The race started on Friday with night stages which brought some change into a traditional tarmac event. In the dark one had to concentrate more carefully. On tarmac the car went pretty straight so the extra lights stayed steady. It seemed that everybody’s lights were set up perfectly because almost no differences occurred. Sebastien Ogier took the first place, I was second and Dani Sordo third. The second day in bright daylight was track race as its best. The narrow tarmac roads in Spain were like a race track. The differences between us drivers stayed small. Sebastien Ogier had a puncture on stage seven so he lost about a minute. At that point I took the lead which I kept the rest of the day. Dani Sordo was second (only 1.6 seconds behind me) and Thierry Neuville was third. The last day was driven on gravel which forced me, who was leading, to sweep loose gravel off the roads while I was going first on the stages. Normally the driving order in gravel events was reversed but this was not the case in Spain. I started my day thinking that I would not let the loose gravel bother me and my driving was good but Sebastien Ogier, who was fourth, practically flew behind me (of course the roads were cleaner for him than for me). He kept on catching me but I could keep the others behind. The three last stages were driven twice and I knew they would be cleaner but it still was not at all easy to keep Ogier behind me. Everything seemed to be okay in the afternoon but at the end part of the third last stage I started to experience some brake problems. More problems appeared on the second last stage and finally there was also a fuel leak which started a fire under the hood. Luckily the organizers had a fire extinguisher and we managed to put the fire out. On the road section we were able to fix the fuel hose (loose clip) but the brake problems stayed. Later we found out that the right caliper did not get any brake fluid so the car was stopped by only three of the brakes. I could not drive fast the last stage because the car was difficult to brake which gave Ogier a chance to overtake me. I kept the second place and Mikko Hirvonen was finally the third after an even performance. I felt disappointed because I could not win the race but winning the manufacturer’s title gave me comfort.
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