Rally Finland

FIA World Rally Championship, round 9
FIA Post-event Press Conference, 20.8.200
Winner: Marcus Gronholm/Timo Rautiainen, Peugeot
Second: Colin McRae/Nicky Grist, Ford
Third: Harri Rovanpera/Risto Pietilainen

MG: I think the first one is always the best, but this one is for me very close to the first event. I am very happy.

MG: Yes, there were a lot of people there in the stages, probably more than ever in the forests. It was nice to see lots of people waving hands and flags.

MG: It is to early to speak about the World Championship, We still have five events to go, and Cyprus is a new rally, OK it's the same for everybody. Then we go to Corsica, and I've never been there, so it's not so easy. We'll have to see what happens there and calculate the points.

MG: No! Not yet. Maybe if the situation is like this with two rallies to go.

CM: We've been very close the whole event. And it's an event where you need to know the stages and have the confidence to push. If you push too hard in the beginning, you can make a mistake. We were just going along as quickly as we could on the 'safe side' of the flat-out line. The last stage we had done before so I felt more confident we could push a bit harder,

CM: I wouldn't say it's not my favourite event, I enjoy it very much, but it's never been kind to me in the past. But it is a very, very tough event and I enjoy it. And hopefully we can come back again and win it.

HR: This year is the first time in this rally I had a car that's working well all the time. This time for all three days I was quite close to the top three all the time, well, Marcus and Richard were a different speed.

HR: That is not so easy to explain! We started the first stages this morning with our start times in the wrong places. Risto corrected it, but the people there they don't know what to do next because everything was in the wrong places, and pages. So there was a big casino there, and somewhere it comes that our time is two minutes late. Anyway this question is now finished and we got a 10 second penalty.

HR: Yes we are hopeful of that, but also next weekend and next month.

Of course it is a great feeling, so nice to drive in the forests and see all the spectators waving arms like in Italy or Spain or something where all the public are on the roads. I have to admit the feeling of winning our first event in Sweden is a feeling that I'll never forget. This is almost like Sweden!

NG: We've yet to test in Cyprus, I believe all the other teams have been there. I think we're all going to find some new problems, find a new set-up, find out how the car is going to react. We really don't know who can win, or who has the possibilities to win. This is the second time we've finished second to Marcus, and I hope that in the next rally he'll finish second to us! I think it's going to be a fabulous end to the championship. This event for us was probably not going to be one of our strongest, so to get six points has set the championship up perfectly, and I think from here on in - other than Cyprus which we don't know about - we've got a very good chance of pulling off a number of victories before the end of the year.

RP: You ask if the public is looking for new heroes? They have one: Mr Rovanpera...

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Gronholm wins Rally Finland
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