Tuesday | 19 Aug 2014

Rallye Deutschland: Fighting Talk Part 1

Here’s our first collection of quotes from the WRC drivers ahead of this week's ADAC Rallye Deutschland (21-24 August)

‘It’s like my home rally’
Thierry Neuville – Hyundai Motorsport.
“Rallye Deutschland is like my home rally; there will be a lot of Belgian fans – including my family and friends - spectating out in the stages and I’m really looking forward to it as it will be the first time with the Hyundai i20 WRC on tarmac. I feel very comfortable on asphalt so I really want to do well in this event and help the team, as always, to make progress with the car. To succeed at Rallye Deutschland you need to be smooth and precise with your driving on the twisty roads. We have done some good testing ahead of the event where we worked hard on finding a good set-up.”

‘You need to be really brave’
Mikko Hirvonen - M-Sport World Rally Team.
“I really enjoyed the Fiesta in the tricky conditions in 2011 so it will be good to see how it handles on asphalt this year. There’s no getting away from the fact that Germany is a challenging event. The grip levels are constantly changing and you have to understand the road and the changes in conditions. As we saw last year, it can sometimes be a rally of survival, but finding the right balance between survival and setting the good times is really tricky. Even if it’s dry, we need to remember that we are rallying through working vineyards so there is always a lot of gravel on the road. Then when it rains, a lot of mud gets pulled out from the cuts. The biggest challenge is being committed through the cuts. You need to be really brave and have complete trust in your car and your safety crew. Thankfully, my safety crew have done a fantastic job for me this year.
 We’ve been hoping to be on the podium at every event this year but for various reasons it hasn’t quite come together. We know it will be tough, but if everything comes together and we can be up there fighting, it would be absolutely perfect.”

‘I have everything I need to do well here’
Kris Meeke - Citroën Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team
“I haven’t competed in an all-tarmac rally for three years, but it all comes back to you quickly, it’s like riding a bike! I know that the DS3 WRC is competitive and that team knows the rally perfectly. I have everything I need to do well here. I have some very fond memories of competing here in the C2 Super 1600 and of my experience in the WRC in 2011. There are three very different types of road. The pace is constantly changing. I’ll have to get to grips with some things in the DS3 WRC, but I hope I can pick up where I left off in Finland.”

‘It’s important to make amends’
Sébastien Ogier - Volkswagen Motorsport
“We want to continue the success we have enjoyed so far this season. And it is also important to make amends for last year’s miserable result by winning this time around. We have already tested successfully on asphalt this year. This surface also suits the Polo R WRC, so we believe we will be very quick. We have a great chance to successfully defend our World Championship title in Germany, and are determined to take this opportunity. The entire team is under greater pressure at its home event than at other rallies, but that can also be an advantage, as you are generally more focussed under these circumstances. Whatever happens, the Rally Germany will not be a stroll in the park. We also have some real asphalt specialists in the field – including Thierry Neuville, who was in contention here last year. I believe Hyundai will be very strong. And I will also be keeping an eye on Kris Meeke. He was damn quick in Finland and is very good on asphalt.”

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