Tour de Corse: Post-event press conference

Attendees Petter Solberg Subaru) Phil Mills Subaru) Carlos Sainz (Citroen) Marc Marti (Citroen) Francois Duval (Ford) Stephane Prevot (Ford) David Lapworth (Subaru) Q: When you were in your hotel on Thursday night with your car in pieces ...

Petter Solberg Subaru)
Phil Mills Subaru)
Carlos Sainz (Citroen)
Marc Marti (Citroen)
Francois Duval (Ford)
Stephane Prevot (Ford)
David Lapworth (Subaru)

Q: When you were in your hotel on Thursday night with your car in pieces after accident in the shakedown, did you think this victory would be possible?

Solberg: I always stay very very positive, the team is very much like me, when I was sitting in the hotel room I was actually scared and worried because I never thought the car was going to be ready. But things worked well and as you see everything is possible. I called the team at 6 am and they finished at 5:45 am and the car was actually perfect. It's incredible. I never thought this could go my way and especially after the accident on thursday.

Q: You had a big fight with Francois Duval in very difficult conditions and emerged on top. How tricky was it to choose the right tyres on the last two stages?

Sainz: I would agree that it has been one the most difficult rally , about the tires, when you left the service area you never knew what would happened, one minute it was sun shinning one minute it rained, sometimes it was like a lottery. It was never never an easy ride.

Q: Congratulations on another podium. But are you disappointed not to win the rally after leading for so long?

Duval: I think I've done a very good rally, I have not made any mistake and I am still disappointed that I have lost time but overall I am very happy with his performance.

Q: David, how much does this victory mean to you, with all the hard work that was put in on Thursday night?

Lapworth: It was a fantastic team effort. I never saw anything like this, it was amazing the state the car was in, for me it not just that, after San Remo, I was asked a lot of questions about the Championship and so on, and I've said, you know we have seen things turn around, I mentioned '98 when we had a similar situation and I had the impression that not very many people believed it. These are just brave words things happen like that in rallies but you have to battle on very hard all the time, but it went down well.

Q: Congratulations. For the first time in 20 years, there's not a Frenchman on the podium. In Finland it was the same story, with no Finns appearing on the podium for even longer. Do you think rallies are becoming less specialised now? Or are the drivers getting better?

Mills: You always ask me the difficult questions, it is the it going now , less specialists and more better drivers, drivers now can compete on snow, gravel, dry or whatever, and there just few complete drivers in this championship. You see a very special league of new drivers that can do that.

Q: Congratulations. You had a dramatic moment on the first day, when your time cards were left behind at a stop control. What happened?

Marti: It was a big mistake from me, Carlos start running and someone said stop stop I forgot the time cards, so I start running to pick up the time cards, easy!

Q: Congratulations. Ford boss Malcolm Wilson says that you and Francois have been working very hard on your notes recently. What sort of work have you been doing?

Prevot: We just try to practice on some difficult type of road where we can find every kind of corners and get more sensitive it is not so easy for Francois he is only 22 years old, with no experience, and you have to follow drivers with more experience and it is very difficult to get to their level, the goal is to become very good and then you can make some adjustments to get more precise and better to understand.

Q: What do you feel about your championship chances now? You're tied with Richard Burns in second place with two rallies to go....

Solberg: Yes definitively, it looks quite good now, I only have to hope for rain in Catalonia now, we always had very good tires and it always worked well, we have a victory for last year, so if we can come to Catalonia with some good points then it should be a good possibility.

Q: But you're leading the championship, which is always the best situation to be in. How confident do you feel of staying in front on the last two rounds? Who will be the biggest threat?

Sainz: I haven't change my mind about that, I have been around long enough to know that things can turn around very fast, at the moment I stay quiet and I look forward to make Catalunya. After Catalunya we will know who have more or less senses of racing but for me there is still a long way but in good position and after Catalunya if you ask me this question I'll be able to answer you better than now. I am confident that we can do well in Catalunya and things can still happened now.

Q: You're heading straight into the Catalunya Rally now. How different is it from Corsica? Will it suit you as much?

Duval: The rally is not finished yet and I still have to finish a rally and we'll see how things go.

Q: Do you think running Pirelli tyres gave you an advantage in these tricky and mixed conditions?

Mills: Obviously it did but they seem to work better when it's downpour wet but even on the dry road on the first leg, we've made a lot of improvements and we've had 2 hard days of testing and it paid and it's getting along quite well.

Q: The next event for you and Carlos is at home in Catalunya. Does this give you extra pressure, or does it add to your motivation?

Marti: No it adds to my motivation and it should be good for us because we have very good notes on these new stages and I hope we can do everything right.

Q: There are many new stages in Catalunya next rally. Francois said that the new stages here minimized his disadvantage in terms of experience. Will it be the same situation in Spain?

Prevot: Yes it makes sense I hope so, but I am afraid the conditions will be more difficult in Spain and for me the road looks more difficult in Spain than this one.

Q: If it's dry in Spain, then will Subaru be as strong? Or was it the mixed conditions that emphasised the car's strengths here?

Lapworth: Yes, asphalt is fine, we had a pretty good test and in Spain it will be hard because we will be thinking of the Championship a lot so we don't want to blow words into the wind but we will go there optimistic but the weather will take care of that Championship.

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Series WRC
Teams Citroën World Rally Team