WRC » 1 January 1901
Rally reactions: Rally Mexico - Day 3.
Sebastien Loeb [Citroen Total WRT]:
"I'm delighted to have won here. Following our blank scorecard in Sweden, it was important to try to bounce back straight away. It wasn't easy and, as often seems to be the case in Mexico, we had a troubled start, but the rest of the event went very well for us! It's the sort of victory I like because it came after a good fight. Marcus Grönholm's absence has already been filled by another Finn who is younger and just as determined. I think we can look forward to some good scraps this year, and that's fine by me! For this weekend's hard-packed stages, Pirelli took the safe choice with a very hard compound in a bid to ward off punctures. We effectively didn't suffer any, but we had to adjust our set-up to improve traction. The team responded well and our times here with the C4 WRC are an encouraging pointer for the rest of the year."
"The last day featured a little more than 60km of competitive action divided into three stages, plus a final attempt at the super-special in León. Despite our overnight lead, we approached today's leg cautiously because of the risks inherent in being first on the road, like having to sweep a clear line, punctures, etc."
Chris Atkinson [Subaru WRT]:
"It's a fantastic result, my best in the WRC! All the team, the guys on my car, Subaru all did a top job. It was good fun to beat Sebastien [Loeb] on the Superspecial at the end there! It's a great start to the year for me and also for the team, and I hope we can keep building on this. We're making good steps forward and the car felt really good this weekend. We did some work on the dampers after Sweden and that was a big help – they were good here in the heat which is always a tough test. Now we look to Argentina and to keep this performance going. The sooner I can win the better!"
Jari-Matti Latvala [BP Ford Abu Dhabi WRT]:
"It's an important result for me and it's a good result for the team and our championship challenge. I achieved my goal of being on the podium and it's just a shame we had a problem yesterday when fighting for the lead. But if I think about things closely, it has been a good weekend and I don't have any complaints. The best aspect was being able to challenge Loeb and match his times and I hope I can get just as close to him in the future because I had good speed this weekend."
Mikko Hirvonen [BP Ford Abu Dhabi WRT]:
"I tried to catch Henning but when stage 18 was cancelled, I decided I didn't have enough kilometres left in which to do it. I was lucky he had a problem and I'm glad to finish fourth and take good points after a difficult weekend. It just wasn't my rally unfortunately. Jari-Matti and Loeb were very fast and I couldn't reach their pace but I'll have to find that speed or say goodbye to the championship. I was unlucky with punctures but fourth is OK in the circumstances and hopefully this is the worst rally I'll have this year. Unfortunately I will be first on the road again on the next round in Argentina, but it feels good to be still leading the championship."
Henning Solberg [Munchi's Ford WRT]:
"I was trying my best for fourth position today but unfortunately we got a puncture on the last four kilometres of stage 19 and I had to drive on it through the super special and lost too much time. OK, fifth is a good position and it is great that Mikko was the one who went into fourth as he needs the points more than I do. We have scored some good points for the Munchi's team here and now they are ahead of the Suzuki team. We hit a rock on the second stage of the rally and broke a part of the suspension but luckily I was able to temporarily fix the problem with two allen-keys. This meant we could go flat out on the next stage and I did that and finished in third position. We also won stage 14 which was a great feeling because I was going flat out then. I am now looking forward to Argentina and to see if we can get on the podium there."
Matthew Wilson [Stobart VK M-Sport Ford WRT]:
"Finishing inside the top-six is a great feeling and I am happy with how our pace has improved from last year. When we got into the position on Saturday we were in a bit of a no man's land with big gaps to fifth and seventh but with Gigi out on Friday it was important to finish and keep the Stobart team in a strong position. I am happy to have scored valuable points for the team on my first event as a nominated point-scoring driver. We have had three reasonable rallies this year and sure it would have been nice to come here with points from Sweden but the speed I feel has set me up for a good start to the year. The first time I tried these new Pirelli gravel tyres was on shakedown but now I have a full event with them and the feeling is good so I'm really looking forward to Argentina and seeing what we can do there."
Federico Villagra [Munchi's Ford WRT]:
"This rally has been lots of fun and to finish with my equal best WRC result is a fantastic way to start the year. The Munchi's team is now ahead of Suzuki in the Manufacturers' Championship after just one event which is a great start. Yesterday was very difficult when I lost my power-steering and had to do two stages without it; it is very tough on the arms and shoulders. The team mechanics did a great job to replace the power-steering on the car at service and we didn't get any penalty because we lost no time. Apart from this we have had no problems all rally and the car and new Pirelli tyres have felt really good. Now I will head to Rally Argentina, which is in my home town, full of confidence and hopefully we can go even better there."
Ricardo Trivino [Peugeot 206 WRC]
"I have really enjoyed myself and I am very happy."
Sebastien Ogier [Citroen C2 S1600 - JWRC]:
"Given our overnight lead, we preferred not to take any risks. We really didn't know what to expect before coming to Mexico. My Citroën, PH Sport and the World Championship scene were all new to me and I had no idea where we stood compared with the others. There was so much we had to take on board! I am obviously delighted to have won the JWRC category and also to have finished ninth overall."
Petter Solberg [Subaru WRT]:
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