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Rally Mexico - Pre-event press conference

I am not sure whether there will be any other events at the moment. My focus is on this one. Khalid [Al-Qassimi] is not here and it is thanks to him that I have this chance. Maybe there is the potential for more. We will see where it leads. The ceremonial start is amazing. It is the best in the world and shows the potential available to all the rallies. The stages are fast and flowing and we have some incredible bits of road here. The first stage of Saturday [Ibarilla] is also a nice stage – many changes and fast and flowing.

Q:
Thierry, first year with the Qatar M-Sport WRT, how have you found the team and how are you adapting to the Fiesta RS WRC?

Thierry Neuville:
I think adapting to the team was not difficult. I am pleased with that. The most important thing is to get a good feeling, understand and get faster and faster.

Q:
We saw some good pace from you last year, what did you learn from this event that will help you in 2013?

Thierry Neuville:
So far everything is quite good. We had some great testing in Spain last week and I learn a lot. The car is completely different. We have been working on it. This morning was a good one for us and we try and miss the stones. Many things can happen during the race.

Q:
What will be your approach here and what is the aim?

Thierry Neuville:
I want to continue like we did in Sweden. We did a clever race there to finish fifth. Here we should do the same and go a bit faster. Last year we had good pace here and things went very well. I need to adapt to the car. We know Seb [Ogier] is fast on tarmac. I can be a bit stronger on tarmac than gravel and need to get a good result here to give me confidence. There is a great atmosphere here in Mexico. You feel like a film star at the start. There are so many good stages. I think the most beautiful is on Saturday morning – the first one – 30 kilometres flowing and fast and you need good pace notes to go quick.

Q:
Benito, you are our reigning FIA Production Car World Rally Champion and we now see you compete for the first time at WRC level with Citroën. A huge opportunity! How much are you looking forward to it?

Benito Guerra:
It is a great chance to drive WRC in my home event. I'm really happy to be here and to be a part of WRC for the first time. Last year I won PWRC - the last one – and now we have WRC 2. I would like to drive the Citroën on many more races, but the best race to choose for my debut is my home event. It is difficult for me because people are waiting for a good result and it will not be easy to be on the pace. I have no experience in WRC cars but I will try to push to my limit and be aggressive. I want to be at the end on Sunday.

Q:
And Qualifying today?

Benito Guerra:
Qualifying was okay for me – I beat Kosciuszko and Prokop and starting third is a better position than starting first. At the end they [all the drivers] are my target. I know I don't have experience but some day I have to be in the fight. The best thing to do is to be on their times. I must have a good focus and adapt to the new class and new car. Then, in a few rallies, my pace will be better and I will be able to fight in a few years. I will start increasing my pace in a progressive way but it is not easy with these crazy guys!

Q:
Your home event; thoughts?

Benito Guerra:
I like this rally. They are my favourite stages, but it is easy to race and get a mistake. I don't like the Guanajuato [street stage]; it is easy to hit a wall and make a mistake. [El] Chocolate is a nice stage but very slippery and so it is a very good stage to know the difference between drivers.




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Chris Atkinson (AUS) Mini John Cooper Works Wrc Mini Portugal
Thierry Neuville (BEL) Nicolas Klinger (FRA), Ford Fiesta WRC, Qatar M-Sport WRT
Sebastien Ogier (F) Julien Ingrassia (F), Volkswagen Polo WRC, Volkswagen Motorsport
Sebastien Ogier (F) Julien Ingrassia (F), Volkswagen Polo WRC, Volkswagen Motorsport
Sebastien Ogier (F) Julien Ingrassia (F), Volkswagen Polo WRC, Volkswagen Motorsport

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