Mikko Hirvonen [BP Ford Abu Dhabi WRT]:

"I'm delighted with the win but at the same time disappointed that my hopes of the drivers' title are over. We did all we could but it wasn't enough to prevent S?bastien Loeb winning the title, which he richly deserves, and I congratulate him. Conditions were so changeable that it was a difficult and nervewracking weekend and I never had the luxury of being able to ease off. I didn't want to take risks in the wet weather today. I was aquaplaning many times and had several lucky escapes. Although the drivers' championship is out of reach we will go to the final round with the manufacturers' title still possible and my thoughts will now focus on that."

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

"It feels fantastic to take a top three finish on gravel again. After a bad August this is my third strong rally and I really wanted this result. The conditions were probably the worst I've seen and I can't explain how much water there was in the forests. We seemed to be aquaplaning all the time. The difficult rallies really suit the Focus RS WRC, which is incredibly strong. We've had no problems during the weekend and when you have to attack in the rough and tough conditions then it's encouraging to know that the car excels on that type of road."

Sebastien Loeb [Citroen Total WRT]:

"It's a fantastic feeling. Along with Daniel and everyone in the team, the objective we set ourselves for this year was to win another world crown, and it's tremendously satisfying to have met that target today. I really wanted to wrap up the title here in Japan to enable us to go into Wales Rally GB with a totally free mind. That made the weekend very long and very frustrating, and I have to say that it wasn't much fun. Our C4 and our Pirelli tyres functioned very well together on this event, though, and we did what we could to keep any thoughts about the championship out of our minds, but it wasn't easy. The title just seemed to loom larger after every stage, and it was well worth the wait in the end!"

"I cannot say whether this year's title is any finer than the others. I will always have special memories of our first crown and I don't want to give the impression that winning is something you get accustomed to; it's just that each title feels different. One thing that has been the same each time is the thrill of being able to share our joy with everyone in the team. They have always given us a car with the potential to challenge for victory, and this is their title, too. That includes Dani Sordo and Marc Mart? whose own results contributed to our success. Our thoughts now turn to Cardiff where we will try to make it a championship double for Citro?n."

Daniel Elena [Sebastien Loeb's co-driver] [Citroen Total WRT]:

"It's been a long year, but winning the title is such a great feeling. This is our fifth world crown together, and each one has given me tremendous pleasure. I'm not interested in the statistics, though; what counts the most is enjoying the stages, profiting from the terrific atmosphere within the team and working with Seb."

Chris Atkinson [Subaru WRT]:

"The conditions were very tricky today and we just focused on maintaining our place. "There was no need to push for position; we had two minutes behind us and a minute and a half in front after the morning so there was no need to do anything silly, but it was still so easy to make a mistake as it's so slippery with full rain and mud. The top three had no problems, so that's the best we could do. It's been a tricky weekend for everyone as the conditions were really difficult with a lot of rain and a lot of water standing in the road, and even at the pace we were going it was difficult to keep the car on the road. We were aquaplaning everywhere so it's good to get through and to finish the rally."

Per-Gunnar Andersson [Suzuki WRT]:

"I've really enjoyed this event and I hope that we've given all the Suzuki fans here something to remember! The car has been completely reliable and without the time we lost to stop and change a puncture yesterday, I think we could have been even closer to the leaders. This rally shows that all the hard work and development we have put in over the course of the year really works and it is a very encouraging sign for the future. After struggling a bit on the asphalt rallies, my confidence is back to full strength and I am looking forward to a solid season finish now."

Toni Gardemeister [Suzuki WRT]:

"This has been a very tough but a very good rally for us, which has confirmed what I always thought: when we have a nice clean run with no problems, we are able to fight for a good position. I was also really proud to set Suzuki's first fastest stage time on Saturday. Given that we have not even finished our first full year yet and that we have done no testing, it really shows our potential for the future. We head now to the final round of the season in Great Britain with quite a lot of confidence."

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

"The first day went really well for us and I really enjoyed it apart from the incident with Fran?ois. I think everyone in the whole WRC community did an amazing job to help and support the situation and I hope Patrick gets well soon and will be back on the rallying scene in no time. Days two and three were a lot more difficult for me and I really struggled in the conditions which were some of the toughest and most demanding I have ever experienced. When I knew I was slipping out of the fight with PG and Toni this afternoon I backed off a lot to preserve the car and just cruised to the end to make sure I secured the points and move up to 10th in the championship."

Petter Solberg [Subaru WRT]:

"I must say that we and Subaru have done a very good job and I'm very happy with my performance on Saturday and Sunday. We have improved the speed quite a lot and we have many stage wins and that's very important. There really are a lot of good things to come from this rally and we need to continue to work with the car from exactly where it is now. Today was so difficult in the conditions. We had a few problems like a puncture and the screen fully blocked with fog on the long stage in the morning [SS23] so I think we could have won a few more stages actually. I've enjoyed coming back again today, and the team did a very good job to get the car ready and I'm very proud of them. If I'm fourth, or fifth, or sixth, for me, honestly it doesn't matter. The main thing here is that we get the car faster and get back to the top and to fight for a win again. That's absolutely the main thing."

Federico Villagra [Munchi's Ford WRT]:

"It has been a good rally to finish our 2008 WRC season with but it is slightly disappointing we finished just one place away from the points. On stage 2 of the rally the car started moving around a lot and I knew there was a problem so I had to back off a lot not to crash the car off the road. We found a broken drive shaft at the end of the stage which meant I had to drive carefully through to service but unfortunately this meant more time lost. The team did a great job in service and they changed the drive shaft and the gear box without going more than the 30 minutes allowed for midday service. The conditions this weekend were some of the trickiest I have ever experienced and the ruts caused by the rain were unbelievable. These ruts also meant new small jumps on the stages which weren't originally in our notes. We had a small intercom problem on Saturday when I found it hard to hear Jorge but apart from this everything else went well. I am happy with how the year has been and it has been great fun driving with the Munchi's team and having Jorge as my co-driver."

Juho Hanninen [Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX]: [PWRC winner]

"This victory is remarkable! I was concentrating on fighting Toshi for second place and only after the finish of the stage did I realise that I had won. I was told the news by the reporters, as I was not aware of Novikov's problem. It was a very tough rally, and I was happy to finish second - being first is a bonus and it was bad luck for Novikov. I had decided before the rally that I would take it easy on Friday as day one's stages were quite tricky, and then attack on days two and three and I really enjoyed a great battle with Toshi. Now we go to Wales with two points extra advantage in the Championship. To be honest, I have not thought about the championship at all. It has been a good season so far and I am quite confident we can complete it."

Evgeniy Novikov [Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX]: [PWRC runner-up]

"The rear right suspension broke on the last stage. I don't know why, all we did was go over a small bump - we didn't hit anything. I'm really disappointed. It was a really good rally otherwise and at least we have shown we have the speed. It's not as good as I wanted but it's ok."

Toshi Arai [Subaru Impreza WRX STi]: [PWRC third]

"It was a really good battle and we all fought hard - H?nninen did a really good job. Obviously I would like to do better on my home rally but I'm really pleased to finish on the podium after a difficult season so it's a good way to finish the year."

Notable retirements:

Daniel Sordo [Citroen Total WRT]: [retired from day 1 in SS6 - turbo - re-started on Saturday under the SupeRally]

"Everything was going perfectly. We had settled into a good pace which was quick without us taking any risks. I was pleased with our position, but then our engine dropped power on SS6 and we were forced to stop. It's hugely disappointing but we will see with the team whether we will be able to profit from the SupeRally ruling to restart on Saturday morning."

Francois Duval [Stobart VK M-Sport Ford WRT]: [retired from event in SS6 - crashed out]

Francois Duval's co-driver Patrick Pivato suffered a fractured pelvis, fractured tibia and internal bleeding in the accident. See injury update for more information.

Petter Solberg [Subaru WRT]: [retired from day 2 after SS18 - suspension damage - re-started on Sunday under the SupeRally]

"Of course it is disappointing and I must say sorry to the Subaru fans, but we have had some very good things from today. We came round a left hander on stage 18 and hit a large hole and the car just spun around. I went to start again but the rear geometry was all broken. We were pushing hard and sometimes things like this happen. It's disappointing, but honestly it has been a very good day. It was really good fun to drive and I really enjoyed it, and to win a stage is very good. We are definitely going in the right direction. We must look at the positives as there has been a lot good about today."

Henning Solberg [Munchi's Ford WRT]: [retired from day 2 after SS17 - suspension damage. Re-started on Sunday under the SupeRally but went out again - this time for good in - in SS23]

"Everything felt wrong on Friday morning and I just couldn't drive the car at all. In service we changed a lot of things and made the car a lot softer and this helped a lot but we only did one stage in the afternoon because of Francois' accident so on Saturday I pushed hard to try and move up the leaderboard. The conditions were very slippery and the problem was the mud which caused big ruts especially during the second pass of stages. After service on Saturday we made a few small changes and things were feeling good but stage 17 was just crazy with the ruts and I got a puncture about 10 kilometres from the end of the stage. Then with just three kilometres to go we broke the rear suspension and had to retire at the end of the stage. Today it was just so slippery. Where we went off I was braking maybe 100 metres before the corner and we just went straight on at a medium left hander and got bogged in the mud. This just hasn't been my rally."

Daniel Sordo [Citroen Total WRT]: [retired after SS29 - withdrawn so that the team can fit a new engine for Wales Rally GB]

"I am very pleased for 'S?bastian' and 'Danos'. They have scored ten wins so far this year and they fully deserve the title. It's an honour for Marc and me to be in the same team as them. There is still one more round to come and we will do our best to score the points Citro?n needs to take the Manufacturers' crown and for us to finish third in the Drivers' championship."

Team principals:

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

"It has been a difficult weekend for all of us involved with the Ford team after the injuries to Patrick Pivato on Friday. Full credit to both drivers for delivering incredible performances in what were probably the most changeable road conditions we've seen on a rally. It keeps our championship hopes alive and the same top three on the final round would give us the crown again."

Mark Deans [Ford of Europe - motorsport director]:

"To see a Ford 1-2 in such an arduous event is a tribute to man and machine. The team worked tirelessly to bring the result we needed and will send us to Rally GB with a chance to wrestle a third consecutive world manufacturers' title. We vowed to fight right to the end of the season and that positive attitude has put us back into contention for the crown."

Olivier Quesnel [Citroen Total WRT - team principal]:

"It's very, very satisfying. The fact that S?bastien and Daniel have sewn up the Drivers' title means we have now achieved half the target we set ourselves before the start of the season. We will take time to celebrate today's result with all the Citro?n Sport staff back at our base in Satory, but we will then immediately re-focus with a view to wrapping up the Manufacturers' crown in Wales where the skill of our crews and the motivation of everyone in the team promise to be valuable allies."

David Richards [Subaru WRT - managing director]:

"Today has been especially challenging with some of the most difficult conditions we've seen on a WRC event for many years. We have won four stages this weekend on home soil, and clearly demonstrated a good step forward in performance. This will stand us in good stead as we head for the final round of the championship in GB at the start of December."

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

"This has been one of the most difficult rallies for the Stobart team under the circumstances. Patrick has been making steady progress since the difficulties he went through on Friday evening in hospital. I must say a big thank you to everybody in the WRC community for their support and help with the situation, it has really shown the true spirit and camaraderie within this amazing championship. Matthew's performance on Friday was one of his best legs to-date. Unfortunately arriving first on the scene to Fran?ois and Patrick's accident made it difficult for him over the last two days but considering the condition of the stages it was a fantastic achievement to finish seventh. It has also given him some great experience on a rally that has thrown all of the elements at competitors."

Andrew Tinkler [Stobart Group - CEO]:

"It has been another solid performance from Matthew and this will fill him with confidence ahead of his home event next month. I was saddened to hear of Fran?ois and Patrick's accident on Friday and I hope that Patrick has a speedy recovery from the injuries he sustained. This result is also another strong one for the Stobart team as we head to Wales Rally GB next month for our home event and the final WRC round this season."

Shusuke Inagaki [Suzuki WRT - team director]:

"We are all very proud of the achievements of the Suzuki World Rally Team here at home in Japan! An important thing to remember is that the rally route was brand new for this year, which meant that nobody started with any real advantage in terms of experience. This proves that when the conditions are equal, we can fight with some of the frontrunners. Of course we still have a long way to go and much to learn, but this is the clearest indication yet that everything is heading in the right direction."

Paul Hembery [Pirelli - motorsport director]:

"I'd like to congratulate Sebastien [Loeb] and Daniel [Elena] for their fifth consecutive drivers' World Rally Championship, which underlines the abilities of both driver and co-driver, as well as those of the Citroen C4 WRC. Mikko [Hirvonen]-Jarmo [Lehtinen] and the Ford Focus WRC are also to be congratulated, as together with Loeb, Elena and Citroen they have given us all a thrilling end to the season."



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