Sebastien Ogier will look to add more vital experience to his resume as the World Rally Championship after admitted is happy with the way his season has gone thus far.
The reigning Junior World Rally Champion, who impressed in his one-off WRC outing in Wales at the end of the 2008 campaign, has finished both of his events for the Citroen Junior Team so far this year, with a sixth place finish on Rally Ireland being followed by tenth place last time out in Norway.
This weekend, the Frenchman will face the challenge of a mixed-surface event in Cyprus, with an opening leg on tarmac being followed by two days on gravel, but he admitted he wasn't sure how enjoyable the weekend will be from a drivers point of view - with Cyprus being one of the slowest events on the WRC schedule.
“This is a very specialised event, with a day on asphalt and the next two days on gravel,” he said. “I was able to do one day's testing in order to find out how to drive the Citroen C4 WRC on gravel stages that were a bit similar to the ones we will face on the final two days of the Cyprus Rally. But I'm worried that generally it won't be quite as exciting a rally as Norway.
“The roads in Cyprus are renowned for being slow and hard on the cars. It's never nice to feel your machinery suffering. As for the first day on asphalt, we will just have to take it as it comes. It's really not something we have a lot of information about. That will be a big question mark for me, even though I know that the Citroen Junior Team has carried out a lot of useful preparation for this event.
“It's really just a question of gaining experience on a completely new type of rally. We're going to start the event by going reasonably carefully…but we'll always be ready to put our foot down!”
A third finish of the season would continue a solid start to his WRC career for Ogier who declared himself happy with his year to date even if a number of issues in Norway meant he finished outside the points last time out.
“I think we've got the year off to a good start,” he said. “Ireland was a very tricky rally. Scoring points for sixth place there was a good result, as we were learning more or less everything. In Norway, our end result of tenth place looks less good on paper, but that was only because of various problems that we encountered over the course of the rally.
“Our times were on the whole good, and we were able to up our pace on the last day of the event.”