WRC Sweden: Preview Quotes

By on Wednesday, February 9, 2011

WRC Sweden starts tomorrow and it kick starts the motorsport season. Here are some preview quotes:

Sebastien Loeb: “The most common surface in the world championship is gravel, that’s where the title will be decided. In testing I felt more at home on gravel than on snow. While it wouldn’t be very good to be two seconds off the pace of our rivals [in Sweden], the first rally isn’t the most important one of the season.

“In Sweden you cannot judge the level of the car for the season because it’s a specific rally. In Mexico [venue of round two in early March] it’s also specific because of the altitude. I think Portugal will be when we know the level of each car, each driver.”

Sebastien Ogier: “It’s an event I really know very little about, as I’ve only done it once, in 2009. I’m expecting a fairly difficult race, but I know that the season is long, and that the outcome of the championship won’t be decided on snow.”

Mads Ostberg: “Even though I have got to know the Fiesta S2000 on the first two rounds of the Norwegian championship, I think the Fiesta RS WRC will be almost the same but only with more power. Sweden is one of my favourite rallies with fast and flowing roads and I believe we can make a good show at our home event.”

Henning Solberg: “Snow is where I feel most comfortable in a rally car so Sweden is a perfect event for me to start in the new Fiesta RS WRC. I really enjoyed driving the Fiesta S2000 last year and I have a good feeling that everything will work just as nicely with the new car. For sure, the Fiesta S2000 helped my confidence and has given me a lot of good experience.”

Matthew Wilson: “We’re starting with one of the quickest rallies of the year so the challenge will be to get up to speed straight away on the first day. Of course that is going to be very difficult as we’ve got a totally new car but I’ve been lucky enough to do a lot of testing in the Fiesta RS WRC, which should definitely help. Sweden is definitely one of my more favoured events because of the incredible high speeds but this year is going to be a leap into the unknown for everyone. I don’t think any amount of testing will fully prepare us for what’s in store.”

Dennis Kuipers: “Sweden requires a specific approach. For my Scandinavian colleagues, driving on snow is second nature. But I come from the Netherlands. We only get snow occasionally, so I sought other possibilities for training.”

Ken Block: “The car has exceeded my expectations. I didn’t really know what to think with the 1.6-litre turbo and the type of power it had but coming from driving the S2000 [Fiesta] I’m very happy to say it’s very quick. It has a lot of capabilities but I’m braking way too early and I’m not on the gas enough. I’m just trying to figure it out. It’s part of the fun but it will take a lot of miles before I can drive this thing to the limit.”

Khalid Al Qassimi: “I can’t wait for the season to start and I’m really looking forward to driving the new car in Sweden. It’s completely different to anything I’ve driven in WRC before. It should be an interesting experience and a fresh challenge. This season we have high hopes to improve and make a real impact on the championship.”

Petter Solberg: “It’s not perfect that we have not done much testing but that’s the part of the game that I have no choice in so I have to live with it and perform the best we can. I think this season will be a great success, there are a lot of new rules and the competition will be closer than ever and hopefully it will bring more manufacturers in. We had a top three finish in the championship last year and I was very happy with that because the team did an unbelievable job. I’m trying whatever I can and fighting with the big boys.”

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