It’s only mid April – but what a year this has been already! We’ve had a busy winter season with Rally Sweden as our highlight. Even though we struggled a bit during the rally itself, it was another incredible experience and I personally learned a lot. To get to live your dream in a WRC car on home soil with all your friends and family there to support you is indescribable and as soon as you step out of the car you want to do it again…
Now we’ve moved on to the next part of the season, a WRC 2 campaign, which in many ways is the perfect move after last year. The Junior World Championship victory was in many ways a milestone in my career and an extra push towards the future. It was also a year of great learning and it formed a solid foundation now that I’ve got some experience from a handfull of WRC events. 2014 will be all about continuing what we’ve started and I hope that we’ll be a little further down the road by the end of the year.
We began our WRC 2 journey in Portugal a couple of weeks ago. I’ve done Rally Portugal two times before in the JWRC category, but this was my first time competing all four days as well as my first time here with a four wheel drive car and last but not least my debut with M-Sport’s Ford Fiesta R5. I came there not knowing the car very well but I was definitely eager to get started and finally get to put it to the real test.
We started driving pretty safely to avoid taking risks that early in the rally at the same time as we gave ourselves time to get to know the car. It took us a couple of days to fully adjust to it but all along it felt really good. The R5 is a great car and it runs very well. It’s a big step up from the Fiesta R2 that I drove last year, you have so much more to work with in the R5 and you can push quite hard with it. The difference between the Fiesta RS WRC and the R5 isn’t actually that huge though, a few details of course, but I get a similar feeling driving them.
Towards the end of the rally we came under pressure and had to fight a bit for third. We were able to show some very good speed at the same time as we felt like we had control of the situation and successfully managed to keep our podium position. As a competitive person you always have your eyes on the top positions and all in all I feel like Ola and I did a great job during the four days in Portugal. We made progression every day and I can’t be anything other than pleased with the result. I honestly can’t wait for the next events to see what we can do. Our follow-up will be in Rally Italia Sardegna in the beginning of June and it will be my first outing there. I’ve heard that it’s a great gravel event so I’m sure it will be an exciting experience.
Happy Easter and see you soon!