WRC

Post-event press conference

Present: 1st - Sebastien Loeb, Citroen Total World Rally Team 1st - Daniel Elena, Citroen Total World Rally Team 2nd - Petter Solberg, Petter Solberg World Rally Team 2nd - Chris Patterson, Petter Solberg World Rally Team 3rd - Dani Sordo, Citroen...

Present:
1st - Sebastien Loeb, Citroen Total World Rally Team
1st - Daniel Elena, Citroen Total World Rally Team
2nd - Petter Solberg, Petter Solberg World Rally Team
2nd - Chris Patterson, Petter Solberg World Rally Team
3rd - Dani Sordo, Citroen Total World Rally Team
3rd - Diego Vallejo, Citroen Total World Rally Team
Sven Smeets, Team Manager, Citroen Total World Rally Team

Q: Sebastien, win number 61! You led from the start and after a close battle with Ogier on the opening day you had no real challenge for the lead. Despite a lack of battle have you enjoyed it here in Spain?

SL: It's always enjoyable to win, so yes, it was good. It has been nearly my first rally at the end of the season without any pressure. I knew the first day would be difficult with the road cleaning. I tried really hard from the start and made good times on the gravel. We didn't lose the time we thought we might. Then we came to the tarmac leading the rally and made no mistakes.

Q: It must have been nice to drive for the win with no pressure.

SL: I was really motivated when I arrived, I know I can try and I know if I make a mistake, it's not that bad. It's really fun to drive like that and the stages were good. I would say it was nice to drive one day on gravel and two on tarmac, maybe not everybody agrees...

Q: The organisers have changed things around this year by introducing a day of gravel; do you think that's been a successful change?

SL: I would like to see some tarmac days on the gravel rallies -- it would be good!

Q: Rally GB will be the last event for the C4, how much does it mean to win that event?

SL: Like always, like here in Catalunya, it's a rally I won a lot of times, I was feeling quite confident. In Rally GB it will be more difficult, but for sure we will try. Here was the last tarmac rally with the C4 and I won all the tarmac rallies with the C4 -- it was important to do it.

Q: Daniel, a good event?

DE: Yes, it's nice, especially the first day on gravel. When we start the race without pressure it's more easy; the Drivers' and Manufacturers' are okay and you know if you crash the car, you are not too disappointed: you go straight to the disco!

Q: There was a huge media interest in France last time and quite a lot here too...

DE: This is better and better for the media, it's interesting. In France there were an unbelievable number of people. In GB I hope for the last time with the two-litre cars before next year, it's him [Loeb] again.

Q: Petter, the rally didn't get off to the best of starts on the opening stage but you have come through to seal second position after a great battle with Sordo -- a tough weekend out there?

PS: I don't want to talk about it. It happened and that's it. I lost 20 seconds, that's a long time. It can happen. I won the stage after and it went very well. It's so small details that have to come together. It was a small mistake.

Q: Were there any concerns about Sordo today -- he took almost seven seconds out of you this morning?

PS: It's been really good fun, Sordo is a proper sportsman. It's been great fun and I'm very happy to beat him in his home rally. It's almost like a victory; we have one more man to beat. I want to fight, that's why we're here. It's been good fun. It's close, but I felt I had good control.

Q: How confident were you. Did you think: he can't get me?

PS: I don't want to bull***t. He took some time, but I had good control. I was trying to control the tyres. I had the most to lose, he had nothing to lose. I just waited for the split, it was zero, zero and then I lost two [splits] and I didn't get one for ages. Then it was 'plus five', and so I had to push again and got it down to 4.9s at the finish. It's been exciting and a proper fight.

Q: And a great result for the whole team?

PS: Now it can be very interesting for the last rally. There's me, Sordo and Latvala and Ogier who should be a bit careful because you can lose the second place in the Championship.

Q: And what about Loeb?

PS: No we don't count him now. He does his own thing. It will be a big fight.

Q: How was he in the car, Chris. Was it all cool in there?

CP: It really was. We left service eating peanuts. There was no pressure, we did our own thing. We pushed hard in the stages, but we were relaxed, we had a chat with the boys and a bit of banter.

Q: Dani, all eyes were on you this weekend and the opening day did not go at all to plan -- why were you not on the pace on Friday? Were there any issues?

DS: The first day was a little bit difficult. Everybody went flat and my plan doesn't work. Okay, the first day was really hard, but after we did well in tarmac and finally we were third after a really nice battle with Petter. It was nice for the spectators and nice for me, but I wanted more.

Q: How was the car?

DS: The car feeling was, at the back, it was moving a lot. I don't know if we have some problems. The steering moved a lot, I don't know if there was a problem.

Q: You were really pushing to catch Petter this afternoon, how many risks were you taking to achieve the fastest time on stage 15?

DS: I take a lot of risk, but on the long stage there's not a lot of difference. He doesn't have an official car, but he has a really good car and he is really, really fast -- all the time he is still fast and still young.

Q: And what about Rally GB? Can you fight to win there?

DS: I don't know, now honestly I don't know. I lost a bit of the confidence. It will be interesting for everybody, it's open for everybody. Everything is decided, second place in the Championship is open, I like the stages -- we will try to enjoy.

Q: Diego. How frustrating was it on Friday?

DV: Yes, really it was. We expected to be in front and finally it didn't happen. We tried to enjoy the first day and to pass through the day. The second day and third day was very nice. We had a very nice battle with Petter.

Q: It must be special to be on the podium at home?

DV: Yes, my family, my friends are here, so for me it's very special. I repeat the last two months, three months have been happy for me and I believe that we can win GB, so I have to be confident.

DS: He has the confidence... maybe he can take the car!

DV: We do like to win, very much!

Q: Sven, with Sebastien's win here the C4 has never been beaten on tarmac! A great statistic!

SS: I think we have to be very, very happy, we have one and three and also second thanks to Petter -- the triple again. We have both cars on the podium and we were surprised to see Sebastien lead on Friday. Everybody had said he had no chance, but he impressed us again. Very happy the car is unbeaten on asphalt.

Q: The final event in GB will be an emotional send off?

SS: Of course, it's the last rally of the year and the last rally for the car. We have six people who can take it [second place] and I'm sure Mikko [Hirvonen] and Jari-Matti [Latvala] will not want to go away without a win.

FIA JUNIOR WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP (EVENT)
1st - Yeray Lemes
1st - Rogelio Peñate

Q: Yeray, congratulations on a win at home, it's been a dramatic final day for you! How do you feel?

YL: I'm very happy for this rally and happy to have finished because we have very bad luck. Sorry for [Hans] Weijs Jr and congratulations to Aaron Burkart.

Q: What happened on the first stage this morning?

YL: Well, the only problem we suffer was with a puncture, it cost us two minutes, we knew it was a problem, but I am very happy.

Q: Any plans for next year yet?

YL: I don't know. I want to compete and this year I have learned more than in all the years I have been competing.

Q: How was this rally, what was your objective?

RP: In this rally we only wish to finish the rally. In four rallies, [we are] always out and in this rally I am very happy. It is very difficult, I want to [say] congratulations to [Hans] Weijs and [Aaron] Burkart.

Q How tough were the gravel stages?

RP: Definitely, in gravel, the rally is very good. He [Lemes] was Champion in Spain last year and the second leg, and today, we were on the maximum attack: the full attack: Weijs is very fast and we have 34 seconds and yesterday only 14 seconds. Today, we have luck and we win. It's very good.

FIA JUNIOR WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP CHAMPIONS (*subject to the official publication of the results by the FIA)
1st - Aaron Burkart
1st - Andre Kachel

Q: Aaron, congratulations on winning the FIA Junior World Rally Championship after an incredibly dramatic weekend! How do you feel?!

AB: Of course at the moment, it's crazy. It's for me, it's amazing. It's a crazy weekend. We crash the car on Monday [in the test], the guys have a lot of work to do and then we retire on Saturday. It's been a crazy weekend. You guys came to me and told me to make something and now we have something!

Q: Yesterday morning disaster struck on the opening stage when the wheel came off your Suzuki -- did you feel it was all over then?

AB: In the first moment I was completely disappointed, then we recovered and saw no big damage to the car. The place could have been worse [where we went off]. We say: "Hey, there is still a small chance, let's try whatever we can do." When we saw Lemes changing tyres [in the stage] and Weijs said to me [at the end of the stage] "This was really tough," for me, it was too! Then I saw Hans in there, everything was going mad in my mind. In the end, 'it ain't over 'til it's over'. That's a very bad saying, but it's true.

Q: What does it mean to you after the years of competition in this Championship to finally claim the title?

AB: It was a good feeling. In the first moment I couldn't get the things together in my head, then the guys came and told me to get out of the car, but I couldn't, I couldn't believe it -- then the co-driver told me we had to go because of the 75kph average speed back to Salou!

Q: Andre, you have achieved the goal?

AK: I believe the real feeling will come later after the press conference: there will be a big scream inside the hotel. Today Harry Hunt was five minutes ahead and our goal was to be faster than him. This was a really good job of Aaron, we see Harry in the stage and I can't read the notes. No, it's unbelievable.

Q: Much of a celebration tonight?

AB: Of course, we will have a good party. I hope Hans will stay, I really feel sorry for him. He has been fast and made no mistakes, and I feel sorry for him, this is the problem. On the other hand, if he'd won, it would be difficult to say: "Congratulations, let's have a beer." He'll be okay later.

Q: There will be a team celebration, Andre?

AK: I'm happy that I co-drove with Aaron this year. It's a big family in the JWRC, I hope Hans comes to the party.

Q: Next year?

AB: Well, honestly we don't know. There are three options, this is the Juniors, the C4 WRC and the Ford WRC, the rest, we really don't know. I'm sorry.

Q: This title helps, though?

AB: I hope it will help quite a lot. We will try now to get to the teams and the sponsors and see what we can do. We hope to see you again next year.

-source: fia

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About this article
Series WRC
Drivers Petter Solberg , Sébastien Loeb , Daniel Elena , Sven Smeets , Chris Patterson , Aaron Burkart , Diego Vallejo , Yeray Lemes , Rogelio Penate , Harry Hunt , Andre Kachel
Teams Citroën World Rally Team