March 16th to 19th 2023

‘MEET THE CREWS’ – SHAKEDOWN

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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, fastest this morning. How was everything feeling with the Toyota Yaris on shakedown?

KM:

It felt nice. It’s always a bit of a wake-up call, the first pass in México. Whatever testing you can do, it never replicates what you see and feel here. Everything felt flat this morning. It felt slippery, no power, bla, bla. That’s Rally México with the altitude and the temperatures. But the feeling in the car was quite okay.Shakedown here is a bit tricky and different to the rally, so it’s nice to have a good feeling.

Q:

We saw Ott Tänak at the side of the road on shakedown. Does that give you any concerns? It was a sensor issue from what we know now. What more can you tell us?

KM:

I have no idea to be honest. I saw him stopped to be honest. It’s a concern for the team but, sometimes, I look after my own side of the fence and everything is working well for me. I’m happy.

Q:

You know what it takes to win here. We saw that in 2017 with the win and a podium last year. Is confidence high that you can head for the top step of the podium?

KM:

It’s my first event in the new Yaris on gravel. There’s always that level of anticipation. I don’t know how the car is going to react in certain places. I understand my previous car. This is going to be different. Our start position of fourth on the road is not bad. There are a few guys at the back who could spring a surprise on day one. It’s a place I enjoy. If the feeling is good, let’s see what we can do.

Q:

Andreas, what can we see you do here? We saw some competitive times in Sweden. How is the feeling on gravel? Are you feeling good?

AM:

I have to say the feeling was quite good and I felt confident on the first pass. Compared to last year, I think the Hyundai has a more competitive package. We changed our test location and some of the struggles we had last year are better now. I am positive and looking foward to pushing to the maximum tomorrow.

Q:

What does it feel like to be back here? There is always a unique atmosphere here. It’s a special place?

AM:

There are a lot of people and it is still only Thursday. We will try and deliver a great show for the people during the weekend. We will try and push the limits to the maximum and give the spectators what they paid for.

Q:

Thierry, you are celebrating a certain milestone this weekend – 100 events  – this is number 100. It would be great to walk away with the win. It can be won from second on the road. It has been done before. Are you feeling confident?

 

TN:

I need to be confident. It’s part of our game to be confident from the beginning. I always expect the best. It’s a tricky and challenging event with hot temperatures and high altitude. There are some tough stages, especially on the second pass. We need to get all the things together to be in a good place at the end of the rally.

Q:

We start tonight in Guanajuato. It’s a short stage but you still need to be careful on it, right?

TN:

It is always good to have a good opening of the rally but it is quite a narrow stage. Last year was more tricky. But the shorter version is quite okay. You still need to be careful. You can still lose time and make small mistakes. I know from my experience that I have always been quite good in there.

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