Dani Sordo says he is looking forward to returning to asphalt action as the World Rally Championship heads to Germany next weekend for the tenth round of the season.
The Spaniard currently lies fourth in the standings on the back of his fourth place finish last time on in Finland, and is embroiled in a huge battle with Chris Atkinson and Jari-Matti Latvala for third – with the trio covered by just three points in the standings.
Although admitting that his confidence on gravel is increasing, Sordo said he was looking forward to returning to tarmac competition; even though the German stages aren't generally known as 'traditional' asphalt tests.
"I am feeling increasingly confident on the loose, but it's nice to be back on asphalt," he said. "That said, Germany is a special case. The rain and widespread corner cutting can make the conditions so muddy that it is sometimes almost like a gravel event! It's not my favourite sealed surface rally, but I believe we can target a top finish.
"I was very pleased with my C4 WRC after our pre-event tests, and asphalt tends to suit me. We will be looking for a good result and a podium finish would be a positive outcome for both Citroen and us."
Citroen Sport technical manager Xavier Mestelan-Pinon said that Rallye Deutschland was one of the more challenging events on the WRC calendar and admitted that tyre choice would play a crucial part in the outcome of the three-days of competition.
"The Rallye Deutschland's overall package makes it a particularly challenging event," he said. "Not only are the stages and different types of surface we face extremely difficult, but the weather tends to be very changeable, too. As far as the set-up is concerned, it is important to find the best compromise that works whatever the conditions. During testing, we worked on optimising the set-up as a function of the new Pirelli P zero hard tyre.
"There is a good chance we will use it for the first time this weekend. Indeed, the tyre factor promises to play a big role because we will need to choose between the hard and soft variants of the Pirelli P zero, something we haven't had to do since January's Monte Carlo Rally."