WRC Features. Page 18



  • August 2004

    Open article Rally reactions: Rallye Deutschland - Leg 2.
    21 August 2004: "The first time through Bosenberg [SS9] was one of the worst moments I have ever had. Even with rain tyres, anything could have happened. Throughout the rest of the day, I tried to stay within the narrow safety margin, particularly when, for special stages 13 to 15, we chose dry tyres, with soft rubber, which had been deeply cut. The choice was logical, but the weather sometimes made it look wrong." - Sebastien Loeb.

  • Open article Rally reactions: Rallye Deutschland - Leg 1.
    20 August 2004: "It would be difficult to have a better day. However, that does not mean that it was easy. A damp road, then dry at the start, a road made dirty by the first pass through when we went through for the second time. About this matter, I must admit that the indications from the organisation's official gravel crews are useful. However, we are still constantly alert, which will be especially necessary tomorrow in Baumholder." - Sebastien Loeb.

  • Open article Technical talk: Tyres on asphalt and gravel.
    20 August 2004: Want to know the difference between tyres used on gravel and those used on asphalt? Then read on...

  • Open article Pre-event press conference - Rallye Deutschland.
    19 August 2004: Drivers: Cédric Robert (Peugeot), Daniel Solá (Mitsubishi), François Duval (Ford), Sébastien Loeb (Citroën) Team personnel: Aime' Chatard (Michelin), Paul Hembery (Pirelli)

  • Open article Michelin preview - Rallye Deutschland.
    17 August 2004: For the first time, WRC competitors will start the Deutschland Rally with a pre-established number of tyres at their disposal...

  • Open article Event timetable - Rallye Deutschland.
    15 August 2004: Complete event timetable for the 23rd Rallye Deutschland - the tenth round out of sixteen in the 2004 FIA World Rally Championship.

  • Open article Rally reactions: Neste Rally Finland - Leg 3.
    8 August 2004: "We've waited a long time for this! This is certainly a victory that we've had to work for, but that makes it all the more worthwhile. I wasn't completely confident when we started the rally, but my feeling got better and we were able to keep the lead without pushing too hard. The gearbox problem on the second day really worried me, as it meant that our top speed was limited to 160kph. But we lost less time than I thought we would, and so the final day was a question of driving safely but quickl

  • Open article Post-event press conference - Rally Finland.
    8 August 2004: Drivers / co-drivers: Marcus Gronholm and Timo Rautianen (Peugeot), Markko Martin and Michael Park (Ford) and Carlos Sainz and Marc Marti (Citroen). Team principal: Corrado Provera (Peugeot).

  • Open article Rally reactions: Neste Rally Finland - Leg 2.
    7 August 2004: "Today has not been an easy day, but I'm delighted to be leading. We started off with a feeling that was quite all right, but still not completely perfect. Then we had the gearbox problem that was a real worry, but we actually lost less time than I thought we would. The last stages were fine, but I could not relax for a minute. We have to keep pushing hard until the very end." - Marcus Gronholm.

  • Open article Rally reactions: Neste Rally Finland - Leg 1.
    6 August 2004: "Today seemed to get better and better. Of course it is still a big battle with Sebastian so I cannot relax at all, and there are many areas where we can still improve. But the main thing is to be in the lead and fighting for victory. I'm very happy for the team: our first and second places underline just how hard everyone has been working." - Marcus Gronholm.

  • Open article Pre-event press conference - Rally Finland.
    5 August 2004: Drivers: Janne Tuohino (Ford), Jani Paasonen (Skoda), Marcus Gronholm (Peugeot) and Mikko Hirvonen (Subaru). Team principals: Sven Qvandt (Mitsubishi) and Guy Frequelin (Citröen).

  • Open article Michelin preview - Neste Rally Finland.
    3 August 2004: What better way could there be to kick off the second half of the 2004 championship than with the fastest and arguably the most furious round of the year: Rally Finland, won last year at an average speed of over 121 kph!

  • Open article Event timetable - Neste Rally Finland.
    1 August 2004: Complete event timetable for the 54th Neste Rally Finland - the ninth round out of sixteen in the 2004 FIA World Rally Championship.


  • July 2004

    Open article Rally reactions: Rally of Argentina - Leg 3.
    18 July 2004: "The record is important, but more important than that is the victory and the way it came. On the last rally I didn't feel so well and after that rally I wasn't very happy. It was not my fault. Before this rally I thought I had to make a good rally and I did that. I won here 13 years ago, two years ago and I am winning again here is more important than the number. I would like to thank the team and Michelin. The car was great. I'm really happy to be part of this." - Carlos Sainz.

  • Open article Post-event press conference - Rally of Argentina.
    18 July 2004: Drivers / co-drivers: Carlos Sainz and Marc Marti (Citroen), Sebastien Loeb and Daniel Elena (Citroen) and Francois Duval and Stephane Prevot (Ford). Team principal: Guy Frequelin (Citroen).

  • Open article Rally reactions: Rally of Argentina - Leg 2.
    17 July 2004: "I'm now in the lead, but I have seen so many situations turn upside down during my career that I am not likely to get carried away. We will remain calm until the finish. Until then, we will try to keep the pace, and to avoid making any mistakes, especially in 'Mina Clavero' and 'El Cóndor'..." - Carlos Sainz.

  • Open article Team talk: The challenge of El Condor.
    17 July 2004: This year's Rally Argentina reaches its finale on one of the most legendary stages in the WRC, the 16-kilometre test from El Condor to Copina. Famous for its barren lunar landscape, 2,200-metre altitude and treacherous rock-lined road, the stage is a stern challenge for drivers and engineers alike and has claimed many high profile victims in the past. Before crews tackle the stage, Subaru team principal David Lapworth and SWRT chief engine development engineer Nick Dennish explained more...

  • Open article Rally reactions: Rally of Argentina - Leg 1.
    16 July 2004: "I'm generally happy with the way things have gone, although I haven't been able to relax for one moment. Things certainly aren't comfortable, and anything could still happen. I've been pushing reasonably hard without going crazy, and as this is fast enough to keep the lead my plan is to carry on like this. In the afternoon the stages were a lot cleaner and less slippery than they were in the morning, although it was quite rough with several deep ruts. I've got no complaints about the car though

  • Open article Pre-event press conference - Rally Argentina (1).
    15 July 2004: Team principals: David Lapworth (Subaru), Corrado Provera (Peugeot), Malcolm Wilson (Ford)

  • Open article Pre-event press conference - Rally Argentina (2).
    15 July 2004: Drivers: Marcus Gronholm (Peugeot), Gilles Panizzi (Mitsubishi), Carlos Sainz (Citroen)

  • Open article Michelin preview - Rally of Argentina.
    13 July 2004: Given their geographical proximity, it was only natural that the three roughest events of the 2004 WRC calendar – Cyprus, Greece and Turkey – should be programmed one after the other in quick succession. This weekend, however, the Eastern Mediterranean tour makes way for the first event of another mini-series: Argentina and Finland, the two rallies of the season that are the least aggressive on tyres, both of which were won in 2003 by Michelin runners [Marcus Gronholm, Peugeot-Michelin, and Mark

  • Open article Peugeot's 'medics'.
    12 July 2004: Throughout the WRC season, Peugeot Sport's 'medics' look after the health and physical well-being not only of the crews but also of the entire team...

  • Open article Event timetable - Rally of Argentina.
    11 July 2004: Complete event timetable for the 24th Rally of Argentina - the eighth round out of sixteen in the 2004 FIA World Rally Championship.


  • June 2004

    Open article Rally reactions: Rally of Turkey - Leg 3.
    27 June 2004: "I had to push very hard to keep the lead of the race. Yes, today in the last stage I had a problem with the bearing, and the car was braking alone. Then I had no brakes and then, on the road section, the tyre began to burn. We had to stop the fire, and so after that we put the wheel away to come here. But it's all-ok now!" - Sebastien Loeb.

  • Open article Post-event press conference - Rally of Turkey.
    27 June 2004: Drivers / co-drivers: Sebastien Loeb and Daniel Elena (Citroen), Marcus Gronholm and Timo Rautiainen (Peugeot) and Petter Solberg and Phil Mills (Subaru). Team principal: Guy Frequelin (Citroen).

  • Open article Rally reactions: Rally of Turkey - Leg 2.
    26 June 2004: "It was another very good day - tough though because of the heat in these very twisty stages. The car balance is simply perfect, I have full confidence in it and we have not made any mistakes. We have a small lead but we will try to control it [tomorrow]. I really want to win but I imagine that Marcus wants it as well." - Sebastien Loeb.

  • Open article Team talk: Keeping cool in Turkey.
    26 June 2004: After a comparatively cool Leg one, drivers had to cope with higher temperatures on Leg two of the Rally Turkey today [Saturday]. Here are some facts concerning the heat and the way the Subaru team helps Petter Solberg and Mikko Hirvonen 'keep their cool'...

  • Open article Rally reactions: Rally of Turkey - Leg 1.
    25 June 2004: "To be leading tonight is far better than what I expected. I am in a good position for tomorrow, but I'm sure it will tough as Marcus Grönholm is very close. I will have to push." - Sebastien Loeb.

  • Open article Technical talk - Semi-automatic gearboxes.
    25 June 2004: The Subaru Impreza WRC2004 is fitted with a semi-automatic six-speed gearbox that represents the latest in rally technology. As Subaru team principal David Lapworth explains, gearboxes have evolved considerably since 1993 when the Impreza made its WRC debut...

  • Open article Pre-event press conference - Rally of Turkey (1).
    24 June 2004: Drivers: Marcus Gronholm (Peugeot) and Markko Martin (Ford).

  • Open article Pre-event press conference - Rally of Turkey (2).
    24 June 2004: Drivers: Sebastien Loeb (Citroen) and Petter Solberg (Subaru).

  • Open article Michelin preview: Rally of Turkey.
    22 June 2004: Over and above the fact that the forthcoming Rally of Turkey marks the final episode in the current trilogy of 'hot and rough' rounds, it's more the exact nature of the event that has occupied the minds of World Rally Championship drivers, teams and tyre manufacturers in recent weeks...

  • Open article Event timetable - Rally of Turkey.
    18 June 2004: Complete event timetable for the 2nd Rally of Turkey - the seventh round out of sixteen in the 2004 FIA World Rally Championship.

  • Open article Rally reactions: Acropolis Rally - Leg 3.
    6 June 2004: "It's fantastic, very, very good indeed! It's been a hard rally, and a tough fight, right from the start, but to get this result after the disappointment we had in Cyprus feels very good. You know it's hard work to keep adjusting the pace to keep position, but the team kept the split times coming in and everything worked perfectly today - there were no problems at all..." - Petter Solberg.

  • Open article Post-event press conference - Acropolis Rally.
    6 June 2004: Drivers / co-drivers: Petter Solberg and Phil Mills (Subaru), Sebastian Loeb and Daniel Elena (Citroen) and Harri Rovanpera and Risto Pietilainen (Peugeot). Team principal: David Lapworth (Subaru).

  • Open article Rally reactions: Acropolis Rally - Leg 2.
    5 June 2004: "Today I've been keeping one eye on the split times and trying to keep myself out of trouble. On the whole it's been a very good day but there's still a long way to go before we can think about a party. I was a bit nervous about the brake problem earlier, but I'm lucky there was a service straight after..." - Petter Solberg.

  • Open article Team talk: Handling the heat in Greece.
    5 June 2004: Motorsport clothing experts Alpinestars are helping Subaru World Rally Team drivers, Petter Solberg and Mikko Hirvonen keep their cool in Greece with a new race-suit they've designed specially for hot weather rallies. The new blue and yellow overalls may look the same as the previous model last worn in Cyprus, but as Giampiero Sanders of Alpinestars' product development department explained, the new suit brings a host of benefits to drivers...

  • Open article Rally reactions: Acropolis Rally - Leg 1.
    4 June 2004: "It's not bad. Not bad at all. It's just what I was hoping for and I'm feeling very positive now. I was concentrating so hard on not making any mistakes today, and so far it's worked out very well. At the same time Marcus has made a couple of small mistakes and that has helped me too. Of course I'm happy to be leading. But don't forget that I've been in a similar situation more than once this year - and I know that it can all change again very quickly, so I'm not planning too far ahead just yet.

  • Open article Team talk: Pace notes explained.
    4 June 2004: It's well known that top WRC drivers need accurate pace-notes in order to win - but it's not just as simple as telling them which way to go. Look at a co-driver's notes on paper and they look like hieroglyphics. Hear them read out and instructions like 'left tightens', 'right plus' and 'over crest into short' don't make much sense either. So here Petter Solberg's co-driver Phil Mills translates a bit of the language that's used by professional rally drivers and co-drivers...

  • Open article Pre-event press conference - Acropolis Rally (1).
    3 June 2004: Team personnel: Jost Capito (Ford), Guy Frequelin (Citroen), Martin Muehlmeier (Skoda)

  • Open article Pre-event press conference - Acropolis Rally (2).
    3 June 2004: Drivers: Sebastien Loeb (Citroen), Daniel Sola (Mitsubishi), Mikko Hirvonen (Subaru)


  • May 2004

    Open article New Michelin TDE tyre set for Acropolis debut.
    31 May 2004: After the recent Cyprus Rally, a quick hop across the Mediterranean takes the WRC fraternity to Greece for the Acropolis Rally, second stop of the three-leg mini-marathon of 'hot and rough' sorties teams will have tackled in the space of six weeks, with the Rally of Turkey following in late-June...

  • Open article Event timetable - Acropolis Rally.
    30 May 2004: Complete event timetable for the 51st Acropolis Rally of Greece - the sixth round out of sixteen in the 2004 FIA World Rally Championship.

  • Open article Rally reactions: Cyprus Rally - Leg 3.
    16 May 2004: "It's been a fantastic rally for me, and of course it's a real privilege to take the first win with the 307. We've come close to winning before this year, but this time it was a rally where everything went right for us. The car has been generally reliable and we haven't made any mistakes. The whole team has worked very hard and everybody deserves this result. Now we are looking forward to Greece, where of course we will be trying to win again." - Marcus Gronholm.

  • Open article Post-event press conference - Cyprus Rally.
    16 May 2004: Drivers / co-drivers: Marcus Gronholm and Timo Rautiainen (Peugeot), Sebastien Loeb and Daniel Elena (Citroen) and Markko Martin and Michael Park (Ford). Team principal: Corrado Provera (Peugeot).

  • Open article Rally reactions: Cyprus Rally - Leg 2.
    15 May 2004: "It's been a very good day. This is not my favourite sort of rally – the roads are very slow, twisty and hot. But the car has felt good throughout the event and I hope we can hang onto our advantage tomorrow. This rally is so tricky that you can never take anything for granted until the finish, so tomorrow we have to try not to make any mistakes, and look after the car as much as possible. At the same time we have to make sure we keep up a good pace to stay in front – it's not easy." - Marcus

  • Open article Team talk: Dampers in Cyprus.
    15 May 2004: The purpose of the dampers on the Subaru Impreza WRC is to control vertical suspension movement, to smooth out the 'bouncing' effect associated with driving on an uneven surface and to maximise wheel contact with the ground to enhance car control. On rough rallies like Cyprus, dampers have a critical role to play in the car's handling, as they have to absorb the impact from constant pounding over rocky terrain.

  • Open article Rally reactions: Cyprus Rally - Leg 1.
    14 May 2004: "I'm very happy to be leading – this is something that I am always trying to do! Of course, the problem with the clutch was a big handicap on the last stages, especially because one of the starts was facing uphill. But on the whole the car has been excellent throughout the day, and has given me a lot of confidence in these very rough conditions. But there's a long way to go and we can take nothing for granted. Tomorrow we must keep pushing." - Marcus Gronholm.

  • Open article Team talk: Drivers and the heat of Cyprus.
    14 May 2004: As one of the hottest and roughest rallies of the year, Cyprus can be a gruelling event for cars and drivers alike. Drivers and co-drivers can spend up to 13 hours a day in the car and, contesting some of the twistiest stages in the Championship, they face an enormous physical challenge. Here SWRT's driver trainer John Mills explains how the drivers have prepared for the event and how they'll keep cool in such extreme conditions...

  • Open article Pre-event press conference - Cyprus Rally.
    14 May 2004: Team personnel: Corrado Provera (Marlboro Peugeot Total); Sven Quandt (Mitsubishi Motors Motor Sports); Malcolm Wilson (Ford Motor Co Ltd) Drivers: No drivers present due to rescheduled shakedown following late arrival of cars and equipment
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