30 Jan 09
As we look ahead to the other rallies in the calendar my preparation will be slightly different for each one. The long haul and the desert rallies like Jordan and Cyprus require a lot more preparation so we go out earlier; the faster rallies like Finland require more concentration. It really helps that Scott Martin, my co driver, and I are going into our second year together now and the car hasn't changed all that much from last year. It is important for us to get the right level of detail in the pace notes - it's true that the driver and co-driver relationship is vital to setting fast times. It's all about absorbing the right amount of information that is relevant and then reacting to the information from my eyes and from my ears!
Ireland is a great rally for us and it's so well organized. This suits us much better than the traditional rally opener in Monte Carlo. I need to lay down a strong benchmark and keep striving to better it. The marshals and fans here in Ireland are great and the atmosphere is superb despite the weather!
It is also important at this first rally for me to build a relationship with the team mechanics and guys working behind the scenes with the team. This will really help me through the season to get the right set up for the car and use the data we get most effectively.
Sometimes it feels like I haven't been out the car as you slip back into it so quickly. I think Loeb again will be the one to beat and I hope to push him all the way as much as I can this year. This is the year for me to really kick up a gear!
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