1 September 2009
Australia - Preview
"I am very much looking forward to the Australian east coast rally experience. The stages will be new to everyone, so we are all in the same position to give it our best shot and get the most out of the challenge. I have great confidence in my car and the team, so I just need to prove that I can perform on the unknown stages."
Stobart VK M-Sport Ford Rally team:
[Matthew Wilson, car #5 and Henning Solberg, car #6]
"It's a completely new rally so it's going to be really exciting but with 35 stages it's going to be a pretty challenging weekend for us. We haven't seen a rally with that many stages for a while so it's definitely going to be different. I have done Rally Australia before, but it will be a new experience for Scott [Martin] and being in a new venue it will be a great challenge for us both as a team. From what we have heard that are some great, flowing stages, with wide, fast roads so I'm really looking forward to seeing them on the recce."
"I really enjoy the fast gravel rallies and from competing in Australia before I know that I enjoy it there. I had an accident there last time so I really don't want a repeat of that. I hope that I can achieve another top-five finish as, with Petter not competing in Australia, that would help my position in the drivers' standings; so I need to make the most of his absence and score good points. I have had a lot of bad luck recently, and I know that anything can happen, but I hope that it is my turn to have some good luck."
Citroen Junior Team:
[Conrad Rautenbach, car #8, and Sebastien Ogier, car #12]
"We really don't know what will be waiting for us as we head off to the recce. We've never rallied in this part of Australia before and it seems that the conditions will be very different from how they were in Perth. On the east coast, the stages are likely to be wider and quicker, a bit like they are in New Zealand or Finland. It's the sort of thing that I think I will like. There are several stages and the long final day could be tricky. I can't wait to get there now because Australia is a place I absolutely love!"
"Myself, Julien [Ingrassia] and the rest of the team are now reaping the rewards of all the hard work we have put in since the start of the season. I'm feeling more and more comfortable with the C4 WRC and I can't wait to get back into it for my first Rally Australia. For once we do not begin with a lack of experience compared to the other drivers. It's just an event like any other for us. And the main objective is also the same as we have on all the other rallies: we need to be there at the finish."
Munchi's Ford WRT:
[Federico Villagra, car #9]
"Rally Finland was tough because we did not have much experience of racing there, but everyone will be in the same situation in Australia as it is a brand new rally. The car has been working well so it should be very exciting and I am looking forward to the challenge. We have not seen the stages yet, but I hear that the stages are very good, with hard, fast gravel roads which I enjoy driving on. Our road position is very good for the first day and I think this will be a big help for us. We only have two rallies left in the WRC this year so I hope that we can score points in both of them and end our season on a high note."
Production Car WRC:
Round 7 of 8 – Title fight heads to Australia.
The battle for this year's Production Car World Rally Championship will reach an intriguing stage on the Rally Australia this weekend with six drivers still in with a chance of winning the title.
However, the standings will remain provisional regardless of the result in Australia pending a hearing at the FIA International Court of Appeal regarding the result of round six (at a date to be confirmed).
Championship leader Armindo Araujo has made a strategic switch, using a different entry which enables him to contest Rally Australia instead of Rally GB, whilst his main rival Nasser Al-Attiyah has to pass this event owing to other motorsport commitments with the Volkswagen off-road team.
Araujo has provisionally taken the lead in the P-WRC after Al-Attiyah was excluded from the results of the Acropolis Rally of Greece [June 12-14] - a decision which Al-Attiyah's team has subsequently appealed.
Repco Rally Australia
Click on relevant pic to enlarge
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