Sebastien Loeb [Citroen Total WRT]:

"The lead we built up yesterday made life easier for us today. It was still very difficult, though, because the 2008 regulations meant that our tyre supplier Pirelli could only give us hard compound tyres for this event. On today's slippery stages, the mud gave very little grip and we knew it would be difficult to drive flat out. It's a shame that a small 'cut' to the pattern of our tyres - the same for everyone - wasn't allowed. Lots of decisions that have been positive for our safety have already been taken and this measure would have been simple to introduce. Even so, we came through the day unscathed and we now need to do the same again tomorrow to keep our lead."

Petter Solberg [Subaru WRT]:

"It's been a really good day, I mean I really, really enjoyed this afternoon. The car worked very well first thing this morning, and then I lost a bit of the feeling in the conditions, but in the afternoon it was really good. Everything worked and we pushed hard but without taking big risks or making any mistakes. The guys have worked so hard, and they made some changes in service that really worked and after that it's been really good. We have to finish with both cars and the Manufacturers points are very important, but we are in a good position tomorrow. We'll drive fast but try to take it a little bit carefully as anything can still happen and we don't want to risk anything at all. I'm very happy though, it's a great feeling."

Chris Atkinson [Subaru WRT]:

"I'm pleased with the way today has gone, even though we lost a position. We were fast this morning and it's good to win stages for the team. We've had some good results this year and it's important to keep finishing well, so I decided to back off a little, not take any risks and make sure we got to the finish. Petter had a lot of experience here so I decided to settle. Two Subarus on the podium is the main aim here now and it's important we finish like that tomorrow, for the points and also for everyone in the team."

Daniel Sordo [Citroen Total WRT]:

"My aim was to get a little closer to the podium. It didn't take me long to realise that it wouldn't be easy without taking lots of risks. It was impossible to know for sure how the car was going to react in all the dirt churned up by the cars running ahead of us and I was caught between the desire to push and the fear of compromising our chances of a good result. I didn't want to throw everything away. The final day is the shortest of the rally but we will need to stay totally focused if we want to come away with vital championship points for Citro?n."

Conrad Rautenbach [PH Sport-Citroen C4 WRC]:

"The notes weren't working so well for me this morning. The stages are a bit different today; quite a bit faster and that's where we are struggling. The surface of the road was also quite tough to read at times this morning. There was a lot of mud around and you really needed to know what you were looking for - sometimes there would be good grip and then you'd go into the next corner and there was nothing. That was tough, it would have been easy to make a silly mistake this morning. But, hey, those stages were quick. At times they were even like Finland, sitting in top gear just riding the bumps.

"We caught Toni in some of the stages today, but he was good and let us past quite quickly. I'm really feeling better about everything now. Confidence was pretty low after the start yesterday, but the feeling is really coming in the car now. I just want to hold this position together and get to the end in one piece. It's just amazing that I have come here for the first time and I'm in fifth place. Incredible! I said at the start that this would be an event to survive - and that's just what I want to do now. To get fifth place here would be such a great result for me, David [Senior, co-driver] and all of the team who have worked so hard."

Mikko Hirvonen [BP Ford Abu Dhabi WRT]:

"I didn't think I could make up so many positions. It was hard to find motivation this morning looking at our position but I was quite excited this afternoon when cars started to fall by the wayside. Tomorrow the plan is to drive flat out because anything can happen ahead and I could score a lot more points here than I thought was possible last night. I don't want to let Loeb leave here with too many more points than us. It was incredibly rough and the car took some massive hits underneath this afternoon, but the Focus is strong and we were OK, although the impacts cracked the windscreen and the drivers' side window."

Andreas Aigner [Mitsubishi Lancer Evo - PWRC leader]:

"It was really hard for me today. On the one hand I wanted to ride as gently as possible but on the other hand I had to make sure I did not lose too much time. The teamwork was perfect though as we were always told the latest standings. Tomorrow is going to be another tough day."

[Speaking in the mid-day service] "Today I was trying from the very first corner to keep my opponents checked. This meant that I had to shun any unnecessary risks, post decent stage times and avoid making mistakes. Up to now it has been going great."

Notable retirements:

Per-Gunnar Andersson [Suzuki WRT]: [retired from day 1 before SS1 - boost pressure sensor failure - re-started on day 2 under SupeRally]

"Actually what halted us was a very trivial problem, but it meant that we could not do any of the stages today and that was very frustrating. Having said that, I have already drawn a line under today: my rally starts tomorrow. The most important thing now is for me to have time in the car and by the end of the rally I hope we will have achieved that and learned some useful things. It's good that the weather is so bad: it means that we can test the car under extreme conditions."

Mikko Hirvonen [BP Ford Abu Dhabi WRT]: [retired from day 1 in SS5 - hit a rock and damaged the suspension - re-started on day 2 under SupeRally]

"I hit a big rock in a left corner with the wheel on full lock and the impact broke the bolts in the track control arm. The rock was in a rut and became exposed after the first pass through the stage so it's not something I would have had in my pace notes. I was unlucky and I'm disappointed because the rally started well and I needed a win here and the points."

[Speaking in the mid-day service] "I couldn't see much in the first stage because of fog and visibility was down to 10 metres in places, but I'm not afraid to drive fast when I can't see. I had no idea how good my speed was and at the finish my first words to Jarmo were 'we've either lost a minute or won a minute'. My pace notes worked really well and in fog that is so important. There was also a lot of rain and the stage was treacherous. The roads will be even muddier this afternoon but I need to continue at this pace."

Henning Solberg [Stobart VK M-Sport Ford WRT]: [retired from day 1 in SS5 - hit a rock and damaged the suspension - re-started on day 2 under SupeRally]

"I am very disappointed with what has happened today. We hit a rock on the inside of a right hand corner on stage 5 and broke the right suspension. It is a shame because the feeling was starting to come and we set the third fastest time on stage 4. The mechanics will be working hard tonight and hopefully they can have the car fixed for tomorrow's stages."

[Speaking in the mid-day service] "I couldn't see a thing for the entire first stage that I don't even remember it. It was incredible how much fog there was and we lost so much time because of this. When the conditions are wet and there is lots of fog it makes the grip level very difficult to judge. My times on the last two stages were a lot better and we set the second fastest time on the last one but it is just a shame we lost all that time on stage 1."

Toni Gardemeister [Suzuki WRT]: [retired from day 1 in SS8 - hit a rock and damaged the suspension - re-started on day 2 under SupeRally]

"Both myself and P-G have actually been very unlucky on this event. In my case I saw a big rock right on the racing line, which is unusual, and I could not help hitting it. Without that problem we would have got to the end of the day safely in seventh, with some good chances of finishing in the top six. Everything is not yet lost though, and we can still come back and achieve something from this event. The conditions today were as difficult as I have ever known them: the surfaces were really slippery and we were struggling for grip all the time. It could be the same again tomorrow, so we have to just try and stay out of trouble and move up the order as best as we can."

Luis Perez Companc [Munchi's Ford WRT]: [retired from event in SS8 - went off the road and got stuck in a ditch]

[Speaking in the mid-day service] "We have to change the suspension, it has to be softer. I was not able to see even 5 metres ahead due to the heavy fog. I went off the road three times in La Cumbre and that's why Villagra has got a 1 minute difference. It is a pity SS2 has been so difficult because it is a stage I like a lot".

Gigi Galli [Stobart VK M-Sport Ford WRT]: [retired from day 2 in service D - exhaust damage]

"I am disappointed with what has happened today but in rallying anything can happen. My mechanics did a fantastic job trying so hard to fix the car before time ran out so I must say thank you to them all. With 10 kilometres to go in stage 13 the car started filling up with smoke and I could not see very much so had to slow down a bit. We found the problem in service but unfortunately the heat from the exhaust problem damaged the main wiring loom and it was impossible to fix in the allocated time limit. The stages were very fast and this morning I had trouble finding a good rhythm as they were quite different to what we experienced yesterday. I am disappointed we couldn't stay out there today and give the fans a good show but we will be back tomorrow to compete on some of the most famous stages in the WRC."

Henning Solberg [Stobart VK M-Sport Ford WRT]: [retired from day 2 in service D - withdrawn]

"It was unfortunate we had to retire yesterday but it has given me a chance to work on my pacenotes today and get more experience of this rally which I have only done twice before. The plan was to get through the stages with no problems and we have done this so I am happy. We made a decision with the team to retire for the afternoon stages to keep the car in the best condition but we will be back tomorrow to finish the only two stages of the rally we have not completed yet. The next rally is also on gravel so this extra time in the car will help with our preparation for Jordan."

Jari-Matti Latvala [BP Ford Abu Dhabi WRT]: [retired from day 2 in service D - over the time limit]

"On the first stage we drove down a long fast straight with some jumps and dips. In one compression, just before a crest, there was a rock which had become exposed in the middle of the road and it struck the sump guard beneath the car. At the finish we opened the bonnet to check everything was OK before driving to the next stage. We stopped before the start to wait for our turn, but when I tried to start the engine nothing happened. We tried to 'bump start' it to release the starter motor but it was no good. The sump guard must have impacted with the starter motor. When we realised we had gone beyond the time limit, spectators helped push start it and we drove the stage. I've made mistakes here but I've also had no luck. I hope we have some tomorrow."

Per-Gunnar Andersson [Suzuki WRT]: [retired from day 2 in SS14 - suspension damage]

"Conditions have been extremely tough throughout this rally: it's probably the biggest challenge of the year we have faced so far. I enjoyed the morning stages: we had no real problems with the car, although I am feeling my inexperience a little bit. The roads were even rougher on the second passage through the stages in the afternoon, and unfortunately we broke the suspension. That's life, but we'll start again tomorrow with the aim of learning as much as possible."

Matthew Wilson [Stobart VK M-Sport Ford WRT]: [retired from day 2 in SS15 - suspension damage]

"It has been one of those days and I'm just really disappointed because things were looking good and my mechanics did an awesome job to get us back out this afternoon after the problems in the morning. On the first stage today we hit a huge rock on a right-hand bend which cracked the windscreen. The impact must have moved the exhaust slightly because it started to rub against the tunnel sending smoke into the cockpit and it also affected the prop-shaft. The guys got us back out before the time limit was up but then on the final corner of stage 15 we broke the TCA [track control arm] and unfortunately had to retire for the day. We will be back tomorrow to get some experience for next year and a few more miles on gravel before heading to Jordan."

Toni Gardemeister [Suzuki WRT]: [retired from day 2 after SS15 - mechanical]

"We've not had an easy run of things today. We were just a few hundred metres into the first stage this morning when we lost drive at the front. We obviously then lost a lot of time as we had only two-wheel drive. That problem was fixed at service, but next we had another issue with the hydraulic system. We have to remember that this is just the fourth rally of our first full season with the SX4 WRC, so it's normal to expect a few problems. The important thing is just to try and fix them and move on. Hopefully we can have a good day tomorrow, and show a little bit more of our potential."

Team principals:

Olivier Quesnel [Citroen Total WRT - team principal]:

"I was very pleased with the runs of both our crews today, as well as with the faultless performance of the two Citro?n C4 WRCs. S?bastien and Daniel were in total control and managed to up their pace whenever the conditions allowed to pull even further clear. At the same time, they took it easier through the more delicate portions so as not to make any mistakes. They are in a good position for tomorrow.

"Dani and Marc did a first class job, too. Their situation wasn't simple, beginning with their road position which forced them to run in the mud formed by the competitors ahead of them on the road. They needed to strike the ideal balance between pushing hard and taking it cautiously. They managed to combine the two and pushed their rivals into making a mistake. They are now up to fourth and in a position to score championship points for Citro?n.

"The two most difficult legs of the rally are now behind us, but there are still 40km of stages to come. We can't afford to take our eye off the ball because Giulio Cesare and El Condor are both notoriously difficult tests."

David Richards [Subaru WRT - managing director]:

"We have again showed a strong performance today and both Petter and Chris have driven exceptionally well to win six of the nine stages between them. I'm really impressed with the maturity of Chris' decision not take any big risks and focus on scoring crucial points for the team, and Petter is very clearly building his confidence in the car after a difficult period."

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

"Mikko's car ran perfectly and he did a great job. Jari-Matti's car took a big hit on the sump guard and he didn't realise the damage. He completed all the stages this morning which is good experience for the future and he will return tomorrow for more experience and perhaps gain some points."

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

"This has certainly been the most difficult day in the history of the Stobart team in some treacherous conditions. Gigi is still set to score points for the team which is a positive and all three guys will be back tomorrow under SupeRally regulations. It will be important for them all to set out tomorrow and finish the final kilometres of the event as the experience is crucial with the rally included in the WRC calendar next year."

Nobuhiro Tajima [Suzuki WRT - team boss]:

"This has been a very hard day for us. I feel very sorry for both drivers. Hopefully we can get everything fixed to ensure that they have a trouble-free day tomorrow. It is bad luck for Toni and P-G: with the conditions as rough as they are, he is one of many drivers that have retired with suspension breakages. We need to cover as many kilometres as possible, so we want to send both cars out under the super rally system tomorrow. It is only by fixing all the problems as they arise that we will improve. Of course the road to success is a difficult and challenging one - but we already knew that before we embarked on our first full season this year."

Mario Isola [Pirelli - rally manager]:

"The decision to run the hard compound Scorpion tyres here has been validated by the FIA. The decision to permit cuts in our tyres can be taken only by the FIA's technical stewards. Then it would be up to the teams themselves to physically cut the tyres. As for the actual results so far, our Scorpions are providing a substantial level of grip even in the very muddy and slippery conditions of these complex Argentinian stages."



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