Patrik Sandell will make his debut for the Red Bull Rallye Team in Norway this coming week - and the Swede has said that he wants to run at the front from the very start.
Sandell, who won the Junior World Rally Championship in 2006 and who competed in both the J-WRC and the P-WRC in 2008, will drive a factory-supported Skoda Fabia Super 2000 this year and following an extensive two-day test in Sweden he is feeling confident about his prospects.
“It's certainly going to be an exciting moment [when we start Rally Norway] - with several unknowns,” said the 26-year-old, who should feel right at home in the wintry conditions in Hamar.
“A new car, a new team, a new challenge - but I think that we're all professional enough to grow together swiftly.
“That's why we want to run up front from the very start! The tests were very promising.
“I'm very comfortable in the cockpit. There will certainly be a transition from the Mitsubishi, I drove earlier this week, because in the Skoda you either have no power at all or excessive amounts, so you definitely have to drive differently without a turbocharger!”
Red Bull Rallye Team boss Raimund Baumschlager meanwhile has high expectations and having won the P-WRC title with Andreas Aigner in 2008, he will definitely be looking for Sandell to try and repeat that feat.
“The Skoda is certainly a brand new challenge for us. But the team has done a very good job in the run-up,” he added. “We'll see this weekend where we actually stand.”