The WRC Team MINI Portugal star is embarking on his first full schedule of events this season in the John Cooper Works WRC he shares with co-driver and fellow Portuguese Miguel Ramalho.
Araujo, a double Production Car world champion, has singled out the asphalt rounds in Germany, France and Spain as rallies where he believes he can increase his pace.
“We are more confident on second half of season because there are Tarmac events,” said the 34-year-old. “Tarmac is best for us so we will try to push on these rallies.”
WRC Team MINI Portugal will have embarked on sealed-surface test prior to ADAC Rallye Deutschland as Araujo’s engineer Richard Thompson explained during last month’s Brother Rally New Zealand, where Araujo finished eighth overall.
“I've already sent the set-up sheets, damper and transmission specs for the Tarmac test in Sanremo where we have some good roads which mirror conditions in Germany,” said Thompson.
Araujo has a strong record on asphalt rounds of the world championship: he scored his first points driving a MINI on ADAC Rallye Deutschland last season, while two of three PWRC rounds he won in 2010 were on Tarmac.
After seven rounds, Araujo is 13th in the WRC drivers’ classification following points finishes in Monte Carlo, Mexico and New Zealand (pictured).