Ford team leader, Toni Gardemeister has revealed that he is aiming for a podium finish in Germany.

The Finn, who will be starting the Rallye Deutschland for the fourth time, finished seventh last year and although he is aware it is not an easy event, he has confidence the Focus will prove competitive on asphalt.

"This event is very difficult when the weather is changing all the time. But I've set some good times on previous occasions there and I hope to do the same again this year," he stated.

"The Baumholder stages are challenging, especially when it rains when they become incredibly slippery and muddy. I don't really enjoy driving on those roads with all the concrete blocks by the side of them."

Gardemeister completed over 500 kms during testing last week, running the Focus RS on wet roads in Baumholder and in the vineyards.

"We had a very wet test and the last forecast I saw predicted dry conditions for the rally, so that's unwelcome for us," he added.

"But the Focus RS has proved competitive on asphalt, so I'm hoping for a podium finish. We've got a good chance I think. The main aim is to get a good result, pick up some points and move back up the championship order."

Gardemeister currently lies in fifth place in the drivers' championship having scored 47 points, one behind Markko Martin in fourth and 6 behind Petter Solberg, who lies third.

 

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