The 2013 FIA World Rally Championship season-opener from 15-20 January marks the first event of Ostberg’s 13-round campaign in a Ford Fiesta RS WRC. He spent Monday and Tuesday on roads close to the rally base in Valence working on car set-up and tyre choice alongside co-driver Jonas Andersson.
Monday’s running took place under snowfall although the roads used remained largely clear albeit with sections of ice. On Tuesday, Ostberg tested in full snow, completing approximately 350 kilometres of running in total. He is now back in Norway but will return to France on Thursday evening for a third day of testing on Friday.
“Okay I know the car but it was a new experience for me being able to test with no limits and being able to work through what you needed to work through,” former privateer Ostberg told WRC.com. “I was happy with what we did but the conditions on Monday were quite difficult and it made you realise when you lose the line [in a corner] you lose it properly. It means you have to drive with a bit more safety because you have a lot to do [to control the car] when you lose the line.”
Ostberg said Friday’s additional test represented an added bonus and would serve him well on Rallye Monte-Carlo. “We learned a lot but I’m pleased to get another day. Hopefully the weather will be okay so we can get a proper test on [pure] Tarmac.”
Evgeny Novikov was due to complete a two-day test on Thursday with Juho Hanninen taking over from Ostberg on Saturday.