Local hero Suarez is locked in a close battle with Australian Brendan Reeves in the race to finish second to provisional champion Elfyn Evans. He would even forego taking his maiden win in the category if it meant clinching the runner-up spot.
“The most important thing is to be second and I don’t want to lose this by trying to finish first [on the rally] and having a problem,” said Suarez, who trails Reeves by two points in the current standings. “I think I’ve made a good season to be third in the championship, now I want to be second. I’ve not made any big mistakes and I’ve had good results although I wish I had the money to do more rallies because my biggest problem is I am not able to do enough.”
Suarez follows a strict training regime ahead of each round of the WRC Academy. “I make some time in the gym each day and some days I am swimming in the pool. Also, every day I ride my bike for two hours. I have a road bike and a mountain bike from one of my sponsors, a bike company.”
Reeves, meanwhile, is braced for a tough fight with Suarez. “Jose will be hard to beat on his home event, but we want to win and second in the championship is our goal,” said Reeves, whose co-driving sister Rhianon Smyth can secure the navigator’s title, which is also up for grabs in Spain. “The dual surface will certainly be a challenge. We’ll do the Academy test on gravel which will prepare us for the first day, and we are coming off the back of two Tarmac rounds so hopefully the feeling will still be fresh for the second day.”
A total of eight WRC Academy crews will be in action in Spain including Polish newcomer Aron Domzala, who is contesting the event ahead of possible world championship programme in 2013.
WRC Academy runners will cover 12 stages over a competitive distance of 201.64 kilometres with the finish scheduled for Saturday evening in Salou.