12 May 08
After a Jordan Rally that was dramatic for all the wrong reasons, Citroen C4 WRC driver Conrad Rautenbach is happy to see the WRC return to Europe
Have you managed to forget about your Jordan accident [with Sebastien Loeb]?
Well, until you mentioned it... No, obviously I have been thinking about it for a while. It was one of those things. My dad reckons these things are sent to test us, to see how we can come back from them.
And how do you think you fared?
Well, the Sunday afternoon was really good. The morning wasn’t the best; there was something with the car, but at the time I didn’t know if it was the car or if it was me. But by the afternoon, the confidence was back and I was able to start to push a little bit. I’m glad to get back to Europe, though - and particularly Sardinia.
Do you like it then?
Yeah, definitely. It’s one of my favourites behind the likes of Finland and Sweden. It’s a good event and a great place.
Are you a fan of Italian food?
Yes. And the girls!
Back to the rally, what’s the aim for Sardinia?
It’s the first event I’ve done in the C4 where I’ve had some good notes. I have done this event every years since 2004 and David [Senior, co-driver] and I have done it for the last three years. We’ve got notes for about half of the stages, the other half being new stuff. A lot of those new stages are on the opening day, so if the car feels good then we’re going to have a push and see what we can do.
What about your position on the road?
That looks good. We’re a bit further back, so any loose gravel will have been swept. There might be a bit of a problem with dust, but it’s not usually too bad in Sardinia.
Have you tested since Jordan?
No not at all. I’m going to be using the same car I drove in Jordan, though, so I know the car is perfect. On Sunday afternoon, the team [PH Sport] had the car right where I wanted it. Providing we have a good shakedown, it should be good on the first day of the rally. Hopefully it’ll be a bit hotter as well. Coming from Africa, I tend to fare quite well in the hot conditions. I also don’t mind if the road cuts up a bit rougher. Back home [in Zimbabwe] I’ve driven on quite a few rough roads and I’ve got a fairly good idea of how to read them.