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sphakedown-chris

‘Meet the Crews’ –  Shakedown, 14.20hr

Thursday, September 12th, 2019

 

Present:

1st Kris Meeke – Toyota Gazoo World Rally Team

2nd Andreas Mikkelsen – Hyundai Shell Mobis World Rally Team

3rd Thierry Neuville – Hyundai Shell Mobis World Rally Team

 

Q:

Kris, you did not compete here last year. A good run out on shakedown this morning. How are you feeling ahead of the rally?

 

KM:

To be honest, it has been about finding the right rhythm between speed and trying not to put too much hurt into the car. It felt good in shakedown. You always question when you are fastest like that whether you are going a little bit too fast. The car seems fine and the shakedown was particularly rough. There is no bedrock between the stones and it just went deeper and deeper. For sure, some of the rally will be like that, but not all. It will be a big challenge this weekend.

 

Q:

How do you balance between pace and patience?

 

KM:

That’s experience. You can be unlucky. It’s a rally where so many stones are pulled out of the ground. It just takes one car to pull a stone out the size of a football and there is nothing you can do. You can be as clean and tidy as possible but, alot of the time, you are in the hands of the gods.

 

Q:

You have a secret weapon in the car this weekend. Seb Marshall was on the podium last year. Has he been giving you advice?

 

KM:

Not so much. He was a bit pissed that we had to write a whole new set of pace notes. When you recce in these conditions, he has been writing everything at night. He has been a busy boy. Let’s say to be on the podium on Sunday afternoon would be nice.

 

Q:

Andreas, we saw great pace from you here last year. It didn’t go the way you wanted it in the end. Are you confident going in, knowing that you can deliver speed here?

 

AM:

Yes, I think speed is not really the case here. You have to be clever in the way that you approach this rally. I think speed is something that everyone will come out with on the first pass and then people will play it a bit clever or unclever on the second pass. It is a rough rally. There is no question about that. After seeing how muh trouble people had last year, everyone will go into this year knowing the real tough sections. You never know. I enjoy it and I think we have a very strong car, which suits these conditions very well. My feeling on gravel is great. We have a great opportunity to do well and our starting position is good.

 

Q:

A tough challenge all round or is there a particular day or stage that stands out?

 

AM:

I think the most rough stage is stage six. The second pass of the long stage will be tough. It was tough last year. For me, that is the roughest stage and the one to look out for.

 

Q:

Thierry, we are getting to the business end of the year now. How are you feeling coinfidenc-wise? Can you stop (Ott) Tänak on his constant win assault?

 

TN:

I don’t have the answer to your question now. I would like to say yes. That is our main target. If you are not confident now, we already lost. I am sure we can do well this weekend. We had great speed here last year and a good car. We all know the reason it didn’t happen for the win last year. We are back again with similar roads, same car. So why would it not work this year?

 

Q:

On rallies like this, will you consider taking any extra parts on the car this weekend?

 

TN:

Obviously it is the roughest event in the season. The engineers have worked out a tool kit and a spare parts kit with some parts which could, maybe, be used here more than other events. I don’r want to say which parts, because there are too many, but we did some training on the car yesterday night. The goal for us will be not to work on the car and to have a proper result.

MARMARIS WEATHER

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