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Rally Finland: Rally reactions - Day 1.

Sebastien Loeb [Citroen Total WRT]:

"We continued at the same pace and ended up increasing our lead. We pushed as hard as we did this morning and managed to extend our cushion to 13.9s. Tomorrow's stages are narrower and covered in gravel, and the day promises to be just as long. We didn't want to finish in second place this evening and waste all the hard work we put in to pull out tonight's gap! We'll see later whether that was the best tactic."

[Speaking in the mid-day service] "We've really had to hit the ground running. I had a little trouble waking up this morning, but I don't think that showed in our stage times, First time round this morning's loop, we were encouraged by the impeccable handling of our C4 WRC to push hard. We were frequently on the limit, but that's the only way to build up a lead here in Finland! The conditions were damper this afternoon and the going was fairly tricky because certain portions were quite cut up, while the grip had altered in other places. We had to be on our toes all the time, but that didn't stop us attacking all the way. That's the challenge of this event; you need to find the ideal compromise."


Mikko Hirvonen [BP Ford Abu Dhabi WRT]:

"I enjoyed the fight, especially driving in front my family and friends. The battle is almost as close as last year when I fought with Marcus Grönholm. This afternoon, especially, was good. I drove as hard as I could and made no mistakes. I'm a little frustrated that I couldn't do any more. I could have taken risks but that's something I didn't want to do. Road position wasn't an issue and I didn't let Jari-Matti's retirement affect me. I just tried to do the best job for myself and Ford. Everything is so close between us that I'm not going to take any gambles by changing the settings on the car. There are many new stages tomorrow so anything can happen on roads that we don't know so well."


Henning Solberg [Stobart VK M-Sport Ford WRT]:

"Today has went well and it's been a great start to the rally for me. The car has been working well but we started off slowly this morning as it took some time to find a good feeling with the rear of the car. But the mechanics have done a great job and you can see from my times that the feeling is better now and I can push the way I like to. With no test before the rally it's been good to see that we have got off to a flying Finnish start and be on the podium at the end of the first day."


Gigi Galli [Stobart VK M-Sport Ford WRT]:

"We were very lucky today on the last corner of stage 9 when I just cut a bit too much and touched some bushes but ok it's no big problem now. I wasn't able to keep the pace towards the end of the day and Henning has managed to get ahead but its fine, he's my friend and I don't mind him sweeping the road for me tomorrow! It has been a good day, it took us a while to just get up to speed this morning but my confidence is better now, the car and the Pirelli tyres are working well so I can push some more tomorrow."


Daniel Sordo [Citroen Total WRT]:

"I didn't feel as confident as this morning. The stages were extremely fast at times and you needed to feel 100 per cent at one with your car to drive flat in places. We're not in a bad situation, though. We are in a good position for tomorrow and we will try to make the most of that."

[Speaking in the mid-day service] "The pace is much faster here [than on the O.K. Auto Ralli I did last month in Finland] but the chance of covering extra kilometres on this terrain which is so specific turned out to be extremely useful. It only took me a few corners to settle into a quick but safe pace. Our situation changed when one of our main rivals retired. It is important that we keep the Manufacturers' title chase in mind because this event could be good for us."


Petter Solberg [Subaru WRT]:

"It has not been a very good day and I am very disappointed. We did some changes in service but unfortunately I went the wrong way with them. Essentially the car is not consistent and it hasn't worked as I hoped it would."

"We've been driving well today, I really feel we've been driving well, but we're not fast enough yet. In Finland, it's so fast and you need to have so much confidence in the car. We don't have that feeling here yet, so it really shows in the times. I was feeling good before the weekend, after the test, but we don't have that same feeling here so it's disappointing for everyone."


Chris Atkinson [Subaru WRT]:



Related Pictures

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