In Mads Ostberg's latest exclusive column on Crash.net, the Qatar M-Sport World Rally Team man looks back on Rally de Portugal, where he again showed the pace to run at the front of the pack...
I have a bit of a sense of déjà vu as I write this as, much like in Mexico, there were a lot of positives for us to take away from Rally de Portugal – even if the end result wasn't what we were hoping for at the end of it.
Going into the event, I was in confident mood as Rally de Portugal is one of my favourite events on the calendar. It's a tough and challenging rally both for cars and crews, but good fun driving it. The atmosphere is incredible with so many people watching on at places and they are all so enthusiastic and cheer for everybody.
Things had started well after qualifying, when we were fourth fastest in our M-Sport-run Ford Fiesta RS WRC. Everything seemed to be working well and I was really looking forward to the start of the event.
I felt really comfortable in the car and was confident about our chances for the weekend ahead. As we got ready for the opening day of competition, I felt sure that a podium finish was well within sight.
When the 'proper' action got underway, we made a good start and at the end of SS2, we were sitting in first place. We had the speed, and the car was absolutely perfect. At that point, I was feeling really confident. Then we went into SS3.
Sadly, that was where things went wrong. In my pace-notes, I had a four and we made it through the first pass no problem so I'm guessing that I heard the note wrong. We've had a look at the onboard footage but there are so many rocks hitting the chassis at that point that it's impossible to hear what Jonas [Andersson - my co-driver], is saying. That could explain why I heard four!
Whatever the reason, the end result was that we had a big off and we rolled several times. Luckily Jonas answered me when I asked if he was okay, which was the most important thing.
While we were forced to retire from the day, we were able to rejoin under Rally 2 for Saturday and I knew then that there was a chance that we could fight our way back into the points, despite the fact we went into the second day down in 56th place.