Australia : After SS 7 - Quotes
Rally Australia is proving to be a tough challenge for the cars and drivers, with many retirements and accidents affecting the top drivers this morning.
Petter Solberg (Subaru)
"The first two stages this morning were very difficult
and extremely slippery. We changed a few things with the set-up as we went along and they seemed to help the feeling of the car. It's good to be leading but it's too bad about Chris, he was doing very well and I think would have had a great result here, but that's how it goes sometimes. For us, the focus now is to keep on pushing and try not to hit any kangaroos."
Chris Atkinson (Subaru)
"We had a good start to the day, especially with the first three stage wins. The fourth wasn't so good though as about halfway around a medium-speed corner the car stepped-out just a bit and dug into some soft sand. We got stuck and it wasn't possible to get back on the road again. As we were trying to sort that out, the hot exhaust lit some small shrubs at the back of the car and we had a small fire to contend with. We got it out as quick as we could and the damage doesn't look too bad, but we'll need to look it over properly in the Service Park. It's disappointing, of course, but we knew we were pushing close to the edge; I guess we just went over it.
"I hit a stone on the inside of a slow right bend and the impact threw the car across the road and I rolled over the bank on the opposite side. The car rolled once, it was slow and soft, and ended on its roof. We pushed it back onto its wheels with the help of two or three people but then it became stuck on a tree stump so we had to jack it up to get out. We were stuck for about 10 minutes. I made a stupid mistake and I'm so disappointed."
"It was hell inside. We had so much dust in the car that I couldn't breathe and couldn't see. My eyes hurt now and I also hurt my back trying to push the car over. Now I will just try to finish and score points for the team in the manufacturers' championship."
Mikko Hirvonen (Ford)"There are no words to describe how slippery this gravel is. It's just like driving on ice. Winning is a possibility but I need to find a balance between fighting for first place and finishing. There is no room for error now that Marcus has lost time and the pressure is on because I must score good points for the team."
Dani Sordo (Citroen)
"I started cautiously but after a serial of corners and when I was changing the gears up, it suddenly felt like it was in neutral."
Xevi Pons (Citroen)
"Here, it's important not to make a mistake and this is nothing but an easy job... On that ground and with those small marble-like peas, it's really hard to find the right braking point. All the corners are extremely slippery even if it was a bit better on the second passage. There are still some places where you can be caught. In those conditions, I have to find the right pace to set some correct times without going over the top! The car feels great and my tyre choice matched the terrain, on top of the fact that my feeling is excellent since Cyprus."
Hugo GIGUERE © CAPSIS International