Citroen number two driver Dani Sordo is feeling confident heading into the Neste Oil Rally Finland, having had his morale boosted by his recent success on the O.K. Auto-Ralli.
The Spaniard took in the fifth round in the Finnish Rally Championship as a warm-up for the ninth event in the World Rally Championship and the 'test' went very well – both for himself and Citroen.
Indeed Dani set the pace in virtually all of the eight stages, eventually beating his closest rival and taking the win - his first ever in a World Rally Car - by over one minute.
While he knows the 'Finnish Grand Prix' will be a lot tougher, he is determined to try and get good points and get to the end, something he failed to do in 2007 and 2006 - with engine problems sidelining him 12 months ago and a crash putting him out the year before.
Speaking ahead of the event, he added though that while the O.K. Auto-Ralli was good, it is this weekend that is important and having scored points in the last five WRC events in succession he will want to keep that run going.
"It was first my win in a WRC car, and on gravel, too, so that was particularly pleasing. I am aware that the competition wasn't all that strong though, and that we will face stiffer opposition on the Rally Finland," he stated.
"I have felt comfortable over these fast stages and long jumps on all my previous visits. I enjoy them, and the work we did in July should enable us be even more competitive against the local specialists.
"I am pleased with the settings we have found for the different types of surface we could well face, and I think we should be competitive with our C4. Our aim is to finish as high up the order as possible with a view to scoring points for Citroen."
Citroen Sport's technical manager Xavier Mestelan-Pinon meanwhile agrees that the team is well prepared, even if experience in Finland is absolutely crucial, something that is born out by the fact it has only ever been won by three non-Nordic drivers - and six non-Finns in 57 years.
"It's not just the drivers who need experience of this event," added Mestelan-Pinon, "but the engineers also need a certain understanding of the roads before they can really hope to find the most suitable compromises when setting up the car
"The ideal set-up isn't easy to find for these ultra-fast roads, but a nicely balanced car is vital. We are pleased with the results of our pre-event testing in July and also by the job Dani [Sordo] and [his co-driver] Marc [Marti] did on the O.K. Auto-Ralli a few weeks ago."