WRC

Post-event press conference

Present: 1st - Sebastien Loeb, Citroen Total World Rally Team 1st - Daniel Elena, Citroen Total World Rally Team 2nd - Dani Sordo, Citroen Total World Rally Team 2nd - Diego Vallejo, Citroen Total World Rally Team 3rd - Sebastien Ogier, Citroen ...

Present:
1st - Sebastien Loeb, Citroen Total World Rally Team
1st - Daniel Elena, Citroen Total World Rally Team
2nd - Dani Sordo, Citroen Total World Rally Team
2nd - Diego Vallejo, Citroen Total World Rally Team
3rd - Sebastien Ogier, Citroen Total World Rally Team
3rd - Julien Ingrassia, Citroen Total World Rally Team
Oliver Quesnel, Team Principal, Citroen Total World Rally Team

Q: Sebastien, congratulations on sealing your eighth consecutive win here in Germany, and your 59th WRC victory; has it been a perfect weekend?

SL: Yes! It really was a perfect weekend. I had a big battle with Dani at the start. He was pushing hard. I was not able to make a big difference, until the Panzerplatte. After that stage I felt more comfortable.

Q: After this long stage you did not feel truly 'safe' though?

SL: No, when you know that you have 48 kilometres to go again you cannot be sure of anything. There are lots of fast narrow parts, which require precise driving. It is easy to hit something. I was concentrated until the end.

Q: Were there any mistakes this weekend?

SL: Yes, I missed a junction on Friday, but that was all.

Q: Congratulations Daniel, you have a lead of 58 points in the Drivers' and Co-drivers' Championships. You could be able to win the title in Japan.

DE: It is a good advantage in the Championship. Mathematically it is possible. But if you look at last year you can see that you cannot be sure of anything until you have won the title. I would prefer to win in Japan. Because after that you are completely free for the fight in Alsace Rally in France.

Q: Seb, would you prefer to win the Championship at home in France?

SL: The most important is to win it. It does not matter where. We will definitely try to go for the win in Japan.

Q: Dani, congratulations on second position! Germany is a tough event and you also had to get used to a new co-driver -- it looks like that partnership worked very well though.

DS: Yes, I am very happy with Diego. I think this result is really good for his first rally in the WRC.

Q: You were putting pressure on Sebastien (Loeb) during Friday and Saturday morning, when did you realise you could not catch him?

DS: On the first day the battle with Seb was really really fun. After the second day we started with his split times. But he started to push harder. On the long stage he was really, really good. His split times were faster and faster. But with him 23 seconds ahead of us I realised that it is not possible to catch up anymore.

Q: You took four stage wins this weekend, were you happy with your pace? Were there any mistakes during the weekend?

DS: I am really happy. It is my first time in second place here. Being fifth in the Championship is really good for me; it gives me quite a lot of confidence.

Q: Diego, congratulations on completing your first WRC event and claiming second position overall. How much pressure did you feel before and during the event to perform at your best?

DV: It was incredible for me, and because everybody was supporting me a lot. A dream has come true.

Q: It is the first time sitting next to Dani in a WRC event. Was it a lot of pressure on your shoulders?

DV: I tried to stay concentrated on the pace notes and on the stages. Dani drove incredibly well. It is really nice to drive with him.

Q: Sebastien, congratulations on third place. We saw you compete and win in the JWRC here in 2008 but this year was a very different prospect in a WRC car. Did you expect to be able to get onto the podium here?

SO: I don't know. It was the target. I knew before the rally that the podium would be difficult for me, but I did it - although I am still far away from Seb and Dani. I made it through the rally and I scored good points in the Championship. It is definitely a good result.

Q: You had a huge battle with Jari-Matti Latvala yesterday, how much were you risking to set those times?

SO: On the first loop I was too careful in some places, on the second I was pushing a little harder. On the first of the Panzerplatte stages Latvala spun, I overtook him and stayed ahead of him.

Q: Sebastien, there are two more tarmac events. Do you think you will be able to come closer to Seb and Dani?

SO: I want to congratulate the others, who were driving incredibly fast here. In France I would like to be closer to them.

Q: There were some concerns with the car. Did this disturb you at all?

JI: The engine stalled several times at hairpin turns. This made us lose some time.

Q: How did you find Rallye Deutschland?

JI: You might be fast on tarmac, but here it is very different!

Q: A Citroen 1-2-3, it is a perfect result for the team and you are closer to sealing both Championships...

OQ: Yes it great for Citroen. Especially considering that we scored this good result here in Germany. The German market is very important for us. Our success here is very good for the image of the brand. It is amazing that we have won here for the eighth time.

Q: What about the Manufacturers' Championship? There is still a battle going on there.

OQ: We try to win each rally. This will also be our goal for the next one. We will see what happens.

QUESTIONS FROM THE FLOOR
Bjorn Pazen
Trierischer Volksfreund, Germany

Q: Seb, what's your general impression of the event? What do you like the most about Rally Germany, except winning!

SL: There are a lot of supporters here. This is the closest rally to my home. It is only 200 kilometres from my hometown. A lot of my friends come to watch the event and witness the great atmosphere. I also have a good feeling for the roads. I enjoy driving here.

FIA SUPER 2000 WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP
1st -- Patrik Sandell
1st -- Emil Axelsson

Q: Patrik -- congratulations! That has been an incredibly hard fought battle! How are you feeling?

PS: From the first stage we had an incredible fight - especially me, Prokop and P-G Andersson. I have done some very good tests during the last weeks, even though I have not driven many kilometres on asphalt in this car. I also got some good tips from my team.

Q: You took just 3.3 seconds of a lead into the final super special stage; did you think it was enough?

PS: I was trying not to think too much and just concentrate on driving. I also found a good rhythm quickly. I knew if I would be able just to do a clean line without problems, it should be enough.

Q: You told journalists at the stage ends that you driving pretty 'crazy' in sections, were you risking a lot out there?

PS: Our car had a very good set-up and we never had understeering. I took some risk but never too much. After I had fallen back after the stage on Friday I was fighting back step by step, and succeeded.

Q: Emil congratulations, it's been a constant battle throughout the weekend -- at times 23 seconds were separating the top three drivers. You must be exhausted! Great result though!

EA: It was really nice. We tried to win stage by stage and take back the time we had lost on Friday. I think we did a good job.

Q: How big was the pressure to make your first win in the SWRC?

EA: We were quite relaxed and stayed focussed on setting good times. What is most important is that we had a lot of fun.

Q: Was it a tough challenge here in Germany?

EA: Yes. It was slippery in some places, but we had perfect pace notes. It was definitely a nice event.

FIA PRODUCTION CAR WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP
1st -- Armindo Araujo
1st -- Miguel Ramalho

Q: Armindo, your second win of the season, great points for the Championship.

AA: The battle was good for the Championship. My last Tarmac event was in Ireland in 2007. A few days ago we did some tests and found a good set-up for the car. It was a hard weekend, but I like the stages here.

Q: A battle with Hayden Paddon, and his first-ever tarmac event; did you expect him to be so strong?

AA: He has a car like mine from Mitsubishi Ralliart Italy. We fought a nice battle during the whole weekend. Of course I am glad that we won it.

Q: You did have a few issues this weekend. Yesterday your lead was slashed down to 23 seconds. What were the problems?

AA: I had one big slide and a spin on the long stage. I kept losing and winning time. In the end everything went well.

Q: Miguel, congratulations on the win. Do the points you picked up make you relaxed for the Championship?

MR: No, not really. The Championship is still in the middle. We still have two rallies to go, so everything is open.

Q: What have you thought of this event? Is this one of the toughest tarmac events that we have?

MR: For us co-drivers it is not an easy event. We have lots of pages of pace notes, but that's our job.

FIA JUNIOR WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP
1st -- Hans Weijs Jnr.
1st -- Bjorn Degandt

Q: Hans, your first win of the season in JWRC, how are you feeling?

HW: We pushed very hard and this rally was quite long for us. Except for one stage we always set the fastest time.

Q: It must be difficult when you are not in a battle. Were you in danger of losing your focus?

HW: I concentrated quite well. It was a long rally, but I managed to stay focussed.

Q: Did you have any problems this weekend?

HW: I have had some problems, especially with the brakes, but they were no real problems.

Q: What does this mean for your Championship now?

HW: We are coming back now. At the start of the season we missed one rally, because our engine had blown up. Now I am hoping for the Junior World Rally Championship title.

Q: Bjorn, congratulations. What has your weekend been like?

BD: We had a good weekend. On Friday we pushed like hell and it went really well. We were able to maintain the pace. It was great fun.

-source: fia

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About this article
Series WRC
Drivers Sébastien Loeb , Daniel Elena , Jari-Matti Latvala , Miguel Ramalho , Armindo Araujo , Hans Weijs , Sébastien Ogier , Julien Ingrassia , Patrik Sandell , Emil Axelsson , Hayden Paddon , Diego Vallejo , Bjorn Degandt
Teams Citroën World Rally Team