Our second selection of quotes from the top drivers ahead of Coates Hire Rally Australia
Mads Ostberg, Citroen DS3: ‘Narrow sections are challenging’
“We’ll have to contend with many different conditions, the kind of mixed road surfaces you also get in Mexico, Sardinia and Finland. The narrow sections are really challenging as the trees are so close to the racing line that you get the impression that they are actually on the road in some places. No-one has a great deal of experience here, so that may work in our favour.”
Sébastien Ogier, Volkswagen Polo R: ‘Rallye Deutschland is behind us’
“I love the layout of the special stages and always feel good Down Under. 2013 was almost perfect for Julien and me - 19 best times on 22 special stages. Naturally we want to repeat that this year. Rallye Deutschland is behind us and we’re looking ahead. We secured the drivers’ title for Volkswagen in Germany, but not the manufacturers’ championship. That’s definitely the goal for Australia.”
Chris Atkinson, Hyundai i20: ‘Target is to be consistent’
“Your home event is always special and the fact I haven’t done it for a few years makes it even more significant. Since my last rally in Mexico in March I’ve not done much racing, which is unfortunate because nothing beats time in the car. My target is to be consistent and be in the fight for a good result, but I’m not underestimating how difficult it will be to be on the pace after six months away."
Elfyn Evans, Ford Fiesta RS: ‘No margin for error’
“It’s another new event for us so the focus will be back on learning the stages and gaining as much experience as we can for next year. I watch the organisers’ videos as much as possible to get a feel for the stages but there really is nothing like the first-hand experience of returning to an event for the second or third time. It looks as though there will be no margin for error, especially in the tighter sections through the forests."
Robert Kubica, Ford Fiesta RS: ‘Made big progression’
“I don’t know much about this rally, but I’m looking forward to discovering the event for myself and seeing what we can do out there. I’m coming back to this surface with much better spirits than we had for the gravel events at the beginning of the year. We’ve made some big progression. We saw in Germany that the gap to the leaders on Tarmac was generally similar to that on gravel and I think that proves that my driving on this surface has improved a lot.”