SOLBERG AND KUIPERS COMPETE TO REIGN IN SPAIN Ford Fiesta Super 2000 drivers Henning Solberg and Dennis Kuipers aim to be in the mix again next week on the penultimate FIA World Rally Championship round in Spain. Solberg dominated the...
SOLBERG AND KUIPERS COMPETE TO REIGN IN SPAIN
Ford Fiesta Super 2000 drivers Henning Solberg and Dennis Kuipers aim to be in the mix again next week on the penultimate FIA World Rally Championship round in Spain.
Solberg dominated the S2000 category on the recent Rallye de France, winning his class and finishing ninth overall and whilst Rally de España is not an official Super 2000 World Rally Championship round (S-WRC), the Norwegian pilot will be striving for more of the same.
"France was a good event for me - each time I drive this car I feel more and more confident," he said.
"It's nice to drive and it has been perfectly designed to handle well on the tarmac. But Spain will be something new again as it is a mixed-surface event. This has always been a tricky event for me as the stages are so fast but I think the first day will be the most difficult with the change of road surfaces.
"I've not driven on a mixture of tarmac and gravel in the Ford Fiesta S2000 before -- even if it felt like we were driving on gravel at times at Rallye de France.
"It's a shame Spain is not a S-WRC round as I'd like some more drivers to battle with but I will try to put in a strong performance for Ford and will aim to finish in the top ten," added Solberg who next month returns to his Stobart M-Sport Ford Focus RS WRC at Wales Rally GB in tandem with leading British WRC driver Matthew Wilson.
Solberg, partnered by Stephane Prevot, should be further assisted next week now his car is fitted with a new 2011 spec exhaust, developed by M-Sport, and now widely available after this event.
Another M-Sport entrant, Dutchman Dennis Kuipers will also be using the new kit in Spain as he chases a strong finish following his 17th overall in France. The new territory has left Kuipers guessing.
"Spain is going to be interesting," he said. "It's my first drive there, it's a new rally and there's going to be an added difficulty as we'll have a gravel set-up on the first day but will swap to the tarmac set-up for the final two days," explained Kuipers, who will again have the experienced Fred Miclotte on the notes.
"The mix of road surfaces are similar to rallies in Holland so hopefully my experience of competing in those events will help for this rally.
"It might take a bit of time to get used to the different surfaces but I've got a test on Monday so that should help build my confidence. I hope for a good position but as this isn't an S-WRC round there are a few drivers missing. So I will just push hard and try to beat Henning."