Nicolas Vouilloz remains confident that he will still be able to successfully defend his Intercontinental Rally Challenge title this year, even if he doesn't win Sata Rally Azores this weekend.

Vouilloz, the IRC champion last season, has yet to register a win this time around and is currently five points behind championship leader and team-mate Freddy Loix.

However, the Frenchman remains confident that a podium finish in the Azores would be a solid result, with the 33-year-old quick to point out that there is still a long way to go in the title race.

"There is still a long way to go in the championship so I do not have to win," he said. "Besides it will not be easy because you have to consider the road position might not be good for me and there also some very quick drivers who will be hard to beat.

"If I have the feeling in the car then I will try, of course. We had a good test on gravel and I am confident with the car. But as long as I am the top-three places then I will be happy."

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