McShea was recruited as the WRC Academy driver mentor during a training and induction course held in Cumbria, United Kingdom, earlier this month.
Afterwards, the 37-year-old, who has so far started 33 world championship rallies said: “There are lots of fast drivers out there and it’s going to be a great competition this season. But for Portugal, I think, the person who approaches the rally in a measured way will perform the best. I know all the drivers wanted to learn at the induction sessions and will try to make use of the information they were given, but putting that information into practice when they get to the first stage is a different task altogether.
“On that basis, I’ve chosen Alastair Fisher as my ‘one-to-watch’ in Portugal next week. He’s a smart lad, he thinks a lot - and approach will be everything in Portugal. Even if he isn’t the fastest guy out there, I think he’ll be there at the end. His co-driver Daniel Barritt’s done the event before which might help Alastair on the recce, but Alastair’s his own person and he’ll take on board all the information he can get from everyone and use it.”
Fisher, 22, will be adjusting to left-hand drive for the first time in Portugal after spending his early career on events in Ireland and the United Kingdom using right-hand drive machinery.
“While that might hinder him slightly, he’s good at adapting and will recognise this and take a very measured approach,” said McShea. “It’s his cool, calm and collected nature that I believe will help him get a really good result.”
Fisher completed 20 kilometres during his pre-event test in Portugal on Wednesday evening and declared himself ready for the event, even though he and co-driver Barritt are using borrowed safety clothing and equipment after their kit bags were stolen from their hire car on Tuesday.
“We’ve got over the initial shock of it now and are focused on the event,” said Fisher. “The car felt very good in testing, very responsive. I’m happy and ready for the rally to start.”