The Norwegian champions Mads Østberg and co-driver, Jonas Andersson return to the World Rally Championship this weekend, when they are entering the rally of France.
After skipping the previous event in Australia, Storbart-driver Mads Østberg and Jonas Andersson are now back in the eleventh round of the World Rally Championship, Rallye de France Alsace.
With the victory from the last NRC at Rally Hedemarken, the two Norwegian Champions got new confidence, by driving the Super 2000 version of the Ford Fiesta they are using in the WRC.
- I think we'll have to start from the beginning again here in France, after the crash we had in Germany. With the positive feeling we got last weekend - even though it was on gravel, the changes we have made with the car, and after a pleasant recce, I have a good feeling before the rally, said Mads Østberg.
Rallye de France Alsace starts on Friday morning on the 30th of September and are based in the city of Strasbourg. The participants will drive through 23 special stages covering 348,13 km of speed. The last stage, Power Stage, will run through the World Champion Sébastien Loeb's home town, Haguenau.
The weather is an important factor in France, and Østberg experienced that last year when he participated in the rally for the first time.
- When it rains, the roads are covered with mud because of the cutting, and that makes it really slippery. But it is reported that it will be good weather for the weekend, and hopefully it will be less cuts this year, explains Østberg.?
The 23-year-old Norwegian stands with a sixth place and 56 points in the 2011 FIA Drivers' Championship, but Østberg's team-mate in the Stobart M-Sport Ford World Rally Team, Matthew Wilson follows him with 52 points.
Even without so much experience on tarmac, Østberg believes that a sixth place overall in France is realistic, and he will do everything he can to keep Wilson behind.
- It's a tough goal, but I think it may be possible if we get a clean rally. Mini has also shown that they work very well on asphalt, which makes it even harder to battle for top positions. I always want to get a good result, and I know from what we learned in Germany that it is tougher on asphalt, said Mads Østberg.
You can follow Mads Østberg during Rallye de France Alsace on Twitter, and on Facebook.