Sebastien Loeb [Citroen Total WRT]:

"It's looking very promising, but this rally is by no means over. I was forced to push quite hard, but I tried not to take any unnecessary risks. That said, my mission was facilitated by the fact that I feel confident at the wheel of my C4 WRC. For me, it's the only way to feel the limits of my tyres as far as grip is concerned. Anyone can make a mistake, especially in conditions like this. I will try to keep to the same sort of pace tomorrow."

[Speaking about his 'scare' in SS12] "I came out of a corner a bit too wide and my rear wheel smacked the bank. The rim became clogged up with dirt and that caused a big vibration. Given our lead, we didn't hesitate to lift."

[Speaking in the mid-day service] "There was a great deal of water about again and the conditions are pretty much the same as yesterday. We're aquaplaning all the time and it's very delicate out there. The rain is tending to wash the roads clean, though, so it will probably be less greasy next time round. We will still need to tread very, very carefully, however."

Daniel Sordo [Citroen Total WRT]:

"We mustn't lose sight of our mission, which is to hold on to second place in order to try to notch up a one-two finish for Citro?n. Mikko had a few problems this morning and the gap between us opened up by a further minute. I am therefore under less pressure, but there is no way I can afford to ease up. I think there was even more water on the stages this morning than yesterday, and that's saying something! To tell the truth, it's not that much fun driving in these extremely slippery conditions. I tried to focus 100 per cent on not making any mistakes."

[Speaking in the mid-day service] "That was incredibly difficult, especially the first stage which was run before it got light. The roads are so flooded that they're more like rivers. We have less pressure on our shoulders now that Mikko [Hirvonen] has fallen back. Our position is more comfortable, but the conditions are just awesome. It just hasn't stopped raining!"

Mikko Hirvonen [BP Ford Abu Dhabi WRT]:

"I had a good rhythm this afternoon, probably the best feeling I've had with the car all weekend. I could have driven quicker but it wouldn't mean anything with the large time gaps. There was a lot of standing water and I think the tyres worked well because the water cooled them down, closer to the temperatures in which they are usually used. Temperatures are falling quickly and it could be icy tomorrow which will make it tricky. The pressure will still be there."

[Speaking in the mid-day service] "Five kilometres from the end of the second stage this morning the pump broke going into a corner. The car moved around a lot in the water and it was hard to 'catch' the sudden moves without power steering. My fight with Sordo is now over. I'm more than a minute behind him and that is too much to catch unless he has problems. There's so much water in the stags that it has washed away the mud."

Henning Solberg [Stobart VK M-Sport Ford WRT]:

"I am very, very happy with my performance today. I was really pushing over the last few stages and had my heart in my mouth at some points, but I've proved I can drive on this surface. I'm not fighting tomorrow for fourth as I came here for top five and that would be perfect for me. I know my limits and I don't want to pass them."

[Speaking in the mid-day service] "I picked up a puncture on the first stage and lost a lot of time. I was being very cautious so I don't know what caused it, I didn't feel like we hit anything. The final stage was very dangerous because of the amount of water on it, I didn't enjoy it. I will just drive at my own pace for the rest of the day and take it stage by stage."

Chris Atkinson [Citroen Junior Team]:

"I'm feeling good with the Citroen C4 WRC. We're not taking stupid risks and we're just keeping up a sensible pace. The car feels very well-balanced and I'm not really playing with the set-up at all. For the moment, I'm just trying to learn the C4 WRC. I think you need to be at full confidence with it in order to look for those last few seconds. Even though we're just going to stick at our pace, our goal on the final day will be to overtake Henning Solberg in the overall classification."

[Speaking in the mid-day service] "We posted some decent times this morning and I hope it carries on that way. The more I drive this car, the closer I am able to get to its limits. The conditions are still extremely difficult but we're making progress. I'm really pleased with how everything's going."

Sebastien Ogier [Citroen Junior Team]:

"At the start of the day, we were aiming for the fourth place occupied by Henning Solberg. But with the time we lost this morning, there was no question of attacking in the same way. With each day that passes though we gain more experience. By the end of the day, we managed to keep up a consistent pace in order to get back to sixth place overall. It's not bad for what is still only my second WRC event. We're starting to feel comfortable in the car now. There are still a few things to improve of course, but we're going to work on the set-up together with the team."

[Speaking in the mid-day service] "I made a mistake under braking [in SS9]. My car came to a stop against some barbed wire and it took us a little time to get going again. I took things a bit more cautiously on the two other stages and we are doing our best to stay out of trouble. There's too big a gap to warrant pushing any harder, but my aim is to pass ahead of Matthew Wilson."

[Speaking about that off in SS9] "After a slippery braking area, which wasn't marked in our notes, we got the car stuck on a bank. We were bogged down in the mud for more than a minute. When we got going again, my door refused to close. I had to finish the stage by holding it shut in the right-hand bends."

Matthew Wilson [Stobart VK M-Sport Ford WRT]:

"We lost the wipers on the middle stage of the last loop. We repaired them using two spanners for the last stage but they stopped again towards the end and it was hard going. I was actually surprised we didn't lose more time, it could have been much worse. We've had a solid day in what have been really hard conditions."

[Speaking in the mid-day service] "The first stage was very difficult, particularly towards the end of it where there was lots of standing water, so we couldn't really commit too much. The third stage was definitely the worst, there was rivers running down the road. We've been keeping it safe and steady but we'll try to pick the pace up in the afternoon if the conditions are a bit better."

Khalid Al Qassimi [BP Ford Abu Dhabi WRT]:

"The stages were very unpredictable, but I have more confidence and I lifted my pace. They were very quick with lots of high speed sections and I spent a lot of time in fifth gear going flat-out, but I also enjoyed the twisty sections too. The fast sections were awesome and I felt like I was flying over the crests. I need to keep the right balance because I'm still learning my limits. I'm not re-evaluating my strategy. I'm focusing on a top 10 finish and if I end up in the points, then that's great."

Urmo Aava [Stobart VK M-Sport Ford WRT]:

"The car was very damp inside after being in the ditch yesterday and that caused us the problem with the windscreen steaming up in the morning. We lost some time because of that but the afternoon was quite good. The car has been working very well and I got a good feeling for it as the day went on, so the last stage was much better for us. We hope to keep improving tomorrow and learn more about the car."

[Speaking in the mid-day service] "The car was steaming up over the first stage and I couldn't see anything. That made it so difficult and we lost a lot of time. It was a very difficult morning. The third stage was shorter so the windscreen did not steam up so much and I could go much faster. We will try to fix the problem then try to enjoy the rest of the day."

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

"I started the day at zero but increased my speed as the leg went on. A year ago on my first rally with the team in Monte Carlo my times were a long way away from the fastest drivers, but I'm much closer here so I'm very satisfied. I've learned a lot about how to drive and brake in standing water. The main aim now is to finish and regain my confidence so I'm not going to take risks in these conditions and I'll continue at a safe speed tomorrow."

[Speaking in the mid-day service] "How can it rain so much? I've never driven in conditions where the car aquaplanes. There is so much water that the grip changes all the time. The main aim is to finish and regain my confidence so I'm not going to take risks in these conditions."

Notable retirements:

Jari-Matti Latvala [BP Ford Abu Dhabi WRT]: [retired from day 1 in SS2 - went off the road - restarted on day 2 under SupeRally]

"I came into a fast left corner that tightened, with a bank on the outside. The car snapped sideways in the water and I tried to correct it, but in doing so I was forced to cut and the front left of the car hit a rock. The impact threw the car across the road and into the bank. I drove 10km to the finish with two punctures. The front left track control arm was broken and although we tried to fix it with straps, they weren't strong enough. The driveshaft also came out but we were able to repair it. I'm so disappointed and feel I have let the team down. I should have been more careful."

Urmo Aava [Stobart VK M-Sport Ford WRT]: [retired from day 1 in SS6 - went off the road - restarted on day 2 under SupeRally]

"It's been a day of highs and lows. This morning started well and it was great to be leading for my new Stobart team at the first service. Obviously I was disappointed with my time loss this afternoon. We slid on some mud on a slow left hand corner and got beached on a ditch at the side of the road. We were pretty well stuck and it took quite a bit of time for the spectators to get us back onto the road. I have been very encouraged by my times today though and look forward to going back out tomorrow, doing more kilometres in the car and getting my confidence back."

Conrad Rautenbach [Citroen Junior Team]: [retired from day 2 in SS9 - went off the road]

"It was quite a quick jump. The car got away from me and ended up in a ditch. It wasn't damaged, but we couldn't get it out."

Team principals:

Olivier Quesnel [Citroen Total WRT - team principal]:

"We've got two cars in the lead, and our main rival is more than a minute behind, so there's not a great deal more I could have asked of the team at this point in the proceedings. S?bastien came close to making it a grand slam today, while Dani put in a very mature and pragmatic run. I often say that we have the best driver line-up in the sport and I think the current positions are further evidence of that. The crews, mechanics and engineers are nonetheless acutely aware that we've still got a hard day of competition to come. Tomorrow's stages are just as challenging and we can't afford to take our eye off the ball. The conditions promise to be our biggest opponent all the way to the finish."

Malcolm Wilson [BP Ford Abu Dhabi WRT - team director]:

"Jari-Matti has boosted his confidence and has gone quicker as the day went on. Unfortunately Mikko couldn't take the challenge for second to Dani Sordo because of a power steering problem. I would like to get though the final leg tomorrow with no issues and keep Mikko and Jari-Matti in the points."

Malcolm Wilson [Stobart VK M-Sport Ford WRT - team boss]:

"It's been another solid day for the team in continuing difficult conditions. Henning has impressed me again today to maintain fourth position and it's great to see all three of the Stobart team cars in points-scoring positions. They have had a relatively trouble-free day and used their heads to get through the tricky stages with no problems. After Urmo's early rally lead yesterday it would be great to see him make up a place tomorrow and have all three crews inside the top-10."

Benoit Nogier [Citroen Junior Team - team manager]:

"Conrad unfortunately fell into one of the many traps that are a constant feature of these stages. The damage is only cosmetic, so he will re-start tomorrow under the super rally system. Sebastien Ogier made a lot of progress throughout the day and was steadily getting quicker. Given that he still has fewer than two rallies of experience behind him in this car, it's all very positive. He's learning the job under difficult conditions, against the best drivers in the world. My biggest satisfaction tonight though comes from Chris Atkinson. He faced big pressure yesterday, but like the true professional that he is, he just relaxed and came back stronger today. The times subsequently came and fourth place is now well within his reach."



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