Sebastien Loeb [Citroen Total WRT]:

[At mid-day service] "It was only through the muddier portions that I really lost time clearing a better line for those starting after me. In Anadiou Diam, for example, we dropped 10 seconds in barely two kilometres. I just didn't have any traction! Things went better on the next stage, Pano Panagia, but I felt even more comfortable on Orkontas where I was able to push much harder. I came close to spinning at one point, but that didn't prevent us from posting the fastest time."

[End of day] ''I didn't have any brakes at all [on SS10], and I was forced to pump on the pedal. The brakes were back to normal [on SS11], but the balance had somehow suffered. Thankfully, we had a big enough gap over our chasers to be able to complete Kourdali without having to take any big risks. We're 49 seconds clear of Mikko this evening and that's nice. He will be second on the road tomorrow, so he will be road-sweeping too. It's going to be an interesting finale because Sunday's stages are faster than today's...''

Mikko Hirvonen [BP Ford Abu Dhabi WRT]:

''Conditions changed so frequently this morning that it was hard to find a rhythm. Eighty per cent of the roads were wet and damp, and 30 per cent of that was very wet. Because of the muddy roads my start position gave me no advantage this morning, although they dried so quickly that there was a benefit this afternoon.

''The gap between myself and Loeb is too big for me to think about taking major risks tomorrow. But there are two long stages to drive and so I'll try to find a good pace, monitor the split times and see what happens. Those tests will be tough.''

Daniel Sordo [Citroen Total WRT]:]

''I don't know why, but I didn't drive well on the first stage. I had trouble finding the right rhythm through the countless first- and second-gear hairpins. Things went better on the next two tests, but Mikko still managed to steal the advantage.

''[The loose gravel] doesn't explain why I'm so far off the fastest times, though. I know it's an under-statement, but today didn't go as well as we had been hoping. Petter Solberg got very close this afternoon, too, but we will do all we can to defend our footing on the podium tomorrow.''

Petter Solberg [PS WRT - Citroen Xsara WRC]:

"It's unbelievable, really. It's great news for small team like ours, with the resources we have. We can't really afford to do the whole championship but this is going to help us all - including our sponsors. It feels like we're starting again, you know, like having a factory contract again. We're fighting like in the old days. Of course I'll try to catch Dani tomorrow - I've been doing that all day!" from

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

"Today has been great. The conditions were very slippery this morning and I think we caught a few people napping early on. The stages are very long but seem even longer with corner after corner and you have to keep your concentration. Tomorrow will still be a tough day. The long stage on the recce was very tricky and after the rain last night there could be some muddy patches to catch us out."

Sebastien Ogier [Citroen Junior Team]:

"What with the mud that covered the windscreen and the bright sunshine, I was caught by surprise on the entry into a corner and we rolled [in SS8].

"I felt quite comfortable on dry roads. Luckily, we were able to take advantage of these more favourable conditions to set some good times during the second loop of stages. Tomorrow we're going to try and get fifth place."

Evgeny Novikov [Citroen Junior Team]:

"I just wanted to consolidate at the start of the day and then at the end of it we made good progress. We changed some of the settings, particularly the differential, which worked well. I'm quite satisfied with our performances. Tomorrow we're going to continue at this pace."

Conrad Rautenbach [Citroen Junior Team]:

"The Citroen C4 WRC is a great car, but it took me a little bit of time to find a good feeling on these very different and extremely slippery surfaces. Tomorrow we're going to try and take some points, which would be an excellent reward for our efforts."

Khalid Al-Qassimi [BP Ford Abu Dhabi WRT]:

"Some corners are so tight that it's necessary to touch the handbrake to make the car slide round the bend and when I wasn't able to do that I lost time. It was also tough for me to switch my mind from asphalt mode yesterday to gravel today.''

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

''About 7.5km after the start of [SS8] I reached a left-right combination of bends. I entered the left corner too fast and had to cut the inside of the right bend to compensate. It was only second gear so I didn't have enough speed to climb out of the cut and back onto the road.

''The car became stuck in heavy sand on Miikka's side and there was nobody about to help. I ran back along the stage for 1km to find spectators who ran back with me and we were able to push the car out. It was just a slight mistake in my pace notes, they were too fast for the left corner. It's a big disappointment for me and the team. It's my first time in Cyprus and maybe I should not have tried to fight with the guys ahead.

''Having lost so much time it was tough to keep my concentration level high and I had a spin on the last stage. But I needed to continue driving fast to gain experience of these stages. They were technical but not as rough as I feared, certainly not as rough as the roads in Greece.''

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

"I felt like I was playing catch-up as this morning was my first stage when everyone else has had a full day out there. But this afternoon it felt much better. The car felt much sharper than this morning and having a clean line on the stages helped improve our times. It was good to finish on a high with second place in the final stage and hopefully tomorrow we'll be able to repeat the same kind of performance."

Notable retirements:


Team principals:

Olivier Quesnel [Citroen Total WRT - team principal]:

''Sebastien's talent enabled him to continue his assertive run on the loose after his display on yesterday's asphalt. His brake problem this afternoon shows that nothing can ever be taken for granted, though, especially on stages that are as hard as this on the cars. Dani had a tough day but I mustn't grumble; he's still third and the positions as they stand would be a good overall result for Citroen.''

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

''Mikko had a great day and reduced the deficit to Loeb and that bodes well for what could be the most difficult day of the rally tomorrow. Jari-Matti made a costly error when he slipped off the road but it was good to see him setting competitive times again immediately afterwards.''

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

"It has been a really strong, solid day for Matthew and he has made steady progress in really tricky conditions this morning. He's managed to move up three places during the day and is now the top non-factory driver with the exception of former World Champion Petter Solberg. Matthew and Henning have both shown signs of strong performances with Matthew third on one stage this afternoon and Henning second on another. There could well be a sting in the tail tomorrow, however, with two long stages still to come."

Benoit Nogier [Citroen Junior Team - team principal]:

"Evgeny, Conrad and Sebastien are continuing to learn as the rally goes on. After a few mistakes in the morning, they showed themselves to be more competitive during the second loop in the afternoon. Evgeny has developed the promising habit of ending each day with a strong performance. We're counting on all our drivers to continue like this and bring us back some decent points tomorrow."