The race went without problems and bigger mistakes from the start to the finish. That is the reason it ended in the best possible way. On Friday morning my rhythm was not the best possible but because I was the seventh car on the road that gave me an advantage and I led the race right after the first stages. In the afternoon my driving got better but I couldn’t make much difference between myself and Sebastien Loeb and Mikko Hirvonen. On the last stage of the day the boys eased their pace to get better position to drive on Saturday but the team told me to drive flat out to the finish. I was leading Mikko by about 40 seconds and Loeb 43 seconds. On Friday evening one thought game to my mind after a long time: “we have a possibility to win this rally”. On Saturday I was the first car on the road and I knew I have to drive fast and without mistakes to keep my fellow competitors behind me. In the morning I drove without mistakes and the gap between Mikko and me only got 13 seconds smaller so I was still leading him by 27 seconds before the afternoon stages. In the afternoon the race got harder though and even I had to try as hard as I could; and I drove one corner too long. Loeb had a puncture and lost one minute, but Hirvonen drove avoiding all mistakes and was now only about ten seconds behind me. On Sunday I concentrated on my own driving and didn’t pay any attention to Mikko’s attack that’s the way I tried to avoid making mistakes. But there was a surprise for all of us waiting on Sunday’s stages: the dust. I was the only one who didn’t have any problems with the dust because I was the first car on the road. Hirvonen couldn’t attack in the dust and I made the gap between us bigger. When the difference was over 30 seconds I knew it would be enough for the victory. And no order came from the team before the last stage although it might have helped Mikko in the battle of the title so all I had to do was to drive the last stage to the finish and the victory would be mine. That last stage felt so long and difficult when we knew that the victory was so close but luckily everything went well and we won the race after one and a half years. Hirvonen was second. One-two positions were very important for the team after such a difficult start of the season.
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