I am really looking forward to tackling these stages, but before that we have a long drive tomorrow [Thursday] up north to Llandudno where we'll do the Ceremonial Start and a few other media activities.
As you know I already knew some of the guys in the team from old times. For instance, my engineer Tomo and I have worked together in the past and clocked up some very good results together. Coming back and having him as my engineer again is really nice. He understands what I want from a car and he's a great guy to work with. The test was actually really good fun. We tried a lot of different things together trying to get the best out of the car and each other.
Of course Tomo is well-known for loving his food and wine and he introduced me to a lot of new things. We share the same tastes in good food so it's always a pleasure to go for dinner with him. When we go back to the hotel we normally get on the internet and look for nice restaurants to go nearby or new places to try anything new or different. It's always a great way to relax and have a nice conversation with a friend.
The highlight of the day was a very emotional moment, my co-driver Stephane was awarded with the Michael Park 'Beef' Trophy for service to the WRC as a co-driver. Finland this year was his 150th WRC start!
Stephane has always been very loyal to me and I might be biased but in my opinion he's a truly top class co-driver.
Well, I'm going back to the hotel to relax a bit and maybe hit the gym for some training. I'll get back with a new column on Friday night after the first big day of competition - can't wait! :-)