INterviews with the winners of 2015 Rally Poland

Results:

1st – Sébastien Ogier, Volkswagen Motorsport
1st – Julien Ingrassia, Volkswagen Motorsport
2nd – Andreas Mikkelsen, Volkswagen Motorsport II
2nd – Ola Floene, Volkswagen Motorsport II
3rd – Ott Tanak, M-Sport World Rally Team
3rd – Raigo Molder, M-Sport World Rally Team
Jost Capito, Team Principal, Volkswagen Motorsport

Q:
Seb, number one in Poland and you started first on the road for two days. What a great victory!
SO:
I feel good, of course, like after every victory. It might be my 29th win, but still I enjoy it the same way. I love the taste of victory and the win this weekend did not come so easy. There was a lot of pressure on me. I drove at the maximum all the time, especially on Saturday. I hoped to have some rally cars in front of me but that was not the case this weekend. It’s not the hardest rally to open the road, because it is fast. But it’s still not so easy.

Q:
It was such a fast rally. The speeds were incredible…
SO:
Yes, incredible. We saw on the recce how fast it was, but it was more than I expected during the race. It is a fantastic feeling to drive on these roads at this speed. Some friends were telling me that they watched the live stage on the television feed and we were faster than the helicopter! It must be great footage. Believe me, it is the same sensation in car.

Q:
Did you make no mistakes at all this weekend?
SO:
Let’s say my main mistake was the tyre choice a little bit. Every day was a problem, yesterday was not good and Friday was, well, not perfect. I was thinking to myself at service that Andreas was wrong and I was right. But it was the opposite at the end. We were lucky not to lose so much time. Today was a little easier. The pressure was not there. I had to continue the same way and make no mistakes and that’s what we have done. I just told Ott that he was a bit slow in the Power Stage! One-tenth of a second is nothing. I was lucky to get the extra point. That was the cherry on the cake again. I would have been quite happy with 25 points, but 28 is even better. It is looking fantastic in terms of the gap in the championship. With six rallies to go, we have a three race advantage.

Q:
Julien, you are a co-driver and must have done the maths. When can you win the championship?
JI:
We cannot predict what happens with the other guys and we take it rally after rally. Finland is on our radar, Germany will be a special target also this year and Volkswagen is sure to be preparing something for Australia.

Q:
It’s a nice way to end with victory before the break?
JI:
May and June were hard months with difficult rallies. We are very happy to have a break. It’s good to have a few days of summer in front of us to enjoy the points in our pocket. It is not in our spirit to say it is done. We will take rally after rally.

Q:
We saw a superb pace from you in Poland and you have second overall?
AM:
I am happy with the weekend and my peformance and the performance of Ola. It was the best ever perhaps. We had a good pace over three days and were challenging a double World Champion and were close several times. I hope that the first win is not too far away. Second is a good result and probably the best I have ever done.

Q:
What was the plan this morning?
AM:
Of course, I knew it was possible to get second on these roads. I pushed but it was not enough with normal driving. I needed a small mistake from Seb. After the first run I was a bit too cautious in a narrow section and did not want to take the risk of flat-out. Seb did an amazing job on this rally. Big respect to him. I need a perfect rally to beat him. Over three days it is not easy.

Q:
Does this result give you confidence before Finland?
AM:
I hope so. Poland was a new event last year and we see with the new events we are fighting. Finland is an older rally and it is different. We do not have the experience on these stages. I hope to perform well and challenge for the podium.

Q:
Ola, did the pace notes work well?
OF:
For me, I feel this rally was more difficult than Finland because there you have forests and here you have open air and you need to be precise. I needed to get used to the speed on Friday morning and I admit it was a small shock on the first stage.

Q:
Third overall and your first podium this season. You seemed to be very happy at the finish?
OT:
Thanks, I feel so good after this rally and am pleased for my team. Basically I know how small our team is and how much we put into this project, developing this new car and it’s paying good dividends now.

Q:
You said before the start you were going to give it a proper go!
OT:
I am sure that this is the first event where we have been really competitive. It was difficult in the beginning of the season. I had one year off and, this year, the WRC is getting better all the time. Portugal was okay, we retired from third in Sardinia and here we are on the podium. This means a lot to me. For Malcolm (Wilson) to offer a drive to someone who has not been driving for a year was brave. He knew me from 2012 when I had problems, but he believed in me and I have big respect for him and am very thankful. I want more podiums. The same dark blue horses (Volkswagens) are pretty fast. I just need to do the same job and keep improving.

Q:
Raigo, congratulations on your first WRC podium.
RM:
I have never been so happy. It is an amazing feeing and I enjoyed this event. I feel really good to be honest. It’s the best weekend ever.

Q:
Did you feel any pressure for the fight this morning?
RM:
No I knew we could do it. I do my job, Ott does his job. From my point, this rally is similar to Estonia and Latvia and good for me.

Q:
Ott, did you feel any pressure?
OT:
We had some pressure and I was not sure before the stage if I could do it. Buit I thought it’s been a really good rally so far and we have put in a lot of effort and I thought give it a good push and whatever comes will happen. Finally it paid off.

Q:
Jost, a Volkswagen one-two and some of the best battles for a long time for all three podium positions?
JC:
I think we had exciting action for three days. All the stages were really exciting and I think it shows how goods the sport is right now and how close the cars and drivers are. It gets better from rally to rally.

Q:
Jari-Matti was fourth and fighting for the podium, but he slipped off the road. What did you say to him afterwards?
JC:
I have not seen him before the podium. I will have a talk with him tonight. We could not believe it on TV. Normally we see the colour changing for the GPS signal and there we saw it happening on television. We said ‘is that really Jari-Matti?’. We did not say to him to take it safe. It was the same as we say to Seb and Andreas. Go for the result. Things like that can happen. The four sitting here were oustanding. All four of them made no mistakes. There were lots of stages and long days and they all delivered a great performance over four days. They are the best in the world right now. It’s a fantastic event. The location is very nice and the area here is great. I took a motorbike out in the country and saw all the great roads and small lakes. There are lots of fans and enthusiasts. So much so that they even stand in forbidden areas… They have lots of enthusiasm. It is a nice rally.

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