Marcus Gronholm [BP Ford]:

"It was really slippery but there was no rain on the [morning] stages so conditions weren't too bad. The first cars on the road had an advantage in those conditions but there was nothing to worry about where I was. The surface was hard so the roads weren't cutting up. I made no mistakes and was able to ease off a little when I heard that Petter had gone off.

"I tried to continue pushing this afternoon because I don't want to have to fight hard tomorrow, but the times didn't come so easily. Tomorrow's stages are technically difficult and always very, very slippery and it's not the place where I want to have to push. The weather forecast is bad for tonight, with heavy rain, so it could be a long and hard day."

Manfred Stohl [OMV Peugeot Norway]:

"It was an extremely difficult day today since on the short special stages one can lose more than one can win. In the end luck was on our side. But there are still four long special stages to go on Sunday. But we should be able to keep our lead on Solberg across the finish line."

Petter Solberg [Subaru WRT]:

"Well obviously we tried a little bit too hard this morning; we chose a new tyre, took a bit of a risk, and unfortunately it didn't quite work out. In the afternoon we tried just to stay in second place, then I turned-in just a few millimetres too early near the end of SS11, hit a pole, broke the steering and I was out of second. The last forest stage wasn't easy but we got through okay, we're still in the competition and that's the main thing. Tomorrow, we'll see. We're in third place now, but a lot can still happen so I'll keep pushing as hard as I can."

Xavier Pons [Kronos Citroen]:

"I had a very good feeling all day. In the afternoon it was raining really hard from the start of stage ten, but luckily my tyre choice was perfect. Unlike yesterday, I had no problems all day. I've got a lot confidence now and I am definitely going to try and catch Petter Solberg in third tomorrow. I think it's possible : this is my big chance."

Jari-Matti Latvala [Stobart VK Ford]:

"I always knew it was going to be tough to hold on to fourth today, we had [Xevi] Pons getting close to us this morning and he has a lot more experience than me in this kind of car. Of course, I am very happy to be where I am, but I will push for fourth tomorrow. Having said that, if I feel worried about anything, then I will back off - I need the finish. The car has been fantastic again and I feel I am getting more and more confident all of the time. I haven't had any problems with the car set-up, that's probably because I'm using a set-up very similar to the one Marcus Gronholm has - and it clearly works for him."

Chris Atkinson [Subaru WRT]:

"Our day improved after we altered the set-up at the service after SS9. From then on car felt much better, we've gained some more grip and the car is generally more to my liking. On stages 11 and 12 I was able to push much more and we were second fastest on both - we missed out by two-tenths on getting fastest times. Now that I have a better feeling with the car I'm looking to keep the same sort of speed tomorrow."

Daniel Sordo [Kronos Citroen]:

"I think this is the toughest rally of the year for me. The grip seems to change all the time, and the rain we had in the afternoon was as bad as I have ever seen it : just like the Rally of Turkey. I need to remember that the reason why I am here is to gain experience and not to push too hard. Everybody is reminding me of that and it is true. Tomorrow's stages are some of the most difficult of the rally, so I think it will be a big challenge right up to the end. I'm learning a lot, but it's not easy."

Harri Rovanpera [Red Bull Skoda]:

"I had a very decent morning, but far from ideal. The stages were very slippery, I had trouble keeping the car on the road. In the afternoon suddenly I had no more grip, I had too much wheel spin time and again, I don't know why. Hopefully we will solve this in service, so we can try and score points tomorrow."

Matthew Wilson [Stobart VK Ford]:

"Today has been better for me. The first two stages were so slippery, they were like ice. There was a thin layer of slime-like mud on the top of the road which caused a few problems. We'd cut the tyre, but we hadn't really opened it up enough to cut through to the surface. Actually, in all of the stages today, when you go under the trees, the grip really changes. There are pine needles and things like that which are down, that's the kind of stuff which changes the condition. Once we're out in the open, the grip is consistent and you can push harder. This afternoon was a bit tricky at times with the rain, the windscreen wipers struggled a little bit to shift all the water from the screen. I'm glad to get through the stages and that's my aim for tomorrow. I know I've done this event twice before, but having never seen these roads in these conditions, it's almost like a new rally."

Henning Solberg [OMV Peugeot Norway]:

"We're far behind, of course. But this only motivates us to try our all to move up even further. Scoring a manufacturer WRC-point would be a nice finale. And obviously a SS best-time would be great, too. The special stages on Sunday should suit us."

Notable retirements:

Mikko Hirvonen [BP Ford]: [retired from rally after SS3]

"I just slid wide and went over some rocks on the outside of the corner. It was a stupid mistake because there was plenty of room. I wanted to carry on and the car was still competitive but it's a safety issue so we cannot. It's a big shame because BP-Ford was first and second and that would have been a great way to end the season."

Andreas Aigner [Red Bull Skoda]: [retired from rally in SS5]

"Spectating absolutely isn't my line, I'd rather sit in the car. But unfortunately too much damage was done prior to our roll despite the slow speed at which we hit the tree stump."

Team principals:

Malcolm Wilson [BP Ford - team director]:

"Everything has gone to plan and Marcus' job was made easier by Petter's mistake this morning."

Richard Taylor [Subaru WRT - managing director]:

"We'd hoped to be challenging for the lead today but a couple of mistakes cost Petter more than a minute and a half and we're probably lucky to hold on to third place. It's unfortunate - but we're still on the podium. Chris has had a couple of strong times this afternoon and has consolidated his sixth position. We still have two cars in the points and we'll see what tomorrow brings, realistically a podium looks like the best we can achieve now."

Malcolm Wilson [Stobart VK Ford - team boss]:

"It's been another great day for the Stobart VK M-Sport Ford team. I knew this kind of performance was possible from before the event, but it's really rewarding to see the boys going so well and fulfilling that potential. There's no mistaking it's been a really tough day today and they've both shown themselves very well to come through unscathed."

Armin Schwarz/Raimund Baumschlager [Red Bull Skoda - team bosses]:

[On Aigner's retirement prior to the leg] "At first we thought it was just a torn-off left rear wheel but upon closer inspection we found further, more serious damage in the front which was impossible to repair within the allotted time frame."

 

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