Wednesday | 04 Jun 2014

Italy countdown: fighting talk part one

The WRC drivers are gearing up for the start of Rally Italia Sardegna tomorrow. Here’s the first part of our guide to what they’ve been saying as they make their final preparations:

Kris Meeke  (Citroen DS3 WRC) ‘I hope to keep this positive momentum’
“We were very much on the pace during day one in Argentina – I hope we’ll have the same speed in Sardinia. I have to keep this positive momentum going into Rally Poland so that I can head into the second half of the season, where I know the events better, full of confidence.”

Mads Ostberg (Citroen DS3 WRC) – ‘I think we can be fast in Sardinia’
“I think we can be fast in Sardinia and I have quite a lot of experience at the event. I’m going to push a bit harder from the start to try to get among the frontrunners. The target, as always, is to finish on the podium but I’m hoping to mix it with the leaders.”

Mikko Hirvonen (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) ‘I know we have the pace’
“I know that we have the pace, we just need to ensure that we avoid any mistakes and pull everything together. “It’s difficult to read the stages and see which way the road is going which inevitably makes your recce and pace notes all the more important. Thankfully, I’m really confident in my notes and that should hopefully play to our advantage.”

Ogier (left) and Latvala expect to be fighting each other in Sardinia

Sebastien Ogier (VW Polo R WRC) ‘I have a good chance of winning’

“As first out onto the stages on Friday, it may be particularly difficult for Julien and me on the loose sand, but I still think I have a good chance of winning. I have always felt very comfortable in Sardinia and my results have always been good here. As of late, my toughest rival will be my team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala.”

Jari-Matti Latvala (VW Polo R WRC) ‘I travel to Italy full of confidence’

“After my win in Argentina, I obviously travel to Italy full of confidence and with my sights set on challenging for another victory. My goal is to finish in the top three. There is little room for drifting, so we will have to be careful and not apply too much pressure at the start.”

Thierry Neuville (Hyundai i20 WRC) ‘We will make the most of this event’
“We had a good result here last year and we know the event quite well now having contested it three times previously. We will make the most of this event to continue building the experience together with the team and we will look at bringing home some positives from Italy for the remainder of the season.”

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