21 Jul 08
Do you have any significant technical developments planned for your car between now and the end of the year?
With every rally we learn more about the new car and its characteristics, so the emphasis is on making lots of small steps to maximise the performance of every aspect of it.
How have you got on with the new soft compound Pirelli gravel tyre?
We used the soft compound in the Finland pre-event test earlier this month with no problems. Tyre wear seems good. We made a few setup adjustments to best suit the tyre and they seem to work well.
There are three asphalt rallies in the second half of the year. Do you think your car and drivers will give you an advantage on this surface?
Chris and Petter have not tested the car on tarmac yet, but Markko has reported from the test last month that the balance and performance is good. The new car seems to work best at the moment on faster and more flowing roads, as that is what we concentrated on with our accelerated development programme.
What is your objective for the 2008 season now? Has this changed from January?
For the rest of the season we will be pushing for outright speed. We started this year with a view to making the best of the Impreza WRC2007's last few rallies, which we did. For the last two events our focus with the Impreza WRC2008 has been to finish what were two of the season's toughest rallies, and with those under our belt, we now turn to putting our outright performance to the test.
Can you make a prediction - anything at all - about the second half of the WRC season?
The conditions we will see in the remaining rallies are far more similar to those in which we conducted most of our testing with the new car, so I expect to see a jump in our performance for the second half of the season.
What is the latest news regarding Subaru Manufacturer Teams for 2009?
We are looking into the potential of entering an additional two cars next season in a second manufacturer team, and as an integral part of that we are of course considering potential drivers.
Can you give me a podium prediction for Finland?
The local drivers Hirvonen and Latvala will obviously be making the pace, but I don't think that Petter and Chris will be far away.