Volkswagen driver quotes after day one of the Rally Australia

Volkswagen driver quotes after day one of the Rally Australia

12.09.2014: Sébastien Ogier, Volkswagen Polo R WRC #1 “I am obviously very happy with the start here in Australia.




Sébastien Ogier, Volkswagen Polo R WRC #1



“I am obviously very happy with the start here in Australia. I did not expect a result like this. Julien and I did a great job, and the Polo R WRC is also running perfectly. Only in the afternoon did we have a little moment of concern, as the radiator was hit by a stone and damaged, resulting in it leaking a bit of liquid.


Fortunately today’s stages were only short, so it did not really pose a problem. Julien and I have definitely put ourselves in a good position for tomorrow, but it was by no means easy. I am particularly looking forward to the 50 kilometres that await us on the ‘Nambucca’ stage.


It is like a rollercoaster in the jungle. There may be some rain on Saturday, which would make the conditions very slippery. The fans are in for an exciting day, that much is certain.”



Jari-Matti Latvala, Volkswagen Polo R WRC #2





“We can be more than happy with day one of the Rally Australia, as we would not have expected all three Polos to be at the top of the standings this evening – after all, we were not in the best starting positions. The afternoon went particularly well for my co-driver Miikka and me.


 We were able to gradually improve from fifth place in the morning, and eat into the gap to the leaders. However, we have not won anything yet: it is very close at the top, we still have a long way to go, and the unsettled weather could make life difficult for us in the cockpit tomorrow.”




Andreas Mikkelsen, Volkswagen Polo R WRC #9


“The Rally Australia could hardly have started better. We have put ourselves in a good position for the next two days, although it is very close in the top five. I am more than happy with third place, as this is better than I expected at the start of the day.


It was definitely a disadvantage for me and my team-mates to have to open the route. We made the best of the situation. I am right in the thick of the battle for a place on the podium. It is going to be exciting.”



Jost Capito, Volkswagen Motorsport Director


“I have to pay a big complement to our drivers. They produced an excellent display of driving to overcome the clear disadvantage of having to open the route as first, second and third in the World Championship. They fought like lions to keep the time lost to a minimum, and are well-placed going into the final two days.


 Given the small gaps between the top five, the Rally Australia basically starts from scratch again tomorrow. I think we showed today that we currently have the best World Rally Car, with the Polo R WRC, and the top drivers in Sébastien Ogier, Jari-Matti Latvala and Andreas Mikkelsen.”





And then there was ...


... the very special relationship between man and beast. The fact that about 80 per cent of the most deadly species in the world live in Australia deserves utmost respect, including from the Volkswagen drivers and co-drivers.


Although Andreas Mikkelsen and Jari-Matti Latvala came into direct contact with tame alligators and pythons in a photo shoot ahead of the Rally Australia, they do not seem to have completely hit it off. During the Recce, Latvala instinctively lifted both feet whilst driving when his Golf R came across a dead snake on the road.


Andreas Mikkelsen, himself not entirely fearless when it comes to the Australian wildlife, used the round of the WRC down under to trick his co-driver Ola Fløene. He placed a rubber snake on the dashboard of the Polo R WRC, which fell into his lap whilst driving in the dark after the ceremonial start in Coffs Harbour.


The snake appeared so realistic that Fløene could only just be prevented from leaping out of the World Rally Car.


         



Andre Dietzel, Ingo Roersch, photos Volkswagen

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12.09.2014 / MaP

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