22 Apr 08
Citroen privateer Conrad Rautenbach says he’s aiming for another points finish on the next WRC round in Jordan.
The 23-year-old re-wrote the World Rally Championship's history books on Rally Argentina when he finished fourth overall and became the first driver from Zimbabwe ever to score WRC points.
A further boost to his confidence came after the finish when Rautenbach and his British co-driver David Senior were awarded the Abu Dhabi Spirit of the Rally trophy for their efforts.
And ahead of the inaugural Rally Jordan, Rautenbach - who is the reining FIA African Rally Champion - says he can’t wait to get back into his C4 WRC for a third time.
“It took a little while for things to calm down after Argentina. Thinking back to it, it still seems a bit crazy. But Argentina's done now. It's history and I have to build on that achievement, starting with Jordan next week,” said Rautenbach.
“I've been really busy since finishing fourth in Argentina. I've been in the gym every day and also in the sauna - trying to get myself prepared for the heat which is coming our way in Jordan.
“Since being back in Europe, I've been counting the days to Jordan. Every minute I spend in the Citroen C4 WRC, I enjoy it more and more. And I have more confidence in the car and more understanding of what it takes to drive this car on the limit. It's so different to the Xsara WRC was I was driving before. Looking back at events like Rally Great Britain last year, it's quite clear to me that I was trying to force my driving and force the pace. You just can't do that with these cars.
“Sure, the C4 is an easier car to drive than the Xsara, but the biggest lesson I learned in Argentina was that to drive faster, you have to learn to drive slower. Of course, that's not in the literal sense, but you have to relax about everything in the car; trying to force anything with these things is sure-fire way to disaster.
“I still have lots to learn about the C4, which is why I'm so excited about Jordan. The best way to learn is in constant conditions with predictable levels of grip. That's what we should have in Jordan - although I do remember people telling me they were sure the sun would shine in Argentina! I'm eighth in the championship right now and to be starting the rally up around the leading drivers is fantastic - it's where I want to stay.”