Sébastien Ogier, [pictured] Polo R WRC: ‘We now have a realistic chance to secure the title’
“Whereas it was only really a theoretical chance in Germany, we now have a realistic opportunity to secure the title with races to spare. In Australia it is, to a much greater degree, in our own hands. I would like to win both the rally and the closing Power Stage. That is my goal. And the advantage is that I really like the Rally Australia. The special stages are very quick and very demanding. We are well prepared for this challenge. I am looking forward to this rally.”
Mikko Hirvonen, Citroen DS3 WRC: ‘a second win for Citroen is the aim’
“It’s true that I’ve enjoyed a lot of success here. This year, my aim is to secure a second consecutive win for Citroën. That’s definitely what we need to aim for if we want to close the gap to the leaders in the Manufacturers’ World Championship. Our good result in Germany hasn’t changed our preparation for Australia, but the momentum gained from winning has boosted the confidence of every member of the team.”
Mads Ostberg, Ford Fiesta RS WRC: ‘The stages should suit me’
“It’s always a big challenge going to a new event. We’ll try to gather as much information as possible, but you can never know what the conditions are like until you are actually there. We just need to keep an open mind and concentrate on having a really good recce. Jonas [Andersson, co-driver] and I are used to making new pacenotes, so hopefully it won’t be too much of an issue for us.
“Also, from what I have seen and heard about the stages, I think they will suit my driving style. The gravel roads are very fast and flowing – which I like – so who knows, maybe it could be a perfect rally for us!”
Kris Meeke, Citroen DS3 WRC: ‘It’s a big responsibility’
“The end result at my last rally was frustrating, but I’m heading for Australia to finish the job! It’s a big responsibility to be promoted to the works team, and I have to finish the rally in a good position to score points for Citroën. I’m not expecting it to be an easy week. This is my first time in Australia – in fact, this is my first WRC rally outside of Europe! But I know I can count on the support of the team and on the qualities of the DS3 WRC. I feel almost as though I’m part of this car and I can’t wait to get out there in it on the Australian roads!”
Evgeny Novikov, Ford Fiesta RS WRC: ‘Ilka’s experience will be a benefit’
“I competed in Australia in 2011 and the stages are very fast and slippery. The last time we were there the weather was quite bad on the first two days so it was very difficult, but this year I think it will be a bit better.
“Road position will be important so we need to make sure we have a good run through the Qualifying stage. The stages can be very slippery so having a clean road will be a big advantage. I am very fortunate to have Ilka [Minor, co-driver] next to me. This will be her sixth time competing in Australia and she has been on the podium twice. There is no question that her experience will be a benefit.”