David Higgins and Ieuan Thomas are back in China this weekend to begin their defence of the teams' title for the WY Rally Team at the opening round of the Chinese Rally Championship, the Mohe Rally.
When the event last ran in 2008 it had to be cancelled due to the high speeds the drivers were achieving on the stages. But as David explains, things could not be more different this year.
"We are told the Hei Longjiang region where the rally is held is under a blanket of snow at the moment," said David. "It's in quite a remote area of China so it will probably take us a long time to get there, and when we do arrive, the temperature is said to be around minus 25. I have won two snow rallies before, but this will be my first on studded tyres. I'm expecting it to be a very difficult event for us."
Regardless of the conditions, David is excited at the prospect of competing in anger in his new Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X for the first time and working with a new engineer, and there are other changes afoot in China this year too.
"We think we are the only foreign team which has been retained for the 2010 China season," said David. "There will be a few new faces taking part, but they are people we have met before on the stages, so we hope we can beat them.
“PWRC driver Patrik Flodin joins the Honghe team, former JWRC champion Patrik Sandell joins the Subaru China team, and myb rother Mark joins KST."
The event, which takes place on 12 - 14 March, features a super special on the Friday night, four stages on Saturday and two on Sunday.