Mads Ostberg says the new Citroen DS 3 WRC car 'should be a real asset' in the snowy conditions at Rally Sweden next weekend.

The Norwegian driver has finished on the podium in Sweden for the last four years - notching up three thirds and one second place - and will line up as one of the favourites next weekend. The 27-year-old believes the only winter classified rally on the WRC calendar will be vital for his championship ambitions.

"Rally Sweden is one of the key moments of my season. I really can't wait to be there," he said. "The last few years have gone pretty well with a series of podiums, including third place last year in the DS 3 WRC. With the experience gained in 2014 and good preparations, I hope to do even better this time around. The new DS 3 WRC is very competitive. It should be a real asset in these conditions."

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Ostberg claimed fourth position in the 2015 WRC season-opener Rallye Monte Carlo and he is hopeful the new DS 3 WRC car will give him an important advantage in the snowy and icy conditions.

"Our starting position won't give us a particular advantage or disadvantage. Running in fourth place, we know that it won't be perfect but it won't be a huge problem either, regardless of the conditions," he added. "After a very good rally in 2014, my goal is to fight at the front. This will be my first rally with the 2015-spec DS 3 WRC, so if I'm challenging for the win that would a great performance."

Ostberg is preparing for the second round of the 2015 season by competing in the Finnskog Rally - a Norwegian Championship event - run the weekend before WRC turns up in Sweden. The Swedish Rally will act effectively as Ostberg's home event, with a number of stages crossing between the Swedish and Norwegian borders.

Citroen Racing team principal Yann Matton hopes it will give his driver an edge.

"This event is important for Mads Ostberg," Matton said. "This is practically his home round, so he'll be driving on very familiar roads and on a surface that he enjoys. After a test session, he will be taking part in the Finnskog Rally in Norway to prepare as fully as possible."

Rally Sweden begins on Thursday evening (12 February) in Karlstad and runs until Sunday (15 February).