Urmo Aava has said that he has no plans to attack on his debut outing with the Stobart Ford VK M-Sport Rally team in Ireland this coming week.
Aava impressed last season, while competing in a Citroen C4 WRC car under the 'World Rally Team Estonia' banner, and he scored 13 points in total, as well as regularly setting some very impressive stage times.
Despite that though, his main priority on the opening round in the 2009 World Rally Championship will be to get to the finish and ideally score some points, especially as he is in the number five car – and like team-mate, Henning Solberg – nominated to score manufacturers' points.
However, that won't be an easy task, as he has very little experience of the Sligo-based event, which has only hosted a round of the WRC once before back in 2007 – and even than he only did the reconnaissance.
“When I did the recce in 2007 I found the most difficult part of the stage to understand was the grip,” he recounted. “The tarmac is changing all the time and it is especially bad on the sections where there is grass in the middle of the road.
“For sure this will be a very difficult rally, maybe even more so than Monte Carlo, and in some places it's like Finland but only on tarmac – with very high speed sections over crests.
“The plan is to find a good rhythm but it's most important to get the car to the finish. This is not a rally we want to attack in.
"This year is an extremely good chance for me in the Stobart team. We have seen some difficult times lately with teams pulling out, so I know how lucky I am to be with a strong team and will definitely make the most of this opportunity.”
Ford boss Malcolm Wilson meanwhile is keen to see what his new recruit can achieve and he believes all three of his 'B' men – Aava, Henning Solberg and son Matthew Wilson – can score points.
“It's great to have the Stobart team continue in the World Rally Championship again this year, and with six fresh events on the 2009 championship calendar I think this will work in our favour as it's a clean slate for everyone,” he added.
“I'm also delighted Urmo Aava has joined the Stobart team and, even though Ireland is a difficult event, I really think there is potential for all three crews to finish inside the points.”