Sebastien Ogier will hope to make the most of his road position to fight for a second successive victory on Rally Portugal this weekend, and go some way to banishing the memory of his accident last time out in Mexico.
The Citroen driver was leading the second round of the season when he crashed out on the final morning, with the DNF leaving him down in sixth in the championship standings.
While the retirement cost Ogier a vital 25 points, it does mean he will start with a much stronger position on the road for the Portugese weekend with the Frenchman keen to take advantage.
“Although we didn't score points in Mexico there are a number of positive conclusions to be drawn from the first gravel rally of the season,” he said. “Despite having to do a lot of sweeping, I think we showed our competitiveness. Here in Portugal, I'm determined to make the most of our starting position on the opening day. It will help us to plan our rally more easily than in Mexico.”
Even though he will hope to benefit from his road position, Ogier's success twelve months ago came despite being the man sweeping the stages for the cars behind for two days, with hopes high of a repeat result to put his championship challenge back on track.
“It's a great memory, one that I'll never forget,” he said. “We drove an almost perfect rally, and we pushed from start to finish. Even though we were first out on the road on days two and three, we still managed to fight off our rivals.
“We've only competed in two out of the thirteen events on the calendar [this season], so there are still plenty of opportunities left to score good results.”