Mads Ostberg is hoping that he can put his poor personal form behind him and return to the top step of the World Rally Championship podium as the series returns to tarmac action on Rallye Deutschland next weekend.
The Citroen Total Abu Dhabi team has entered a brace of DS3 WRCs for the Norwegian and Kris Meeke, but the pair have a lot to live up too as Citroen attempts to continue an amazing run of success in the Trier-based event, which has so far yielded a WRC record eleven consecutive wins.
Unbeaten at the event since 2001, the French marque has propelled Philippe Bugalski – in the European Rally Championship – as well as Sebastien Loeb and Sebastien Ogier to success in Germany, and Ostberg is keen to add his name to a list that was extended by a rare success for Dani Sordo last year.
The Norwegian, however, will have to overcome a recent barren run to even make the points, let alone reach the top step in a season where Volkswagen has again been the marque to beat.
Competitive on all surfaces used so far this year, with podium finishes in Sweden, Portugal and Italy, Ostberg has now gone two rallies without scoring a point, and will be looking to put an end to his poor run in Germany, despite tackling his first tarmac event with the DS3 WRC.
“Although we had good pace, I was obviously disappointed with the final outcome at the last two rallies,” he reflected, “Rallye Deutschland should give me the chance to put this bad run behind me!
“I like driving on tarmac and, the more miles I cover, the more comfortable I feel. With four appearances here under my belt, I'm beginning to feel I'm pretty experienced on the stages. I have a lot of faith in the team. The car has always been quick on this surface. Now it's up to me to produce the goods to have a chance of a strong result. If everything goes well, I think we can aim for a top-five finish.”