Elfyn Evans says anything less than matching his result at last year's Wales Rally GB will be a disappointment for the local driver as he prepares for the final event of the WRC season.
The M-Sport Ford rally driver is set to be the home-grown attraction once again in North Wales as Evans races across stages just a few miles away from where he grew up.
After making an impressive WRC debut at his home event in 2007 – taking a dominant class victory in a Ford Fiesta ST – he continued by winning the WRC 2 category in 2013.
Last year represented Evans' first attempt in the premier rallying class at Wales Rally GB where he took his joint-second best result of his rookie season in fifth place and this season feels a top five is the minimum he must produce to cap off a successful season.
“We had a good run to fifth place last year and I want to at least equal that this year,” Evans said. “The competition will be strong with a lot of drivers all gunning for the podium positions, but if everything is perfect then I think we're more than capable of challenging for a strong result.
“Regardless of what we face next week, I'm really looking forward to it. The organisers have put some classic driver stages on the itinerary – fast, flowing stages that allow you to get into a really good rhythm. I can't wait to go rallying at home.”
Having already equally his points total from 2014 and taking his first WRC podiums, Evans will be looking to finish the season on a high after suffering an off at the penultimate round in Spain on SS13, forcing him to retire from the stage and eventually finish the rally 34th overall.
Evans, who has more experience than most at Wales Rally GB thanks to his local knowledge, is hoping to feed off of the home crowd's energy and make the most of the testing conditions.
“It's always nice to end the season at home and Wales Rally GB has a fantastic atmosphere,” he said. “The home crowd really gets behind us and I'm really looking forward to experiencing some of the best stages in the world for the second time with a world rally car.
“There really is only one certainty at this event, and that's the weather. You can pretty much guarantee that it'll be wet but the grip levels are actually surprisingly high given the conditions. The real difficulty is when visibility becomes an issue.”