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Rally New Zealand: Rally reactions - Day 3.

Sebastien Loeb [Citroen Total WRT]:

"We spun on SS12 (Te Hutewai 1). That cost us valuable seconds and we failed to recover them entirely on the following test, Whaanga Coast. There are still three stages to come and we are 17.7 seconds behind the leader and 14.5s off second spot. We haven't yet said our last word, though, and we have no intention of giving up. We will continue to push…

"We were aware that this was probably too big a gap to bridge in normal circumstances but we never gave up, and our efforts ended up paying! It's becoming something of a tradition for the last day of this rally to produce nail-biting finishes. I am obviously delighted to have won this event which I really enjoy and which has taken me further clear at the top of the championship."


Daniel Sordo [Citroen Total WRT]:

"We tried to make the most of the fact that we are running fourth on the road today. I have never had a good run on the last day in New Zealand, but things seem to be going much better this time round and that confirms the good feeing I have had here so far.

"I'm obviously thrilled to have finished on the podium here. It's fantastic to have contributed to a one-two finish for the team and to have played a part in what has turned out to be a big points haul for Citroën. I'm also delighted with the feeling I had here in New Zealand. I still lack experience of this terrain, but I was able to see that I have made progress since last year's visit. My feeling with the C4 is improving all the time and my times are getting closer and closer to those of the top loose surface experts. The bottom line of our weekend here could hardly be better!"


Mikko Hirvonen [BP Ford Abu Dhabi WRT]:

“This is one of the biggest disappointments of my career but that's the way sport goes. I was confident I could drive at normal pace through that stage and win but it wasn't to be because we handed Loeb victory. It's not looking so good for either championship now but it's not impossible. An eight-point gap in the drivers' standings will be difficult to make up and it's annoying to end like this after a great weekend. But I finished on the podium and what doesn't kill you, makes you stronger. The positive from this event is that I know I can win gravel rallies.

"When I saw Jari-Matti stopped in the stage I knew I just had to finish. However about 9km from the end I realised I had a slow puncture on the rear right tyre. I've no idea how, or where, it happened. Then a kilometre before the finish I spun and the impact on the bank dragged off the front bumper. It just wasn't meant to be."

Petter Solberg [Subaru WRT]:

“It's been a tough rally for us but fourth place is good after this weekend. What an incredible finish, the Whaanga stage was like a scrap yard! Today the car felt the best it has this weekend, so we are definitely making steps in the right direction but it's taking a little time. Of course, we are here for winning though so we have some more steps to take, but we have to lift our heads now and keep working so we can start to fight at the front.”


Urmo Aava [PH Sport-Citroen C4 WRC]:

[No Quote]


Per-Gunnar Andersson [Suzuki WRT]:

"I drove a little bit like my grandmother this morning! Iknew there was so much to lose by making a mistake today, which meant there was quite a lot of pressure. The car was really good, but it was tough to find a rhythm and get into the morning stages, they were really loose at times. As well as that, I was struggling a little bit with the pace notes, they were too fast for the corners. It was such a shame for the last run through Whaanga Coast, that's a great stage, but a couple of kilometres into the stage we got a puncture, so we had to do the whole stage like that. Then later on, we got another puncture and dropped more time. Okay, this wasn't the best way to end it, but it has been a great rally for the whole team - and our faultless SX4 WRC."


Toni Gardemeister [Suzuki WRT]:

"I really enjoy these roads and today, like every day on this rally, the SX4 WRC worked very well. I had a spin on the long one this morning, it was quite tough to find the feeling on the gravel in there, but after that the day has been getting better and better. The team has worked really hard for this and we deserve the points and the finish. I'm really happy."


Federico Villagra [Munchi's Ford WRT]:



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Sebastian Loeb (F) Citroen C4 WRC
Lorenzo Bertelli (ITA) Simone Scattolin (ITA) Ford RS WRC
Mads Ostberg (NOR) Ola Floene (NOR) Ford Fiesta RS WRC
Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN) Volkswagen Polo R WRC
Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN) Miikka Antilla (FIN) Volkswagen Polo R WRC
Lorenzo Bertelli (ITA) Simone Scattolin (ITA) Ford RS WRC
Mads Ostberg (NOR) Ola Floene (NOR) Ford Fiesta RS WRC
Mads Ostberg (NOR) Ola Floene (NOR) Ford Fiesta RS WRC
Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN) Miikka Antilla (FIN) Volkswagen Polo R WRC
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
Lorenzo Bertelli (ITA) Simone Scattolin (ITA) Ford RS WRC

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