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Wales Rally GB: Rally reactions - Day 1.

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

"Victory here would mean everything to me. Conditions were extreme with heavy rain, snow, ice, mud and water – but I'm happy! Today's stages are the most difficult of the rally but the weather made them even harder. In places I couldn't see because my wipers couldn't work fast enough. Loeb will attack tomorrow and I have to be prepared for that, especially on the opening stage where there might be more ice.

"The first stage this morning was very hard but I started to gain confidence on the next test in Myherin and built on that. Pirelli's tyres worked well on the gravel, which they are designed for, but it was hard to stop the car in the ice and snow. It's a shame the stages were shortened and cancelled because they are great roads but it was the right decision. I would have been happy on those roads with winter tyres, but not with this rubber."


Sebastien Loeb [Citroen Total WRT]:

"Mud made the second pass even more delicate than the first. The start of SS6 was even delayed because of a hailstorm! Our hard compound tyres weren't exactly in their element in the mud and couldn't provide enough grip. We aren't allowed to 're-cut' the tread patterns either, so we couldn't get extra grip that way. All in all, though, I think we came through the day fairly well."

[Speaking in Service A] "The conditions were really difficult. An off was possible even on the road sections, and running first on the road was a major handicap. We had nobody else's lines to guide us, and there was nothing to warn us of the patches of sheet ice where there was absolutely no grip whatsoever. We chose a pace which didn't entail taking any risks and I think that was the best approach given what's at stake here in the Manufacturers' championship."


Per-Gunnar Andersson [Suzuki WRT]:

"It's been a great day today, and I am very proud to be on the podium overnight; the first time that this has happened for me or Suzuki with the SX4 WRC. This just goes to show that all the hard work we have put in over the year is really starting to pay off. Conditions today have been as bad as I can remember on the Rally GB: even the road sections were slippery! But I've really enjoyed today and I am aiming for another strong run tomorrow."


Mads Ostberg [Adapta WRT Subaru WRC]:

"We had lots of problems in SS6. There was a half spin and a fogged windscreen. But we're still in there and we're still fighting."


Petter Solberg [Subaru WRT]:

"It's been unbelievably difficult today. We were very careful this morning just trying to find out how the roads were and the limit, and we were in a quite ok position. We made some changes in the midday service and on the long stage [SS6] we started fastest, then the screen fogged up so we couldn't see anything. I was driving from Phil's notes, but the stage is very fast so we lost time quickly. I lost I'm sure 14 or 15 seconds so I think we could have been fighting for the lead. When I heard about Chris when we were waiting to start the stage after him it's scary, very difficult. It makes you more cautious. With these tyres and no tread cutting, no gravel crew, full ice and rock hard tyres; I just don't know. I think the next two days will be the same road conditions too."


Daniel Sordo [Citroen Total WRT]:

"The going was extremely tricky this morning. I was on my guard all the time because I wanted to come out of it in one piece. It's not much fun when you have to drive that cautiously but it was the right tactic. All-in-all it turned out to be a good day for us. Everything has gone to plan so far, but driving this cautiously is really not what I enjoy. But the prospect of the reward that possible awaits us on Sunday made it well worth the effort."


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

"We've had a few problems today mainly with the intercom not working but we also had two spins in the long stage. It's very difficult with the ice and after my accident in Japan I'm not fully committed in the fast sections. The ice is making the braking very slippery so the important thing is to be careful out there."


Sebastien Ogier [PH Sport-Citroen C4 WRC]:



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