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Pre-event press conference - New Zealand.

Drivers: Sebastien Loeb (Citroen Total World Rally Team), Chris Atkinson (Subaru World Rally Team), Henning Solberg (Munchi's Ford World Rally Team), Matthew Wilson (Stobart VK M-Sport Ford Rally Team)

Press conference:

Q:
Last year the battle between you and Marcus Grönholm was epic, resulting in the slimmest winning margin we have ever seen – three tenths of a second. Now that Grönholm is no longer around do you think it will be possible to re-create that magic?

Sebsatien Loeb:
Maybe; if it's in my favour why not! I would be happy to have another great fight. Sure, for me it's still a good memory, even if I was a bit frustrated at the end. I remember the very good fight. One of us had to win, it was him – but I won the Championship. Mikko [Hirvonen] is getting faster and faster and, for sure, he can give me a good fight. But as well as that, it's going to be very difficult with the road conditions here.

Q:
You are now in the lead of the Drivers' Championship and Citroen leads the Manufacturers, but BP Ford have made a tactical change to their driver line-up for Spain and Corsica, nominating Francois Duval to score points. What are you thoughts on that?

SL:
It's difficult to say about Francois. At the moment we are in a good position, leading. We have three gravel and two Tarmac [rallies] to come. On Tarmac Dani [Sordo] and me are going very well. In Germany we were both faster than Duval. We will see. It's five rallies to go, anything can happen.

Q:
First on the road here and it looks like the dry conditions will continue into the weekend, which doesn't make it so good for you. From what you have seen on the recce how bad will it be for you?

SL:
If it's not raining it will be nearly dry in the stages. In this condition, there's a lot of gravel. We saw a lot of gravel in the recce. We can lose a lot of time with that. We'll see.

Q:
Tactics will probably come into play again this weekend for road position?

SL:
It's always the car behind that can do what it wants – everybody has your time. I cannot do anything about that. I will start as fast as I can.

Q:
The camber on the roads here are unique to this event – what is the secret to successfully negotiating them?

SL:
I don't know, last year I lost…! There's no secret. When it's a big camber, you need to stay on the inside at the exit of the corner. It's a question of feeling. Some time on the brakes, you have camber and you need to be careful, it's easy to lock a brake and it's tough to turn. It's a nice feeling to jump from one corner to another.

Q:
Is this an event where you have to win?

SL:


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Sebatien Loeb(FRA) Citroen C4, Citroen Total WRT
Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC, Monza, [Credit: Hyundai Motorsport]
Podium 1st Australian - Molly Taylor (AUS) Bill Hayes (AUS) Subaru Impreza WRX Sti
Podium - Volkswagen
Podium - Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR) Anders Jaeger Synnevag (NOR) Volkswagen Polo R WRC
Lorenzo Bertelli (ITA) Simone Scattolin (ITA) Ford RS WRC
Podium, 1st Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR) Anders Jaeger Synnevag (NOR) Volkswagen Polo R WRC, 2nd Sebastien Ogier (FRA) Julien Ingrassia (FRA) Volkswagen Polo R WRC, 3rd Thierry Neuville (BEL) Nicolas Gilsoul (BEL) Hyundai i20 WRC
Podium, 1st Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR) Anders Jaeger Synnevag (NOR) Volkswagen Polo R WRC, 2nd Sebastien Ogier (FRA) Julien Ingrassia (FRA) Volkswagen Polo R WRC, 3rd Thierry Neuville (BEL) Nicolas Gilsoul (BEL) Hyundai i20 WRC
Podium - Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR) Anders Jaeger Synnevag (NOR) Volkswagen Polo R WRC
Podium - Volkswagen
Podium - Volkswagen
Podium 1st Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR) Anders Jaeger Synnevag (NOR) Volkswagen Polo R WRC, 2nd Sebastien Ogier (FRA) Julien Ingrassia (FRA) Volkswagen Polo R WRC, 3rd Thierry Neuville (BEL) Nicolas Gilsoul (BEL) Hyundai i20 WRC
Podium - Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR) Anders Jaeger Synnevag (NOR) Volkswagen Polo R WRC
Podium - Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR) Anders Jaeger Synnevag (NOR) Volkswagen Polo R WRC
Mads Ostberg (NOR) Ola Floene (NOR) Ford Fiesta RS WRC
Sebastien Ogier (FRA) Volkswagen Polo R WRC
Sebastien Ogier (FRA) Julien Ingrassia (FRA) Volkswagen Polo R WRC
Sebastien Ogier (FRA) Julien Ingrassia (FRA) Volkswagen Polo R WRC

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