Henning Solberg says he is ready for the challenge of Rally Cyprus as the Stobart VK M-Sport man looks to secure his first podium finish of the World Rally Championship season.
Solberg was hotly tipped to secure a top three finish last time out on home soil in Norway, but eventually had to console himself with fourth place and will now look to make amends on an event where he has performed well in the past.
Indeed, Solberg has finished inside the top six on his past two outings in Cyprus and he said he was confident going into the weekend if he can stay out of trouble.
“I think this rally will be a big challenge but I really enjoy these stages in Cyprus and I'm up for the challenge,” he said. “It is good to see the organisers doing something different to spice up the event and I think we will see some tactical driving on the first day.
“Road position will be important as there aren't many second passes over stages but for sure the long stages will provide a tough test. I'm confident though and will be aiming for a top-five, maybe even a podium if we can stay out of trouble and get a clean run.”
Team boss Malcolm Wilson agreed that the event wouldn't be easy for his drivers and said that both Solberg and team-mate Matthew Wilson would need to be careful not to make errors during Friday's opening gravel leg.
“Cyprus will pose a unique challenge that none of the Stobart drivers will have experienced before and it will throw a few unknowns into the equation,” he said. “They will need to be careful and be mindful of having gravel set-up on asphalt stages; but at the same time it's a good opportunity to consolidate their already strong championship positions.
“I think this will be the most difficult event to date this season and the long stages will provide a tough test for all crews.”