In the latest exclusive M-Sport World Rally Team column on Crash.net for 2015, we hear from Raigo Molder - Ott Tanak's co-driver - after Rally Australia as he discusses their relationship in and out of the car and goals for the rest of the season.

Since Ott asked me to join him on our journey back into the WRC it has been a thrilling experience and I've learnt so much in such a short space of time. It's a fantastic feeling to be competing at the top of your sport and as we continue to learn I hope that we can one day make it to the very top.

Ott is a very dedicated driver to work with. He likes things a certain way and is constantly pushing to improve the whole package. It is that attitude which makes me believe that we can make it to the top.

We have just returned from Rally Australia where we finished sixth which was okay. We were aiming for a top five result but looking back I think it was a positive rally for us - especially when you consider that our only experience of that event came at the wheel of a Ford Fiesta R5 last year.

Despite heading into the event with limited experience you know roughly what to expect. You know the character of the event and the stages, but there is a huge difference between a Ford Fiesta R5 and a Ford Fiesta RS WRC.

The speed increase is huge and that gives the event a whole new character. Everything happens faster and you have to ensure that your notes account for that. The increase in speed is why, as Ott said, we had to make a lot of changes to the pace-notes in Australia.

If you have been to the event before and have existing notes, you'll use those passes to perfect the notes you already have. But if you're making new ones or have to make extensive changes then you have fewer opportunities to ensure they're spot-on. Inevitably, you will find places on the rally where you could have gone faster or where you might have slightly misjudged a corner or braking point. That was why we were amending throughout the event.

Although we had a lack of experience our performance was very encouraging. The speed was there which was very positive and a big confidence boost for when we return and I'm sure we'll be in a position to challenge for top results.

Rally Australia itself is so strange. Being on the other side of the world takes getting use to but once you're there you can fully appreciate it. The entire town gets behind the rally and there are always so many people who come out to support us - the autograph session on Thursday evening was totally rammed which is a great feeling for the crews.

Now we're back in Europe for Corsica and it will be interesting to see what we can do there and for the rest of the season.

You always want to do the best you can regardless of how much experience you have, but I think it's fair to say that it will be something of a learning curve for us. We've had a day-and-a-half test to get used to the roads and we'll be looking to build on some of the things we learnt in Germany.

Looking back at our season with just three rounds remaining I would give us a seven out of ten. We've achieved our goals at most events but not at others. We've proven our speed. We've challenged for a win, lead a rally and secured what was my first WRC podium at Rally Poland.

But there is always more to learn and we are always pushing to do the best we can and to improve all the time. We got a feel for being back at the top of the championship throughout the first half of the season and when we got the new car in Portugal we started to push for podiums and achieved a great result in Poland.

Between now and the end of 2015 another podium would be fantastic but I think we've proven our pace and next year could be very interesting for us.

Raigo Molder

To keep tabs on the M-Sport World Rally Team's progress in 2015, simply follow this link: www.m-sport.co.uk

 

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