A streamlined M-Sport Stobart Ford World Rally Team will be looking to continue its strong start to the World Rally Championship by posting its sixth successive top-five finish in Argentina.
The team has placed a car inside the top five in every event so far, with a two-car entry into the Argentine event.
Mads Ostberg currently sits sixth in the championship standings on the back of three top-five finishes this season and the 23-year-old is keen to keep that run going despite the fact he will be making his debut in the event.
“For the third time this year, I'm going to a rally that I've never been to before,” he said. “I really don't know what to expect in Argentina as I have no experience of the stages, but we went to Mexico without any expectations and I finished fifth so I'd like to get a similar result next week.
“Saturday could be difficult – there's going to be 20 kilometres on asphalt and we'll have a gravel set-up. I've driven the Ford Fiesta S2000 on asphalt before but the Fiesta RS WRC will be a completely difference experience again. I'd be happy to finish in the top-five next week but I'd like to post some fast times and be able to push the top four more at this event.”
With Henning Solberg and his new sponsor Ludo deciding to skip Rally Argentina in order to finalise plans for the rest of 2011 and 2012, Matthew Wilson will be the second nominated scorer for the team this weekend and he said he was looking forward to the event.
“I really like Rally Argentina – the roads are very flowing and I prefer the stages over there compared to the last round in Sardinia,” he said. “The road surface can be quite sandy which could mean that rocks will be pulled onto the road, so that could be something to keep at an eye out for. Also, because the surface can be soft, big ruts can be formed after the first pass.
"Managing tyre wear could be a challenge in Argentina but the new Michelin Latitude tyres proved very tough in Jordan and Sardinia so hopefully punctures are something that we won't have to worry about next week. It rained very heavily in 2008 so I just hope it stays clear and that we can have a good run with no problems.”