Pontus Tidemand wants to “show some improvements” as he makes his fourth appearance in the 2019 FIA World Rally Championship for M-Sport Ford on Wales Rally GB.
Tidemand, who makes his first visit to Wales in a top-level WRC machine this weekend took ninth last time out for the team in Turkey and the Swedish driver admits he is hoping for a better result as he continues to get to grips with the Fiesta WRC.
Talking ahead of the event which gets underway at Oulton Park on Thursday, Tidemand said: “I like Wales a lot and it’s a rally that suits me and my driving style quite well. I’ve done well there in the past which gives me more confidence, but I will still be competing against the best drivers in the world and am still continuing my own development.”
“The biggest challenge in Wales is always the unpredictable weather. We need to be prepared for everything – rain, fog, mud and constant grip changes. The roads might not be technically tricky, but the conditions are really unpredictable and that’s what makes it so challenging. The stages also change their character depending on what area we are in, and we need to be able to adjust to all of these different surface changes.”
Although never appearing in a WRC car in the past, Tidemand has finished strongly on the British round of the championship in the past in WRC2 aboard a Skoda Fabia R5 – in the three years he entered in the past, he didn’t finish below second in the class.
He went on to say about his performances so far in the Fiesta WRC: “At the end of Rally Turkey I felt as though I’d found the right set-up for me and that I could drive how I wanted. We had a great test with the team earlier this week, and I’m feeling more and more at home with the car. And since Wales Rally GB will be my second gravel rally with the Ford Fiesta WRC, I hope we can show some improvements.”
Wales Rally GB takes place this weekend with a total of 22 stages across the four days of action.