After the recce the weather started to cool down so much that there was snow on Friday’s stages 1/5 and 3/7. It worried us a bit but on Thursday night we heard that they had cancelled stage 3/7 because of bad conditions and that stage 1/5 was okay to drive. This made us feel a bit more relieved while thinking of the start the next morning. The first stage on Friday morning reminded of an RAC Rally from the 80’s because of muddy roads and snow on the banks. My rhythm was a little lost but when coming to the first service of the day I was second after Mikko Hirvonen who was leading the race. A moment of horror hit us in the afternoon when Francois Duval drove off the road hitting an iron pole and his co-driver Patrick Privato hurt himself badly. It sure made us think and it made us quiet. Some stages were cancelled after the accident which is why we drove only about 60 kilometers on Friday. I started Saturday morning in the second position, Mikko was leading and Sebastien was third breathing on my neck only 4.4 seconds behind me. The roads on Saturday suited me better and I managed to increase my lead to Sebastien by 50 seconds. I also caught Mikko by ten seconds. Mikko’s lead was now 15.5 seconds. On Sunday the conditions were probably the most difficult throughout my whole career. It was raining cats and dogs gathering mud and making huge pools on the roads. But all that seemed to suit me since I got closer to Mikko. I was only 4.9 seconds behind him when the team decided to freeze the situation. After that we just drove wisely to the finish, Mikko and I, and got a one-two result in the rally. Sebastien was third and made sure even before the last round in Wales that he wins the title fifth time in a row.

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