WRC » 29 March 2008
Rally reactions: Rally Argentina - Leg 2.
Sebastien Loeb [Citroen Total WRT]:
"The lead we built up yesterday made life easier for us today. It was still very difficult, though, because the 2008 regulations meant that our tyre supplier Pirelli could only give us hard compound tyres for this event. On today's slippery stages, the mud gave very little grip and we knew it would be difficult to drive flat out. It's a shame that a small 'cut' to the pattern of our tyres – the same for everyone – wasn't allowed. Lots of decisions that have been positive for our safety have already been taken and this measure would have been simple to introduce. Even so, we came through the day unscathed and we now need to do the same again tomorrow to keep our lead."
Petter Solberg [Subaru WRT]:
"It's been a really good day, I mean I really, really enjoyed this afternoon. The car worked very well first thing this morning, and then I lost a bit of the feeling in the conditions, but in the afternoon it was really good. Everything worked and we pushed hard but without taking big risks or making any mistakes. The guys have worked so hard, and they made some changes in service that really worked and after that it's been really good. We have to finish with both cars and the Manufacturers points are very important, but we are in a good position tomorrow. We'll drive fast but try to take it a little bit carefully as anything can still happen and we don't want to risk anything at all. I'm very happy though, it's a great feeling."
Chris Atkinson [Subaru WRT]:
"I'm pleased with the way today has gone, even though we lost a position. We were fast this morning and it's good to win stages for the team. We've had some good results this year and it's important to keep finishing well, so I decided to back off a little, not take any risks and make sure we got to the finish. Petter had a lot of experience here so I decided to settle. Two Subarus on the podium is the main aim here now and it's important we finish like that tomorrow, for the points and also for everyone in the team."
Daniel Sordo [Citroen Total WRT]:
"My aim was to get a little closer to the podium. It didn't take me long to realise that it wouldn't be easy without taking lots of risks. It was impossible to know for sure how the car was going to react in all the dirt churned up by the cars running ahead of us and I was caught between the desire to push and the fear of compromising our chances of a good result. I didn't want to throw everything away. The final day is the shortest of the rally but we will need to stay totally focused if we want to come away with vital championship points for Citroën."
Conrad Rautenbach [PH Sport-Citroen C4 WRC]:
“The notes weren't working so well for me this morning. The stages are a bit different today; quite a bit faster and that's where we are struggling. The surface of the road was also quite tough to read at times this morning. There was a lot of mud around and you really needed to know what you were looking for – sometimes there would be good grip and then you'd go into the next corner and there was nothing. That was tough, it would have been easy to make a silly mistake this morning. But, hey, those stages were quick. At times they were even like Finland, sitting in top gear just riding the bumps.
“We caught Toni in some of the stages today, but he was good and let us past quite quickly. I'm really feeling better about everything now. Confidence was pretty low after the start yesterday, but the feeling is really coming in the car now. I just want to hold this position together and get to the end in one piece. It's just amazing that I have come here for the first time and I'm in fifth place. Incredible! I said at the start that this would be an event to survive – and that's just what I want to do now. To get fifth place here would be such a great result for me, David [Senior, co-driver] and all of the team who have worked so hard.”
Mikko Hirvonen [BP Ford Abu Dhabi WRT]:
"I didn't think I could make up so many positions. It was hard to find motivation this morning looking at our position but I was quite excited this afternoon when cars started to fall by the wayside. Tomorrow the plan is to drive flat out because anything can happen ahead and I could score a lot more points here than I thought was possible last night. I don't want to let Loeb leave here with too many more points than us. It was incredibly rough and the car took some massive hits underneath this afternoon, but the Focus is strong and we were OK, although the impacts cracked the windscreen and the drivers' side window."
Andreas Aigner [Mitsubishi Lancer Evo - PWRC leader]:
“It was really hard for me today. On the one hand I wanted to ride as gently as possible but on the other hand I had to make sure I did not lose too much time. The teamwork was perfect though as we were always told the latest standings. Tomorrow is going to be another tough day.”
[Speaking in the mid-day service] "Today I was trying from the very first corner to keep my opponents checked. This meant that I had to shun any unnecessary risks, post decent stage times and avoid making mistakes. Up to now it has been going great."
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