Wednesday | 12 Nov 2014

Wales Rally GB Fighting Talk: 2

A second round-up of WRC driver quotes ahead of this week’s season ending Wales Rally GB.

Elfyn Evans, Ford Fiesta RS (above): “I learnt how to drive a rally car in the Welsh forests.”
“The event itinerary and the route look really good so I think it’s going to be an exciting weekend. To have the opportunity to drive a world rally car for the first time so close to home will be a fantastic feeling. The stages themselves aren’t overly technical; the challenge comes from the changeable conditions. I learnt how to drive a rally car in the Welsh forests and I’ve always really enjoyed driving there. There will be a lot of competitive drivers at this event so I think we need to be realistic. We were eighth here last year, so it would be good to better that – although it would be nice to be at the higher end of the top-eight.”

Jari-Matti Latvala, Volkswagen Polo R: “It’s the perfect way to end the season,”
“Last year I finished runner-up behind Sébastien. I want to go one better this time around. That would be a really nice way to end the season. I like the Rally Great Britain because it is so demanding. The special stages are very quick and demand a flowing driving style. They head through forests, in which there is often a lot of fog, which hampers vision. It rains a lot there at this time of year, which often makes the gravel roads into a real mud-bath. We have even had snow on one occasion in the past. It’s is the perfect way to end the season.”

Hayden Paddon, Hyundai i20: "We're certainly comfortable in wet gravel conditions."
“Last time we did the event in 2012 it was based in mid-south Wales, where now it is more in the north where we don’t have as much experience on the stages. Having said that, a wet Welsh forestry road is not too dissimilar to a wet Berwick forestry during Rally Otago at home, so we’re certainly comfortable in wet gravel conditions. The last few events we have been able to set some good stage times. We would like to string that all together to go for a good result in this event. The weather can play a big part and our road position on day one will either be an advantage, if dry, or disadvantage if wet. But I think we can be up amongst the top five and that’s what we will push for.”

Mads Østberg, Citroen DS3: “The aim is the podium again.”
“It’s a rally that I really enjoy and that I look forward to every year. It’s a difficult rally. Bad weather and fog can add other risks. Starting with recce, we increase the details in the pace notes so we can maintain high speeds even when visibility is poor. The aim is to finish on the podium again. We have always been on the pace on gravel. So it’s up to us to round off the season with a good result. And I know that the DS3 WRC is fast!”

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