Skoda driver Juho Hanninen believes he can fight for a podium finish on Sata Rally Azores this weekend, even though he is set to run first on the road on the island-based event.

Hanninen, who led the opening round of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge in Monte Carlo in January before crashing out, is scheduled to be the first of 49 drivers to tackle the 18-stage event in his Skoda Fabia S2000.

Road position, especially on gravel events, can have a huge bearing on the final result of a rally and while he admits that it won't be easy, the Finn said he felt confident of being able to challenge for honours.

"It's not going to be so easy in my position," he said. "But I don't believe it will be such a big problem either. Yes my car will be sideways more but it is a very good car and I am very confident I can get a good result."

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