WRC » 29 December 2007
Q&A: Matthew Wilson - EXCLUSIVE.
I think so. Japan was obviously nice and to get fourth was a good feeling. But the good thing with GB was that it was purely down to performance and we had our sixth place with none of the top guys falling by the wayside. That made it even more special. In Japan in contrast the hardest thing was trying to keep the thing on the road, which we managed. But Marcus [Gronholm] and Sebastien [Loeb] both went out. Overall GB was probably one of the more satisfying ones.
You had good results in Japan and Ireland, finishing 4th and 7th respectively. Were those results as important as that one in GB?
They were. The one in Japan especially gave me quite a bit of confidence. Sometimes you just need that break to get that result and then it gives you the confidence and I think that is what it did. We then went into Ireland, which was another really difficult rally, conditions wise and with the weather, and to finish seventh on tarmac, which is probably not my strongest surface, just shows what a result like Japan can do. It is good when you get a run going and obviously you just want to keep it going. I didn't really want the season to end!
You finish the year with 11 points on the board and 11th in the drivers' championship. Are you happy with your season as a whole?
Yeah, we had a bad start to the year and with all the new events there at the start, it just felt like '06 carrying on. We were hoping that we could go back to the rallies a second time and just have a bit more knowledge. But obviously Monte Carlo was near enough a completely new rally [due to the major route changes] and then there was Norway and Portugal too. I must say it was a difficult at the beginning but then we had a real good run throughout the middle of the year, with a lot of top-ten finishes - a ninth in Germany and stuff like that. From the middle part onwards it picked up and the last half has been really good.
Just how much do you think you have come on since the start of the year?
Massively. I think it just shows what that experience can do. In Japan, it was just my second time there, with a pretty similar route and we finished fourth. Rally GB, was the third or fourth time I have been there and we finished sixth. That just shows when you do get a bit of experience what you can do. Hopefully next year can be even better.
What are your plans now for the short break before the season starts again with the Rallye Monte Carlo at the end of January?
There is not much time before it all kicks off again. I will be at home at Christmas and then hopefully in the New Year I can try the new Pirelli tyres before we head out to Monte Carlo. We will do some training and hopefully a little bit of driving at some point too.
How do you think you will get on in 2008 and what are your targets?
Like I said, I just want to try and keep this run going and build on that. There is going to be some new challenges - no mousse, one-make tyre manufacturer and so on. That might spice things up. We will just have to see. It would be nice to try and drive on the tyres before the start of the year, just to get some idea what they are like. Overall I just want to build on what I did on the last three events and try and make that a regular occurrence.
The calendars have been confirmed recently as far ahead as 2009 and 2010. What do you think of this idea of rotating events?
It will certainly spice it all up a little bit. It will be difficult for the events though to be in one year and then out the next. But from a drivers' point of view it does make it more interesting. Going to a different rally each year should be good. Hopefully I will have experience of each one before we do go to them and then you can use that experience. OK you are away for a year but things don't change too much. It is interesting but for the events it makes it very difficult and for the fans in this country to not have Rally GB in 2010, I am sure they won't be too pleased about that.
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