Rally Catalunya: Rally reactions - Day 2.

Sebastien Loeb [Citroen Total WRT]:

"We didn't have any unpleasant surprises. The roads were dirtier [on the repeat loop] but the information passed on to us by our gravel note crew enabled us to keep out of trouble. The hotter weather also meant it was more important to take the tyre wear factor into account. The gaps are bigger now, but we still can't afford to start thinking it's all over."

[Speaking in the mid-day service] "I was aware that the way this stage went first thing this morning would have a big influence on how the rest of the first loop unfolded, so it was important to approach it in the right way and look after our tyres. Had we not done so, the rest of the morning could have been much more complex. I did my best not to ask too much of my tyres so as not to jeopardize their performance on the next two tests, and that way I was able to push hard on SS8 and SS9. I am very happy with the set-up of my C4. It is nicely balanced and that is obviously a big boost for confidence. Our rhythm since yesterday suits me and I think I will keep to the same sort of pace for a little bit longer and try to extend our lead."

Daniel Sordo [Citroen Total WRT]:

"I essentially kept an eye on the times of my closest chaser in order to keep the gap at about the same sort of level going into the final day. We succeeded in doing just that and we are still second. The set-up of my car is perfect and I am pleased with our run today. Just six more stages totalling 93.88km separate us from another possible Citroën one-two. That's by no means a foregone conclusion, but we are in a fairly favourable position."

[Speaking in the mid-day service] "It was important to look after our Pirellis on the long stage [SS7 – this morning]. It's in situations like this that you realise how crucial experience can be and how that can help you avoid making a mistake. I didn't push my tyres too hard and that enabled me to pull a little further clear of the driver in third place. That's exactly the objective we set with the team before this morning's start and we will try to stick to the same game plan this afternoon."

Francois Duval [BP Ford Abu Dhabi WRT]:

"Some stages were quite rough with gravel on the surface but I enjoy those difficult conditions. It's more interesting to drive on roads like that and yesterday was like driving on a motorway at times. I think the car also works better in these conditions. I was driving flat out all day and made changes to my pace notes again this morning. I'm 23sec behind Sordo and that's not so much so I must stay concentrated tomorrow because the stages are difficult and I want to keep Mikko behind. I'm not planning on making any changes in service tonight, I'll keep the changes until we are in Corsica next weekend. I hope I can keep the same rhythm and pace tomorrow and try to keep the pressure on."

Mikko Hirvonen [BP Ford Abu Dhabi WRT]:

"We changed the rear differential in service this morning which brought an improvement on the high-speed sections, but it also made the car more difficult to drive so there was still work to do. I had more pace and my times were closer to Loeb and Sordo, but I didn't have the killer feeling that I need to challenge because I wasn't 100 per cent confident. I made the springs harder for the afternoon and the changes helped, but it was me too because I finally found the right rhythm. Finally I remembered how to drive on asphalt and I don't know why I had forgotten that. I was driving like a small boy and rushing into everything with the wrong approach - pushing too hard, trying to go too fast and understeering into corners. I became neater and tidier with better lines and the times came easily. Tomorrow I'll try to catch François. I must not make any mistakes because I need the points. I'm too far behind the leading cars to catch them but I need every point I can get."

Petter Solberg [Subaru WRT]:

"We have been making some changes to the car today so sometimes it has been better and sometimes not so good. There was so much gravel in the last stage. We lost all our time after this, and now Aava is close. It'll be hard to keep him behind us tomorrow. The team will look at the car tonight and we'll see what we're able to do tomorrow."

Urmo Aava [PH Sport-Citroen C4 WRC]:

"I'm very pleased. I enjoyed the stages today, especially the second runs and the areas with gravel. I'm also happy with my times."

Chris Atkinson [Subaru WRT]:

"We were pushing hard all day and moved up a place this morning on the 38km stage which was good. On the final stage of the morning we lost some time though, and on the second pass at the end of the day we had less grip towards the finish and lost a lot of time with oversteer."

Jari-Matti Latvala [Stobart VK M-Sport Ford WRT]:

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Sebastian Loeb (F) Citroen C4 WRC, Citroen Total World Rally Team
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