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Wilson expects level playing field

8 September 2011

Matthew Wilson says he expects the 2011 running of Rally Australia to be a close run affair with the event moving to Coffs Harbour for the tenth round of the WRC season.

The event will be the first to feature a completely new set of stages since France last year, with Wilson one of three M-Sport Stobart Ford drivers set to take part.

The Briton has scored in seven of the nine events run so far and heads to Australia now seeking to better his previous best of sixth place having been nominated by the team to score manufacturer points.

“I'm really looking forward to Australia but it's going to feel strange going to a completely new rally location as we've not had one since France last year,” he said. “For sure it's not going to be easy as we have to prepare new pacenotes from scratch, but everybody has to do the same so it's a good challenge and will make it a level playing field for everyone competing.

“I really don't know what to expect from this rally – I've heard that most of the stages have been used for national rallies but that some of the others haven't been used competitively for a number of years. We've got a few runs on the Super Special which always provides an incredible atmosphere and it's great for spectators too.”

Alongside Wilson, Evgeny Novikov will also be nominated for manufacturer points on what will be his debut in the event.

“Australia will be a difficult rally as we've never been there before but we have to start first and then we'll see how it goes,” he said. “The World Rally Championship has no easy stages and I am sure that Australia will be no different, but I think that we must concentrate on a good recce and only push when we feel confident that everything is going well.

“This year my task has been just to finish and not anything more than that. This time it will be a fairer rally for everyone as nobody will know the roads. I just want to get out there, enjoy myself, get more experience and hope that a good result will follow.”

Henning Solberg will also be in action this weekend, albeit not in a manufacturer points scoring capacity.


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