Mikko Hirvonen believes he is going to have to put in a 'perfect' performance on the RallyRACC Catalunya Costa Daurada this weekend if he is to beat Sebastien Loeb and take the victory.
Hirvonen currently trails the four-time world champion by eight points in the battle for this year's crown - and with just four rounds left, including this weekend's Rally de Espana, he needs to regain the initiative and stop Loeb winning for the fourth event in a succession.
While asphalt tends to favour Loeb and Citroen, Hirvonen has gone well in Spain over the years and in five starts he has finished each and every time, finishing fourth last year and third in 2005, when he claimed his first ever WRC podium in a privately entered Ford Focus, a result that really starting things moving in his career.
"The rally seems to be faster and faster each year," said the BP Ford Abu Dhabi WRT number one. "The stages are smooth and the organisers seem to improve the roads every time we come.
"It's like driving on a race track and it's crucial to find the correct braking point and the right line through bends. We're second in both the manufacturers' and drivers' points so I need to try to beat Sebastien Loeb.
"That's going to be very difficult and there's no room for mistakes, everything has to be perfect."
Asked about the twelfth round in the World Rally Championship in more detail, Mikko pointed out that the pace-notes will be critical, especially as they are competing this year without run-flat mousse.
"This is the first time here with Pirelli's new asphalt tyres so I will try to be very precise with my pace notes during the recce. I need to make sure that if I note a corner that it can be cut, there is nothing on the verge that can break the tyre," the 27-year-old summed-up.
STOP PRESS: CRASH.NET RADIO SPOKE TO MIKKO HIRVONEN RECENTLY. TO HEAR THE INTERVIEW IN FULL: CLICK HERE