WRC

Rallye Sanremo: Pre-event press conference

GILLES PANIZZI (PEUGEOT) FRANCOIS DUVAL (FORD) CARLOS SAINZ (CITROEN) PETTER SOLBERG (SUBARU) GUY FREQUELIN (CITROEN) MALCOLM WILSON (FORD) Q to Gilles Panizzi: You've won for the last three years. This year, you've got a partial programme - how...

GILLES PANIZZI (PEUGEOT)
FRANCOIS DUVAL (FORD)
CARLOS SAINZ (CITROEN)
PETTER SOLBERG (SUBARU)
GUY FREQUELIN (CITROEN)
MALCOLM WILSON (FORD)

Q to Gilles Panizzi: You've won for the last three years. This year, you've got a partial programme - how difficult will it be win when your last rally was in Germany, three months ago?

GP: "The tests done before the racing have been good so even if I do not perform since the German rally I think we can win for the fourth time."

Q to Carlos Sainz: Carlos, you had some medical problems with kidney stones before this rally. What happened, and are you feeling better now?

CS: "I've been operated in Spain on a Saturday and I was out on a Sunday, everything is coming back to normal. I hope I will feel fine for tomorrow."

Q to Malcolm Wilson: There's been a lot of speculation about the future of Ford in rallying next year and beyond. What happened, and are you feeling better now?

MW: "The difficult thing of the moment is to do budget. We can present figures but everything will be review. We had good results in the last quarter that will help a positive decision about Ford engagement in WRC."

Q to Petter Solberg: Petter, your car has a new roll control system fitted for this rally. What is it and how do you think it will help you?

PS: "You know the drivers don't understand much about mechanic...... but it seems it can work good. It is different from before but we will see it tomorrow."

Q to Guy Frequelin: Guy, Citroen have not officially competed on the Sanremo Rally for two years. Is this going to cause you a problem?

GF: "It is difficult to know where we are with the car. But we have improved....."

Q to Francois Duval: Francois, you have been concentrating on gaining experience and finishing rallies recently. But on this event, are you aiming to drive flat-out?

FD: "It's important for me to push more and try to finish on fifth or sixth position. It's Martin that has to try to win."

Q to Malcolm Wilson: Malcolm, the Ford led quite convincingly in Germany before a transmission failure. Since then, it's had some new parts added: what are they and how confident do you feel of a victory now?

MW: "I'm very encouraged from the performance in Germany. Now we have made some changes to the transmission and engine and I'm looking forward to a good result."

Q to Gilles Panizzi: This will probably the last Sanremo Rally this year. How sorry will you be to see it go?

GP: "Leaving Sanremo it's a real shame for everybody, and for the Rally in general. This is an extraordinary rally, with an exceptional organization: a legend that unfortunately will leave us."

Q to Carlos Sainz: There’s a petition currently circulating amongst the drivers asking to keep gravel crews next year. What do you think of this?

CS: "Something on plus for the driver's safety it's good. The only event in the World Rally Championship that absolutely needs the gravel crew is Monte Carlo Rally. But there are many question marks for the rally in the future."

Q to Petter Solberg: Pirelli have a completely new construction of tyres here. How big difference will it make?

PS: "It's a good step. I think is very important for the long stages."

Q to Francois Duval: This is the first time you are doing this rally in a World Rally Car, S 1600 last year. Will that be a big handicap?

FD: "S 1600 was a very good opportunity and experience for me. After Sweden I've changed the co-driver and it has not been easy for me to modify the notes. But to race on the tarmac and in Sanremo rally with a WRC is very different instead of S 1600."

Q to Guy Frequelin: "Citroen have been one of the more open-minded team about the new FIA regulations for next year. Do you think the sport will be improved in 2004?

GF: "You know we agree about the two cars for each team and to do two more rallies in the 2004 Championship: we will race in very important market as Japan. Sure that some ideas of the drivers are different, for example about the gravel crew. Citroen drivers are free to decide their position, to sign the petition or not, but the probable result of this letter is to delete the gravel crew."

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Series WRC
Teams Citroën World Rally Team