“It's a long rally and I want to be a little calmer at the beginning than I was in Mexico. I made a couple of early mistakes there and I don't want to repeat that, so it's important I don't try to achieve too much too soon. There's plenty of kilometres in which to make my move without trying to do it in the first 40km.”
The 37-year old Norwegian got his preparations off to a good start by claiming victory on the WRC Fafe Rally Sprint on Saturday afternoon, edging out reigning world champion Sébastien Loeb by just two hundredths of a second.
In addition to the two works cars, eight privately-entered Fiesta RS WRCs supplement the Blue Oval entry. Ott Tänak and Evgeny Novikov are nominated by M-Sport Ford World Rally Team, which has also entered Dennis Kuipers, while Mads Østberg runs with Adapta World Rally Team and Brazil World Rally Team makes its Ford debut with Daniel Oliveira. Martin Prokop will drive the Czech Ford National Team car, while the Fiesta RS WRC numbers will be completed by Henning Solberg and Jari Ketomaa.