I'm really happy with that, especially after Greece. We had good pace and I did have an idea why I wasn't so strong there. At least now we're back on the pace and that is good news. It gives me confidence to go to Finland now.

Q:
Were you frustrated when you knew you were not allowed to battle with Sebastien anymore?

Mikko Hirvonen:
Just imagine how many times we've been in that position, just holding our position. I was just making sure I got to the finish so it wasn't too bad and in the end, if I could have done something differently, I would have saved my soft tyres so I could have had something for today. But that was my small mistake so it is nothing much I could do so I just try to make it to the finish and glad that it worked this time.

Q:
How difficult were conditions out there today?

Mikko Hirvonen:
Pretty slippery in places. The surface today was a little bit different than yesterday. So it was easier today than it was yesterday.

Q:
And how was the rally for you Jarmo?

Jarmo Lehtinen:
It looks fantastic from the car as well. This, even as a Finn, I might say is the best rally in the world. It is pure enjoyment all the time. Sometimes it's really, really fast and is also so smooth and so flowing - it keeps its rhythm all the time. I just hope we come back. For me, this is the best rally in the world.

Q:
Petter, let's talk about Friday and that tyre choice in the morning. Hard compound tyres when the other boys took soft, how frustrated were you when you realised that it was the wrong choice?

Petter Solberg:
Sometimes you can get it wrong. It destroyed the whole rally right from the start. But then we have to work mentally and get back to service, get on to different tyres and work slowly up. I must say we had a good rally as a team and we moved slowly forward. We didn't do anything crazy or do anything over the top like in Greece, that half percent too much. I am happy with the performance of the team - they did a fantastic job. Jari-Matti's [Latvala] luck and my luck is lacking small detail so I can't wait for Rally Finland.

Q:
After Friday morning and the loss of over a minute against the leaders did you calm down your pace or were you still pushing hard?

Petter Solberg:
From my point-of-view, after that happened, you can't catch that time back again - it's basically impossible. You have to be in a different tyre situation to everybody else. So we couldn't panic, and just go slowly forward. Okay we were pushing, but nothing crazy and we ended up on the podium so that is very important for the team here.

Q:
Jari-Matti [Latvala] has stated that his drivers' title hopes are now over; you are now in third position in the Championship how do you feel about your shot at it?

Petter Solberg:
We are third, and okay Loeb is well in front, but we saw last year he retired two or three rallies in a row so it still can happen. Mikko is fast so hopefully it will be a very exciting second half of the year that we can really push on hard and give them a fight. But I'm more after a victory than maybe the Championship podium - I have enough of them - I want to win.

Q:
You need to win to hunt down that drivers' title now and the team are searching for wins - how is the morale at the team right now?

Petter Solberg:
I think the team is working very hard - they are very positive. We have a fast car and it's getting all the small details together. It will turn around - they [Citro?n] have had it a little too easy lately so they may be a little too cocky so we will take it to them.

Q:
Finland is up next - a good rally to kick-start the second half of the season for you.

Petter Solberg:
Rally Finland is fantastic - same as here - that is very, very good. But I think with the car and performance like it is we will be fast and we will try to get all the details right. I think we can do really well as a team, Jari is fast and one of us can win rallies - that's the plan.

Q:
Chris, how would you rate your Rally New Zealand this time around?

Chris Patterson:
It was a bit up and down. We are happy with the result at the end of the day. Some of the stage times were very good and our performance was quite good so we are quite pleased. Obviously it is a long difficult rally with long road sections but we were quite happy - it was no problem.

Q:
How tricky was it out there this weekend with the changing conditions?

Chris Patterson:
This was the biggest battle - the changing weather conditions. One minute it was dry one minute it was wet - but the stages, regardless of the weather, had grip and are really, really enjoyable so you just crack on and get on with it.

Q:
How do you rate the event here in New Zealand?

Chris Patterson:
For us, the co-drivers', the stages are just so enjoyable - the sensation with the way they flow, cambers and jumps.

Q:
Yves Matton, it's another Citroen one-two, the third in a row now - it's going exceptionally well for the team: drivers' title wise, Manufacturers' Championship wise. You must be feeling confident at the end of the first half of this season?

Yves Matton:
Yes for sure. We had a very good start to the season and everybody is doing a perfect job - drivers and team. The last three rallies we have not made any mistakes so that is very important. But is also very important to go to Finland with everybody in a good frame of mind - and to know both the drivers and team have the speed.

Q:
The team order call came pretty late, were there any concerns they would push each other too hard?

Yves Matton:
Yes, always. It was not an easy situation for me yesterday afternoon, but I think the two drivers know the situation and could push hard without making any mistakes. In one way it is very stressful and another way with drivers like Seb and Mikko it is easy.

Q:
Mikko, the next rally is your home event, you will want to win and turn the tables on Seb.

Mikko Hirvonen:
Obviously I would like to do that. It is always nice to go back home and compete. Now going there with a new team it will be a really big challenge and I have to say the last two years haven't been so great. So hopefully I can turn it around and the rally will go well this year. Maybe at the start of the rally I will take it steady as nothing will happen on the first day then try to speed up a bit.

Q:
Seb, any final thoughts?

Sebastien Loeb:
For me it's a perfect rally. The stages are wonderful so it is a pleasure to drive here. And as Daniel said - it's a bit like Finland without the trees, so that's always enjoyable.

Q:
And a new challenge next weekend as you compete at the X-Games against your old foe Marcus Gronholm. How much are you looking forward to that?

Sebastien Loeb:
It will be nice to fight against him again - it's been a long time since I've competed with him. It is a new event and a new car with a lot of horsepower - so it will be fun for sure.