WRC Rallyes - NORWAY - Driver comments after stage 15

18.02.2007: WRC Rallyes - NORWAY - Driver comments after stage 15

Rally Norway Leg 3
End of stage flashes from SS 15 Mountain 2
Bright and clear conditions –5 °C#

 

1 Sébastien Loeb/Daniel Elena (Citroen C4) The stage was very good compared to yesterday. No problems for me. There’s nothing more I can do: I am just keeping going to score one manufacturers’ point. We can also do a bit of testing for future rallies. The car is still very new so all the extra mileage is a bonus.

27 Tord Linnerud/Ragnar Engen (Peugeot 206 WRC) I’m behind Sébastien Loeb but the rabbit is too fast! No problems, I like the stage a lot but I am just driving for the finish now.

25 Juho Hänninen/Mikko Markkula (Mitsubishi Lancer WR05) I lost five minutes after going off. I think I was pushing just a bit too hard. It happened at quite a slow place just over a crest. The car spun and got stuck and it took me some time to get it out. My mistake, but these things happen.

17 Andreas Mikkelsen/Ola Fløene (Ford Focus) That was the most fun stage I’ve ever driven! The conditions were perfect. I’m just enjoying it now, not pushing.

26 Rune Dalsjø/Jens Olav Løvhøiden (Subaru Impreza S9) We had lots of grip this time. The stage was really good to drive. No problems at all.

20 Jan Kopecky/Filip Schovanek (Skoda Fabia WRC) This stage was much better today than yesterday as the road was quite hard rather than loose. I’m a bit worried about my engine because it seems to lack power. I hope it’s not going to turn into a bigger problem this afternoon.

6 Daniel Carlsson/Denis Giraudet (Citroen Xsara WRC) That was fantastic! It was really nice stage. The beginning of the stage was the most difficult bit because it was quite narrow. I didn’t start off with the perfect rhythm but it got better towards the end.

22 Xavier Pons/Xavier Amigo (Mitsubishi Lancer WR05) It’s a big fight with Daniel Carlsson: there’s only about nine seconds between us. We have to keep on pushing. There were no problems for me on that stage. I have a very good feeling with the car but there are still some big stages up ahead, particularly the last one.

19 Gigi Galli/Giovanni Bernacchini (Citroen Xsara WRC) I’m really not trying to think too much about the end result. This stage was good but I have been up and down on the whole rally. I need to find better consistency. I’m just going to try and work on that this afternoon and also enjoy it. When things go right in the snow, it’s a fantastic feeling.

5 Manfred Stohl/Ilka Minor (Citroen Xsara WRC) I’m surprised we set the time that we did. I thought it would be slower. We have to use small studs because those were the only tyres left to us. I felt I did not have enough grip on that stage. Maybe Gigi Galli made a mistake, because I was not expecting to be quicker than him.

9 Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Antilla (Ford Focus RS WRC 06) We had no problems on that stage but I was taking it really easy. At the moment we’re in fifth place with one minute to the person in front and one minute to the person behind us. Because there’s nowhere to make a battle, I am just making my own speed. There’s certainly no point in pushing hard.

10 Henning Solberg/Cato Menkerud (Ford Focus RS WRC 06) I pushed as hard as I could. That was really good and I’m pleased to beat Petter. I’m going to try my best to be on the podium for my home rally. I’m not excited yet because there’s a long way still to go. Let’s see what happens.

7 Petter Solberg/Phil Mills (Subaru Impreza WRC 2006) It was no surprise that Henning was quicker; we expected that before the stage. Henning’s on a long stud whereas we only have six and a half millimetre studs. I knew that this was how it was going to be. But it’s not over yet!

3 Marcus Grönholm/Timo Rautiainen (Ford Focus RS WRC 06) We’re just driving at the same speed as Mikko. No problems for us. We’re driving for the finish now.

4 Mikko Hirvonen/Jarmo Lethinen (Ford Focus RS WRC 06) It’s still not easy. We know what’s best for the team but everything needs to work. I was still pushing quite hard to keep pace with Marcus. I really need to concentrate. No mistakes from now.

8 Chris Atkinson/Glenn MacNeall (Subaru Impreza WRC 2006) We’re not going to score any points so it’s just about learning more on snow really. It’s still quite a new surface for me, so the more running I do, the better.

16 Matthew Wilson/Michael Orr (Ford Focus RS WRC 06) This stage was new for me because I didn’t do it yesterday. I really enjoyed it: this is what I thought Norway would be all about. I tried an eight millimetre stud for the first time on that stage. I had the impression that the car was moving about a little bit more with that tyre, but maybe I just need to get used to it. I like the stage a lot: probably the best one of the rally.

2 Dani Sordo/Marc Marti (Citroen C4) The stage was completely new for me. On the first corner I spun and lost about seven or eight seconds. I’m still learning all the time, but it’s not easy.

23 Mads Østberg/Ole Kristian Unnerud (Subaru WRC S10) I’m back in the rally now, under the super rally rules, after our problem yesterday, but actually it’s quite hard to find motivation to push hard, when it’s like this. I’m just trying to get back into it but what I really need is a good fight.

45 P-G Andersson/Jonas Andersson (Suzuki Swift S1600) That stage was so beautiful; it really puts a smile on your face. I’m going well but at a comfortable pace. With the situation we are in, there is obviously no point in taking any risks.

31 Patrik Sandell/Emil Axelsson (Renault Clio R3) I just need to keep the car on the road now. No more attacking. I want to just get some points and make Renault happy.

32 Urmo Aava/Kuldar Sikk (Suzuki Swift S1600) It was a very nice stage with good grip and a clean line. I’m not happy to finish third because I think I could have been challenging for the win. But at least we have some good points.

48 Kalle Pinomäki/Tuomo Nikkola (Renault Clio R3) There are loads of proper snow banks. Fantastic winter conditions, but I took it very easy.

36 Jan Mölder/Katrin Becker (Suzuki Swift S1600) That was a really good stage, the most fun to drive. No problems so far, which makes a change.

37 Aaron Burkart/Timo Gottschalk (Citroen C2 GT) This stage was completely different to how it was yesterday. I could actually see the road and there was also good grip and visibility. I’ve got a three minute gap to the person in front and three minutes to the person behind me so there is no point pushing hard.

39 Andrea Cortinovis/Flavio Zanella (Renault Clio) It was a very beautiful stage. I really liked it. The car and the tyres worked very well and gave me a lot of confidence.

46 Shaun Gallagher/Clive Jenkins (Citroen C2 R2)We made some setup changes last night and I am not convinced that they work. The car felt very loose still but it was a very nice stage.

 

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18.02.2007 / MaP

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