Sebastien Loeb [Citroen]:

"I pushed in the final stage without taking any risks, especially through the trickier portions. It seems I pulled out a gap at the end of the stage, in the narrow portion near Les Sausses which was really very slippery. I am generally pleased with my day, I felt very comfortable with the car and I made three good tyre choices. That said, like the team, I share Francois' disappointment. The team has done a fantastic job and I really want to obtain a good result for them."

Marcus Gronholm [Peugeot]:

"On the first seven kilometres of the opening stage the road was very icy, so I drove carefully. We've had a good day today although it has been extremely tricky with the various incidents that interrupted the leg: it was actually quite boring for us. But I am still very pleased to be in second place, which is my best-ever performance on the Monte Carlo Rally. My plan for tomorrow is just to keep going at this pace and finish on the podium. That would be a good way to start the year!"

Toni Gardemeister [Ford]:

"I could have driven faster this morning but I kept a good speed and stayed safe. I've tried not to think about the battles with Gr?nholm in front and Solberg behind, preferring to drive at my own pace. My confidence has been good but I just don't know the limits yet. Sometimes I've been at maximum speed, but not everywhere, and I need to learn a lot more before I can drive flat out everywhere.

"It has been a good day and I'm becoming more comfortable with the car all the time. I'm learning from my mistakes and the car feels easy to drive. Tomorrow I'll try hard to keep Solberg behind me but it will not be easy. He has a lot more experience of his car than I do of mine."

Petter Solberg [Subaru]:

"Well, today has been much better and I'm quite pleased actually with the performance. The car has been very good to drive on the stages, and the harder compound tyres have suited my driving very well. Loeb is a long way away, but we're getting closer to the people in front, so we will have to see what we can do tomorrow. It's going to be a very interesting last day I think, a good battle with Gardemeister and Panizzi, I'm looking forward to it."

Gilles Panizzi [Mitsubishi]:

"I said yesterday that if we get a clean run, we can prove that Mitsubishi is back! I am so happy; that result was so necessary for everyone. Before our fastest time I was very content to be repeating our fourth fastest time; that was great and it really proved something. To have then achieved what we did this afternoon was something special for the team and I am more and more confident. I love driving in the dark too. It reminds me of Monte-Carlo rallies 10 years ago; I get a big adrenaline rush! Tomorrow we will be driving to the maximum again and hopefully we can catch Petter."

Markko Martin [Peugeot]:

"I learnt a lot about the car and the tyres today but there is still a long way to go before I am completely comfortable. I was not entirely sure about my tyre choice in the morning, and in the afternoon I think my suspension set-up was too hard, as the car was very difficult to drive over the crests on SS9. I still need to familiarise myself with the dimensions of the 307WRC, so I thought that the best tactic was to drive safely in order to make sure of reaching the end of a tricky day."

Harri Rovanpera [Mitsubishi]:

"We have had quite an okay day, a few small problems but nothing major. At the beginning of the last stage the car got away from me on some gravel in a corner and we went wide and hit a wall, just damaging the back-end. After that, I wasn't prepared to take any risks in the darkness. I'm learning a lot and looking to the future; I will bring the car to the finish tomorrow and maybe a result will be there too."

Notable retirements:

Stephane Sarrazin [Subaru]: [retired in SS6 - went off the road]

"I'm disappointed because I had a good feeling with car, I was driving well and then a small mistake had such a big effect. I'm more sorry for the team than myself, because it's my first race and it could have been possible to get points. I'm lucky to have the re-start system, and tomorrow I will concentrate on learning more about my car and the set up to improve myself. Of course it's still very new, so I'm not pushing at 100 per cent just yet, but I want to be fast and the target is to push for improvement. We saw a good split after a few stages today, and I'm hoping to do the same tomorrow."

Francois Duval [Citroen]: [retied in SS6 - went off the road]

"I was going quite quickly, but not maximum attack. There was a bumpy braking zone and the car bottomed on the sump guard. I was unable to turn in as I wanted but I tried. The car went sideways and hit a pole on the right-hand side. I am disappointed for the team, but I'm also pleased that St?phane is OK!"

Armin Schwarz co-driver, Klaus Wicha [Skoda]: [retired in SS7 - went off the road]

"The accident happened at a hairpin right near the end of the stage. We hit a stone wall on the inside of the corner and the car rolled before dropping two or three metres down over the edge of the road. I am fine but Armin hurt his left shoulder and went to hospital for precautionary checks."

Alex Bengue [Skoda]: [retired after SS9 - went off the road]

"I made some small changes to stiffen the suspension this morning and the car was immediately much better balanced than yesterday. I could be really confident on the dry roads and that is why I was able to be so much quicker. We had some good luck because on SS6 I got two punctures but thanks to Michelin's ATS mousse I was still able to score my first two scratch times at WRC level."

Roman Kresta [Ford]: [retired after SS9 - gearbox problem]

"Everything felt much better this morning. I felt much happier than yesterday and had more confidence. The roads were quite slippery in places. There were constant changes in surface from wet and slippery sections to dry and abrasive asphalt, and that was the most difficult part.

"I'm disappointed to have stopped this evening but unfortunately there was no way we could get back to Monaco. But even with a five minute penalty, I am still 10th. I'm sure the team can replace the gearbox and repair the suspension tonight so everything should be OK to continue in the morning."

Team Principals:

Guy Frequelin [Citroen Sport - team principal]:

"We mustn't blame Francois. To begin with, that would be to forget what he has shown in his first outing with us. However talented, a driver must learn to interpret the road in his notes and imagine how his car will react at full song. Seb says he had a bit of a moment at the same place last year. I have total confidence in our new recruit. I know he will deliver very soon."

Corrado Provera [Peugeot Sport - team principal]:

"We are continuing to learn about our Pirelli tyres on our first rally with the Italian rubber, and this lack of familiarity is clear to see. However, neither of our cars have suffered any mechanical problems, and Marcus is driving what is undoubtedly the best Monte Carlo rally of his career. Markko is learning not only about the Pirelli tyres but also about the 307 WRC. If we end up in the same positions that we hold now, it would be our best result in Monte Carlo."

David Lapworth [Subaru World Rally Team - team principal]:

"It's been a good day for Petter. He's become increasingly confident in the car set up and the tyres and we seem to have put yesterday's technical problems behind us. Our target for the event was to achieve a podium finish and now that seems more than possible, but I expect tomorrow's fight for second and third place will be intense. Of course it's disappointing that Stephane's mistake cost him so heavily, but his objective was to gain experience and gradually increase speed and thanks to the re-starting system he can still do that. Overall we're very pleased with Stephane's performance and expect him to impress us again tomorrow."

Isao Torii [Mitsubishi Motors Motor Sports - president]:

"What a great day for Mitsubishi Motors! Gilles' best time in stage eight was the first since Jani Paasonen won a stage in New Zealand in 2002, and the second fastest time in stage nine was as incredible. That proves that Mitsubishi is back and the break last year was the right decision. My thanks go to all the team members, Gilles and Herve; it is great motivation and reward for everyone's hard work."

Mario Fornaris [Mitsubishi Motors Motor Sports - technical director]:

"It's a fantastic feeling to be in a position to fight with the best in the world. This is the reward for a year's incredible work. My thanks go to all the team for staying with us in previously difficult times."

Martin Muehlmeier [Skoda Motorsport - team boss]:

"First of all I am happy that Armin was not seriously hurt in what was clearly quite a big accident. Naturally I am also pleased with Alex's performance today which was better than any of us expected on his first event but this was exactly why we signed him to drive for us this season. It was unfortunate for him to have a problem at the end of the final stage when he was close to another good time but he will continue tomorrow and gain more experience."

 

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