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WRC Argentina 2013: Ostberg eyes podium
29 April 2013
Qatar M-Sport World Rally Team driver Mads Ostberg is targeting a top-three finish on Rally Argentina this week, the fifth round in the 2013 FIA World Rally Championship.
Ostberg showed good speed last time out in Portugal, but again, like in Mexico, he didn't score as many points as he would have liked. Now he is eager to address that and despite having only contested the South American event twice before, his track record there is good.
Indeed he secured a fifth place finish on his Argentine debut in 2011, and last year claimed a place on the podium. Given that - and his impressive pace this season - the signs are encouraging.
“Our goal will be to fight for a podium,” Ostberg confirmed. “Given the season so far, it is important for us to get some good points and make sure we're still in the game. Obviously we still want to win rallies and Argentina is historically a good event for us so we'll push hard, but the most important thing will be to finish well.
“Argentina is a challenging rally. The weather is very changeable – you can have sun on the plains but then when you get up into the mountains there is a high risk of fog and rain – so you need to be able to adapt your driving style to suit every condition.
"But one of the biggest challenges is the long stages. Generally we're used to a few long stages mixed in with a lot of shorter ones, but on this event it is pretty much all long stages which makes it a real rally of endurance.”
Team-mate Evgeny Novikov meanwhile is hoping he will be closer to the pace after struggling in Portugal in the sister Qatar M-Sport WRT-run Fiesta RS WRC.
“I've been to Rally Argentina a few times now and it's really enjoyable with lots of really enthusiastic fans. The biggest challenge for us is the changing nature of the stages and the really long tests mean that we will need to have a really good line all weekend," he added.
"It's a lot of fun, I just hope that our pace is better than it was in Portugal. The end result - fourth place - was a good one, but I wasn't satisfied with our speed and we need to make sure we put that right on the first stage this week,” he summed-up.