The Manufacturers‚Äô Championship is still to play for on this final round, and both Citroen and Ford absolutely want it so will be pushing hard. The Ford is remarkably good in the expected conditions, as are their drivers Hirvonen and Latvala so they‚Äôll be fast for sure.‚Äù
On what will be their 125th WRC event together with the Subaru World Rally Team, Petter Solberg believes his excellent working relationship with co-driver Phil Mills is critical to their success on this event.
‚ÄúI like the rally a lot and we‚Äôre normally fast when it‚Äôs foggy or raining with lots of mud so I‚Äôm looking forward to it‚Äù said Petter Solberg. ‚ÄúI think pace notes play a huge part here. It‚Äôs about perfection with the notes and the way Phil gives them and helps with judging distances when visibility is poor. That‚Äôs where he is very strong. In the past we‚Äôve generally always been fighting for a win or fighting at the top here. We had some good speed on Saturday and Sunday in Japan which gives us a positive going into GB. There are still a few little things we need to work on for sure, but there was another small improvement with the car in the last test.‚Äù
‚ÄúGB is one of the trickiest rallies and one that takes probably a few years to get used to, but last year we had some good speed there‚Äù said Chris Atkinson. ‚ÄúI‚Äôm still cautious as it‚Äôs hard to know after a one day test where you really stand and we‚Äôve got a few things still to sort out, but if you have confidence you can go a long way in the tricky conditions. Especially this year with some new stages I think confidence is the most important thing. It‚Äôs obviously quite difficult driving in fog, and there‚Äôs a fair chance of it being icy as well so they‚Äôll be some of the most tricky and unpredictable conditions we‚Äôve driven in. We‚Äôll go there with the strategy that we‚Äôll drive as fast as we can from the start, as we always do. I don‚Äôt think only having a remote service on the first day will have much impact on that strategy though as if you have a problem on any rally you‚Äôre usually out of the running anyway.‚Äù