15 Feb 08
James Fulton wanted to ask Matthew Wilson: "What is it like to press that stage button at the start or the rally?"
Matthew replied: "Well James, it's a strange feeling and really different from anything else I have experienced. The expectation starts as we get close to the stage and then builds on the start line. As we get ready, I turn the car into stage mode, the increased sound reminds you that it's nearly time, and after pressing the button there's no turning back; we are ready to gas it up! Scot counts me down the last ten seconds and the adrenalin gets more and more until we get to 'Go!'; I floor the throttle, the launch kicks in and we're away."
Nikola Kocovski had a question for Petter Solberg: "Which is his most favourite rally and which is his best win?"
Petter said: "I love the fast rallies so my favourite is Finland, but Sweden is not far behind. I love the flowing and high-speed roads, and it's always fun driving on the snow and ice - although there isn't much this year. Living in Norway I was brought up in these sorts of snowy conditions so for me there's nothing unusual about them. My favourite win was Rally GB in 2003 because that was where we clinched the Drivers' Championship as well. It was a very special win as we had to fight so hard for it. It could have gone either way right up until the finish line, so when we stopped the car I was full of relief, joy and excitement! It was the most amazing feeling and I'll never forget it."
Dave Smith wanted to know where the drivers practise during the off season and between rallies.
Matthew Wilson replied: "That really depends on which team you drive for, as some get more than others, but the WRC doesn't have much of an off-season so the bulk of any testing is fitted in throughout the season. Personally speaking, I don't get many chances to practise between the events, which is why it's so important to keep finishing rallies to get experience. This sport is one of the hardest to practise on. We get to shake down the cars before they leave for each event but that's just a systems check as opposed to proper stage practise. We get a couple of days testing during the year to help us set up the car for the rally conditions though. The bigger teams, like the BP Ford guys get more days testing than us so they have more time in the car."
Finally, we have an extra question from Lidiya Tosheva who asked: "What does Mikko actually like for breakfast? I admit I'm honestly interested."
"Normally, like any day, I don't really eat anything in the morning," said Mikko. "I just can't. I'm not sure why; it's just always been like that. But If I do take something then I'll have an English breakfast; egg and bacon with some toast, that's fantastic. I guess I have been spoiled a little working for the Ford team, we have an English chef and he does an incredible fry up - that's my favourite."