Matthew Wilson says he is looking to build on his solid performance on Rally Cyprus as the World Rally Championship heads to Portugal this weekend for the fourth round of the year.
The Briton has scored points on all three events this season to lie sixth in the championship standings going into the gravel event, and was buoyed by a quickest stage time on the final stage in Cyprus last time out en-route to a fifth place finish.
Wilson finishes twelfth on his last outing in Portugal having picked up a time penalty on the final day – in the same way as team-mate Henning Solberg – but he said he was looking to try and build on the speed shown in Cyprus to make amends this time around and bring home more points to add to his tally.
“It is great to be going back to Portugal as I really enjoyed it there in 2007, the stages are enjoyable but also quite challenging,” he said. “Hopefully most of the stages will be quite similar to those that we learnt two years ago and we can use that knowledge to good effect right from the start.
“We finished really well in Cyprus and I hope that we can start in Portugal somewhere near that pace and basically continue where we left off. If it is dry there then grip should be good but if it does rain then that can make it really difficult on some of the stages so I'm hoping that it stays dry; the consistent grip levels always help with confidence.”
Team boss Malcolm Wilson said he was hopeful that both Wilson and Solberg would continue the kind of form shown thus far by the Ford 'B' team, adding that he was keen to see the pair maintain their current championship positions.
“The team has started strongly this season and we are hoping to continue that form in Portugal,” he said. “Matthew is coming into this rally off the back of an excellent result in Cyprus, his confidence is high, and I think that will help him settle into this event quickly.
“Both Henning and Matthew have demonstrated an increased level of experience this season and that will be put to good use in Portugal where the fast and demanding stages can easily catch out an unwary driver. Hopefully they can both produce another good performance to strengthen their already impressive positions in the drivers' championship.”