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Rally New Zealand: Rally reactions - Day 2.

Jari-Matti Latvala [BP Ford Abu Dhabi WRT]:

"It's a great feeling to be leading tonight but it might bring me some difficulties tomorrow. I wanted to catch Loeb and I was expecting to be in the top three, but not to be leading tonight. I drove flat out on that final stage and tomorrow I need to do the same and be precise. The biggest thing is not to worry about being first on the road, it's being mentally strong that's the important thing. It's six months since I won in Sweden and it would be great to win here, but it will be a very open day and a big fight. Maybe the rally could be like last year when Ford won by just 0.3sec. It will be really challenging.”


Mikko Hirvonen [BP Ford Abu Dhabi WRT]:

"I knew we would lose time but we lost more than I thought. There was so much loose gravel on the surface that conditions were really slippery and that's what I expected. This was the hardest day of the rally because each stage was driven only once so there was no chance for me to drive on cleaner roads. When the roads were fast I could match Loeb's pace but in the slow sections I lost time because of the gravel.

"It was a hard day but I came through and the time differences aren't that big. The driver, the car, the pace notes and the rhythm were really good. I could do nothing tactically because I was first on the road. I'm in a good position and all I can do now is try to be faster than all of them tomorrow. It will be really close and I can't wait. I have a good road position but Loeb has a better one so it will be difficult. If I could have chosen my start position I would have selected fourth," he added.


Sebastien Loeb [Citroen Total WRT]:

"With an overnight deficit of 28s to make up, we had no other choice than to push as hard as we could. Running second on the road is effectively better than being first through the stages. Even so, we still had to push extremely hard and not make any mistakes. Thankfully, our car performed faultlessly and we managed to make up much of the gap. We will see how things pan out over this afternoon's two long stages which could well be decisive.

"We managed to move ahead after SS10. However, along with the team, we worked out that 4.2s wasn't a big enough lead to take into the final day if we were first on the road. We regretfully let our rivals pass us again, although that's not really my vision of rallying which should be about driving faster than the others and not having to lift: There are nonetheless rules we have to exploit. We'll see tomorrow whether we made the right choice."


Daniel Sordo [Citroen Total WRT]:

"Running fourth on the road today was an advantage. It was nice to see my times get closer to those of the front-runners. The gap is coming down, although I continue to lose time on the slower, more technical portions because I still lack experience of this event. However, if I compare my times with those I posted here in 2007, I can see that I am improving, and that is very encouraging. This afternoon's two stages went very well for us. We really enjoyed ourselves after making some small modifications to the set-up of our C4. I pushed as hard as I could and that paid off. We will now keep a close eye on the scrap that's going on in front of us. It could all work out in our favour…"


Francois Duval [Stobart VK M-Sport Ford WRT]:

“I have been learning the car a lot more today and things have gone OK without any problems. The stages were a lot faster which I prefer and I had a much better feeling especially on the two long stages this afternoon. I used too much left-foot braking in the last 10 kilometres of the long stage this morning and lost the front brakes but apart from this the car has been going good and we haven't made any mistakes. I am in a good position and I want to finish the rally tomorrow because I can take a lot of experience, with the car, from this event.”


Urmo Aava [PH Sport-Citroen C4 WRC]:

[No Quote]


Petter Solberg [Subaru WRT]:

“The car was a lot better than yesterday, but it's been another tough day. A lot of the stages were very narrow, and when you struggle for confidence it really shows in the times. We made some adjustments to the dampers for the last stage and it wasn't bad, but we still have more work to do. I'm just driving, saying what I feel, and letting the engineers work on the car and come up with the ideas. We're just lacking overall grip here, that's what we need to find. On the fast and flat stuff, like the last stage, we're not bad, but on the twisty it's very difficult to push and that's where we're losing time.”


Per-Gunnar Andersson [Suzuki WRT]:

"I am in the points and am really happy for that. I'm not going to take any risks to try and catch the car ahead. At the same time, I have a nice gap to the car behind. This morning was quite hard work, though. The stages were so full of gravel, it was hard to find a line and to get any grip. We tried to soften the car through the morning. That helps with the traction, but it means the car loses precision in the faster sections. For the afternoon, where the stages were faster, we stiffened the roll bars, which worked quite well. The confidence was not so bad this afternoon."


Toni Gardemeister [Suzuki WRT]:



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN) Ford Focus RS WRC 07
Lorenzo Bertelli (ITA) Simone Scattolin (ITA) Ford RS WRC
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Mads Ostberg (NOR) Ola Floene (NOR) Ford Fiesta RS WRC
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Lorenzo Bertelli (ITA) Simone Scattolin (ITA) Ford RS WRC
Lorenzo Bertelli (ITA) Simone Scattolin (ITA) Ford RS WRC
Eric Camilli (FRA) Benjamin Veillas (FRA) Ford Fiesta RS WRC
Lorenzo Bertelli (ITA) Simone Scattolin (ITA) Ford RS WRC
Dani Sordo (ESP) Marc Marti (ESP) Hyundai i20 WRC
Mads Ostberg (NOR) Ola Floene (NOR) Ford Fiesta RS WRC
Michel Fabre (FRA) Maxine Vilmot (FRA) Citroen DS3 R3T
Eric Camilli (FRA) Benjamin Veillas (FRA) Ford Fiesta RS WRC
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