Rally New Zealand: three questions to Olivier Quesnel
"Loeb is as motivated as ever to win his seventh world title"
Rally Turkey was a very exciting event to follow and the pace wasn’t dictated by the usual
questions of strategy. Are you happy about this?
“It’s absolutely true. This rally was run in perfect sporting conditions. I think it’s what the teams, drivers, media and the spectators prefer. Rally Jordan showed the limits of the regulations! Malcolm Wilson, the Ford team manager and I concluded a gentleman’s agreement not to have drivers clocking in in advance so that they would sweep the road. The Stewards of the Meeting of Rally Turkey also made it clear that any manoeuvres harming the image of the sport would be penalised. All this allowed us to have a great weekend in terms of sport. We’ll see what happens in New Zealand where the positions on the road could be crucial.”
How would you judge the Citroën drivers’ start to the season?
“With 93 points scored out of a possible 100, Sébastien Loeb is true to himself! People often ask him if he’s not a bit blasé but I can tell you that he’s as motivated as ever to win his seventh world title on the trot! Dani Sordo’s results are a bit more irregular. I hope he’s got the monkey off his back for the season and that he’ll make his usual contribution to the team. His retirement in Turkey is a perfect illustration of his lack of success. All the leading drivers went off in the same spot, but he was the only one who damaged his car. In each rally we’ve been surprised by Sébastien Ogier’s continually improving performances. He just gets on with the job, listens, learns and progresses in each rally. It won’t be long before he scores his first victory! I’m also very happy with Kimi Räikkönen’s progress. He’s slotted into the team very well and he’s had two good races in Jordan and Turkey. That’ll help give him confidence for the second part of the season.”
Yesterday, the FIA published the 2011 World Championship calendar. What do you think of it?
“It’s a coherent and interesting that includes car markets that are important for Citroën. We’re happy to see the return of historic rallies like Greece and Argentina and the fact that the French round has been kept. We’ve also noted the fact that the FIA reserves itself the right to add a fourteenth round to the calendar, and it would be a nice surprise if it were to happen.”
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