Abu Dhabi Total WRT Team drivers quotes ahead of Wales GB Rally

Abu Dhabi Total WRT Team drivers quotes ahead of Wales GB Rally

21.10.2016: WRC Rallyes - Wales GB Rally 2016 Kris Meeke: ďWales Rally GB wasnít initially part of my schedule, but the cancellation

WRC Rallyes -  Wales GB Rally 2016





Kris Meeke:
“Wales Rally GB wasn’t initially part of my schedule, but the cancellation of Rally China means I’m able to take part and I’m delighted to do so! In the 1980s, I remember my first experience of rallying on television, watching the Group B cars tackling the stages of the RAC rally.



This was also the first World Championship rally that I saw in person, in 1996, I think it was. At the time, I was spellbound as Colin McRae and Richard Burns sped by. It didn’t matter that you were standing in the darkness and the rain, with your feet in the mud!



Then I competed in my very first rally on the Welsh stages and it was also here that I made my WRC debut in 2002. It’s the event that I know the best and I feel at home here. Last year, I secured a good result with second place, but we all know that the weather and the running order are more important in Wales than anywhere else!



Obviously, the first car has an enormous advantage. Once the racing lines become covered with a layer of greasy, slippery mud, it doesn’t budge…



Bearing in mind that we’re ninth on the road, it’s likely to be very difficult for us. In any case, I can’t wait to get started. All the stages are special in some way, but I particularly like Hafren, which we are going to contest in the opposite direction for the first time.



For my final appearance of the year, I’ll be trying to enjoy driving the car as much as possible and hopefully take some momentum into 2017.”




Craig Breen:
“I’m looking forward to racing on these stages again, which I have driven on many times in the British Rally Championship and during my five appearances at Wales Rally GB. I have a lot of good memories, the highlight probably being when I won the Junior WRC title in 2011 alongside Gareth Roberts, who was Welsh.



In fact, the start line for Myherin – the opening stage this year – is exactly at the point where we won the title! Although this year’s rally is being held a few weeks earlier than usual, I’m not expecting the conditions to be especially different: rain, mud, fog, etc.



Maybe we’ll see a few rays of sunshine, but it would be weird! The race conditions will have a huge influence on our ability to secure a good result.





If our tenth place on the road became an advantage, I think I could fight for a podium spot, like in Finland. We’ll start the rally with a positive mindset and we’ll see what we can do.”





Stéphane Lefebvre: “
Two months after Rallye Deutschland, I’m happy to be back behind the wheel of a WRC. It’s an important weekend, both in terms of finding my speed again and acquiring experience for 2017.



With Gilles de Turckheim, who will be my co-driver in Wales as Gabin Moreau continues his recovery, we took part in recce at Rally de España and we have done a lot of work preparing for the Welsh stages.



I feel ready to drive at 100%, on a rally that I really like. My last two outings here were in four-wheel drive cars and I was quick despite the difficult conditions. I remember driving on my first gravel stage, at night and in the rain… and I enjoyed it! At first, the stages don’t seem that difficult.



It looks like a series of straight sections and a few more or less muddy changes in direction. In the race, however, you realise that you hit the turns a lot quicker than expected and the car doesn’t always stop in the way you intended!



 You have to ‘read’ the grip changes to stay on the limit without overstepping it. It’s a little bit like the kind of conditions you get in the north of France, but on gravel. I hope I can have a consistent race, with a steady gap to the leaders.”




Quentin Gilbert:
“I really like this event for the stages, the difficult conditions and the atmosphere. I have some bearings from having competed here three times before. I have also been lucky enough to drive a WRC in the French Championship.



I know what to expect in terms of power, braking and handling. So I won’t be starting from scratch next weekend! The team is doing everything it can to make my job easier, working in precise detail on my position behind the wheel and running a test session, which will help me get used to the car.



On my side, I have been preparing by stepping up my physical training and working on on-board camera footage. I’m trying to take on board as much information as possible so I can be in my element at the start. As regards my objectives for the weekend, I know that I can’t compete with the drivers who have been racing in the WRC all season.



The most important thing for me is to improve on the stages as the rally progresses to reduce the gap to the leaders by the end. I would like to thank Citroën Racing and Abu Dhabi Total WRT for this incredible opportunity and I hope I can prove my worth.”







Jérôme Roussel- photo Citroen

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21.10.2016 / MaP

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