Qatar M-Sport World Rally Team driver Mads Ostberg is out to 'turn things around' in Greece this weekend and has said his main target is to avoid having to re-start under the Rally 2 regulations.
Ostberg has had a frustrating run of late and after disappointment in Mexico, Portugal and Argentina, he wants to get back on the podium and replicate want he managed in Sweden back in February.
Last year he was fourth on the Acropolis and, given the pace he has shown of late in his Ford Fiesta RS WRC car, he is confident he can go one better this time out.
“Our main aim is to finish the event without having to Rally 2!” the Crash.net
columnist confirmed in the countdown to the sixth round in the 2013 World Rally Championship. “This is definitely one of the most difficult events of the year, but we will certainly try to achieve that goal this week.”
“The Acropolis Rally is a really rough event. There is always a risk that rocks can be pulled onto the line and there will be a few really tricky sections to contend with. The key is to take care of the car,” Mads added.
“Tyre wear is always a factor too, so that is something else we'll need to consider throughout the weekend. Then there are the night stages. The organisers will do their best, but if there is no wind, dust could be a big problem.
“To get the car back in one piece is a big challenge, but we will push from the beginning and hopefully have some good speed. We've had some bad luck in recent events, so now we need to turn that around. The podium is where we want to be, and that's what we'll be fighting for.”
Team-mate Evgeny Novikov meanwhile has fond memories of the Acropolis - an event which propelled him into the record books as the youngest ever stage winner in 2009.
Following two solid fourth place finishes and having been fighting for the podium in Argentina, the Russian is hungry for more success: “As always, we go to this event with the goal of doing our best and securing some good points for the team. I like this rally a lot and have a lot of good memories from previous years – especially 2009 when I took my first stage wins in the WRC,” Novikov added.
“Tyre preservation will be key. This is a very rough event, and when combined with the high temperatures, tyre wear can be a major factor. Hopefully dust won't be an issue as it has been in the past, and all in all I am really looking forward to getting back behind the wheel.”