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Rally Finland: Rally reactions - Day 2.

Sebastien Loeb [Citroen Total WRT]:

"Today has been a very long day and I stretched my lead by just four seconds from Mikko, but it is better than nothing. It is not over though and tomorrow I will push hard on the first long stage. I am confident though because there is only 40kms on the last leg."

"I'm so accustomed to not being in front here that I preferred to defend our lead. It turned out not to be a bad choice, although it did mean we had to push very, very hard from start to finish. The roads were damp in many places and that gave good grip. It also made it a level playing field and we were able to drive flat out. The drier portions were covered in a top-coating of loose gravel, however, and that was a handicap because it meant we were dropping time while at the same time leaving a clearer line for the others. Overall, though, I don't think we coped too badly with the problem and we have succeeded in extending our lead from 14.4 to 18.2 seconds. To pull out 3.8s over more than 160km of stages, flat out between the trees, hasn't been simple but it's been a fantastic scrap. It's been so fierce that the possibility of winning or scoring a top result that would give our title chances a welcome boost has barely crossed my mind. I've been concentrating on not making any mistakes and keeping the gap as stable as possible. We succeeded, and the speed of our C4 WRC will be one of our trump cards in our bid to finish in front tomorrow, although I still prefer to take things extremely cautiously."


Mikko Hirvonen [BP Ford Abu Dhabi WRT]:

"What an amazing day! It's been so enjoyable and the speeds were absolutely crazy. I was flat out everywhere, taking huge risks, and the pace today has been higher than last year. On one stage I set the record last year. This morning I was 10sec faster than that and then another seven seconds quicker on the second pass – and I still wasn't fastest. I followed Loeb's lines and I could see that he, too, was right on the edge. It's a fantastic fight and very intense."

"For every second I won, he took it back from me on the next stage. A lot can happen on tomorrow's fast stages but it will be hard to take that amount of time back on driving alone. Either I need some good luck or he needs some bad luck. A Frenchman on top of the podium in Finland wouldn't be good so I have to try to prevent that."


Chris Atkinson [Subaru WRT]:

"It's been a good day, and if you look at the battle for third we've been right on the pace. We had no problems, we're still pushing hard, and it's really good for us to make up this time and get into third. It's great especially when we were down in ninth at one point yesterday. It's good for the team that we're where we are and have been setting some good times. The two guys in front are going really well and are out on their own, but we'll keep pushing hard tomorrow to stay where we are. Dani is quick on the stages he knows and we seem to take some time on the new stages, so it won't be easy."


Daniel Sordo [Citroen Total WRT]:

"Chris has gone very fast today. I was not very happy with my driving style especially in the last stage so for tomorrow maybe I won't fight for a podium place and instead concentrate on the manufacturers' championship and more points for Citroen."

"I had every confidence in my car, but I didn't want to take too many risks as we drove new stages. I chose to secure fourth place to try to score good points for the Manufacturers' championship. We still have one day to try to jump on the podium."

[Speaking after SS18] "I was glad to be third. That's the target Marc and I had set ourselves, but it wasn't easy; it rarely is here in Finland! I profited as much as I could from the amazing competitiveness of our C4 WRC which is handling really nicely. At the same time, there were a few things I saw in the way I drive that I want to change, especially my braking."


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

"It has been a difficult day. I'm driving quite hard and my times are really good on the fast sections and the car feels great. But on the narrow roads I just struggle to make it work well and find a good rhythm. The feeling isn't the same as yesterday and I thought the new stages today would work to my advantage but they haven't. We had a few moments, especially at the corner where Gigi went off, so I backed off in that stage as it was very difficult but also very fast. So the plan tomorrow is to get to the finish safely; we are still in line for some good points."


Petter Solberg [Subaru WRT]:



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Sebastien Loeb (FRA), Citroen C4, Citroen Total World Rally Team
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