WRC » 30 March 2008
Rally reactions: Rally Argentina - Leg 3.
Sebastien Loeb [Citroen Total WRT]:
"Believe me, it wasn't easy. Given the delicate conditions, we had to stay doubly concentrated from start to finish. We also benefited from a faultless performance from our Citroën C4 which was once again competitive and reliable. Before coming here, we had been hoping that Rally Argentina would enable us to take the lead in the Drivers championship and score points for Citroën, and that's what we've done!"
Chris Atkinson [Subaru WRT]:
"It's been such a hard weekend it's more of a relief to finish! Another podium is fantastic for us and for the team, there's nothing that motivates the guys more than a great result at the end of all the hard work. The feeling in the car was just so much more consistent this weekend and it was easier to drive so I was able to push without making any big mistakes. It's clear we've taken some good steps forward with the car this year and it's sort of a surprise for me to be third in the championship at the moment. It's a real shame about Petter as he was going very well and we should have had two cars on the podium, but it demonstrates that we're definitely moving in the right direction."
Daniel Sordo [Citroen Total WRT]:
"It would have been so easy to get caught out. It really has been a difficult event: a single bend could have compromised all the good work put in by everyone in the team and the chance for Citroën to close the gap in the championship. I am please to have finished third and my times were on a par with what I was hoping for."
Conrad Rautenbach [PH Sport-Citroen C4 WRC]:
"I can't believe it! This is a little bit crazy! Fourth place on my first time in Argentina and only my second event in the C4. It's taking a while to sink in, I can tell you. Last night I went to bed thinking about fifth place and what an incredible achievement that would be – and then we passed Petter [Solberg] in the Condor stage and I couldn't stop myself thinking: 'Now we're fourth!' I really had to focus on the road ahead and just keep on listening to the notes.
"The conditions this morning were really tough again. The rain was there and then, because the stages were climbing high again, we were back into the low cloud and the fog. It would have been easy to make a mistake – particularly in Condor; that stage is so twisty. Clipping a rock or something in the fog would have ruined the whole rally for us, so I just tried to find a rhythm and stick with it. And it worked.
"This result is incredible. Not just for me, but for everybody involved. The team, David, everybody. I'm so happy about it. I thought points might be possible before the start, but I don't think I was talking about five points! The first morning was really tough, but the confidence has just come on all the time since then. I've felt more and more comfortable in the car and now we have to take it on from here. I'm really looking forward to the next rally now – I just want to get back in the C4 and keep on driving it. I'm a real fan of Rally Argentina as well – and I didn't think I'd have been saying that after that first stage on Friday!"
Mikko Hirvonen [BP Ford Abu Dhabi WRT]:
"After Friday's problems, I never thought I could climb this high. I'm surprised to score points and luckily Loeb isn't so far ahead in the championship. He's only five points in front and I thought it would be nine, so that's some comfort. But I'm still disappointed because I made such a good start to lead and I could have won, but that's life. I found more speed than I had on the last round in Mexico but today I drove carefully because conditions were slippery and foggy."
Federico Villagra [Munchi's Ford WRT]:
"It is a great feeling to achieve my best ever WRC finish and on my home event in Argentina. I live in Córdoba and the reception I have received this weekend from all the people has been incredible and has really made me drive better. For a long time I have been rallying in Argentina but I have never seen conditions quite like we have seen this weekend. The biggest challenge for this event was getting to the finish and I am glad we have done this. Things have gone really good for us this rally and despite the problems we had yesterday the team did a great job to fix everything and get us back out today. Now I am looking forward to Jordan, it is a new event for everyone so I think this will help us a lot."
Gigi Galli [Stobart VK M-Sport Ford WRT]:
"Wow, last night I did not think I could finish this rally in seventh position but it just goes to show the rally isn't over until you cross the finish ramp. What happened yesterday was unlucky for us and my mechanics did a fantastic job trying so hard to fix the car before time ran out so I must say thank you to them all. On the first day things felt very good even though the conditions were the worst I have ever driven in my career. We had some good stage times and even a fastest on one of them so this is a good sign for Jordan because I have only had limited kilometres on gravel, in the car. There have been so many people out supporting this rally even though the weather has been terrible and this is great to see."
Andreas Aigner [Mitsubishi Lancer Evo - PWRC winner]:
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