Petter Solberg says he is hopeful of challenging for a podium finish when the WRC heads to Germany next weekend for the latest asphalt event on the schedule.

The Ford driver will be making his tenth appearance in the event but has yet to finish higher than fifth - the position he has taken for the past two years.

Solberg heads into the event on the back of a solid test at the Circuit des Ecuyeres in France where the team focused on asphalt running with the Fiesta RS WRC and he will now aim to show the kind of speed he displayed on the German stages last year - where he would have challenged for the podium places had it not been a series of punctures.

"I like Rallye Deutschland a lot," he said. "It's always a fantastic event, with a really good atmosphere and lots of fans, and it will be good to get back onto asphalt for the first time since Monte-Carlo.

"Obviously I still don't have masses of experience with the Fiesta RS WRC on asphalt, but the general feeling is good so it will be interesting to see how we compare to our opposition in Germany.

"With the vineyards and military area, Rallye Deutschland is not like other asphalt rallies. The biggest challenge is the changeable surface and grip levels, and the Baumholder with its hinkelsteins is particularly tricky - especially if it rains! The key will be to stay out of trouble and see what happens."

Solberg sits third in the standings going into the event.