WRC » 31 May 2013
Greece – Pre-event press conference
Khalid, welcome back to the WRC, it is great to see you return after a year's absence. How are you adapting to the Citroen DS3 WRC?
Coming back to the WRC, it's quite a [long] time since I was at the high level. It's four years since I last did the Acropolis – it's difficult. The car is new and we are with a fantastic team. We have a lot to do and a lot to do to the car to adjust it for my driving style. It's a very sensitive car, you need to be sure about what you are doing - it can catch you [out]. The measure of changing [the car] is quite big, but just a small thing can make it different. We are still setting the car to how I like to drive it.
And how's it working with Scott Martin, your new co-driver?
It's fantastic, we are developing very well. But don't forget, it's just two or three rallies – it will take more time. I have tried a couple of co-drivers before and all are okay, but the chemistry was there in the previous team with Scott, when we were together for a while.
What will be the biggest challenge for you this weekend? What is your strategy?
First of all, I am first car tonight – I will have all the surprises in front of me. I will not have any dust, but there will be cleaning with a lot of loose gravel and you can lose a lot of time in places. The only advantage is the dust, let's see how it goes
It's a tough job…
It will not be easy, especially as I have not done this for a long time. It's a lot on my shoulders.
How do you feel ahead of the event, Evgeny?
I am feeling well. We will see if the qualifying position is good. The 47 kilometre stage to start is difficult and then the night stage is tough, but we will see.
This is the event where you secured your first ever stage wins, becoming the youngest driver to win a stage in the WRC. Is that still a good memory for you?
Yes, in some ways. I have good memories from 2009 and I like this rally and I know this rally quite well. This is my fifth time here, I hope this will help.
You have been close to securing a podium position on the last two events but it just hasn't happened. What can you do here?
There is no straight answer, everything is possible, but we just need to drive faster – but for that we need everything to be good. We are trying to do our best and to improve our results.
Question from the floor
Q: Martin Holmes (Martin Holmes Rallying, UK).
Jari-Matti, 10 years ago you had an experience here. Tell us about it...
I came here as a young boy, 18 years old. This was only my second world rally and I was in a Ford Focus World Rally Car. Before the rally I had many interviews, I never thought there would be so many. I was surprised there was so much interest. It felt nice and exciting. Then the rally started. I was very, very tired on the road sections, I couldn't get used to the heat – it was so hot. We had short nights and long days. Physically, I was alright, but I could have been better. It was so good memory from 10 years ago, I finished 10th overall and that was my best result in the WRC. On the Sunday, I was once faster than Didier Auriol, he was in a Skoda. I was ninth fastest and that meant a lot to me. We had a moment... but I survived. I could make you a story that lasts all day, but we have to stop now. I had no idea with the set-up and my notes were horrible, but there was a lot of passion.
Tagged as: m-sport , Mikko Hirvonen , Jari-Matti Latvala , Evgeny Novikov , Latvala , press conference , Novikov , Citroën , Qatar , volkswagen , Acropolis , Greece , Acropolis Rally , Al-Qassimi , Khalid Al-Qassimi
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