Conrad Rautenbach is planning to up his game this year and he is convinced he should be able to push harder.

Rautenbach, who stepped up to the top level in '08 taking in all 15 events, will again do the full season and while he is hopeful he can do a lot better, he is aware that Ireland will be a tough place to start.

As part of his preparation for the Rally Ireland, the Zimbabwean took in the Galway International Rally a few weeks ago. Although he didn't finish - after an off on the Sunday, he still reckons that experience will be a big help.

Indeed it was his first outing with new co-driver, Daniel Barritt, and as such definitely beneficial.

"I learnt a lot from last year," he stated in the countdown to the opening round in the World Rally Championship and his first with the new Citroen Junior Team.

"That first season with Citroen Sport Technologies allowed me to gain a lot of experience. I now understand the C4 WRC and its behaviour a lot better. This year, I'll be able to push much harder in the places that I know well.

"Rally Ireland is certainly one of the most difficult events of the whole championship though. My primary objective will be to get to the finish with the aim of scoring points.

"I was able to see once more just how difficult the roads in Ireland were when I took part in national rally there in January, driving a Citroen Xsara WRC. The conditions were particularly difficult and I'm sure that will be the case again on the Rally Ireland this week.

"The event also allowed me to get up to speed with my new co-driver, Daniel Barritt. So everything went really well."



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