12 Mar 09
In this exclusive blog with Airwaves Pro Matthew Wilson, we caught up with him ahead of Rally Cyprus, the third rally of the World Rally Championship, to get his thoughts on how his preparations have paid off so far:
"Since you last heard from me before Rally Norway, I have been putting in some extra time training, both on the bike and in the gym to keep up my fitness levels. I have been keeping busy as well at HQ in Cumbria, driving out on the stages we have in the forests.
It's important to stay busy but to try and keep focused as after Rally Cyprus the rallies start to come thick and fast and I need to stay on top form to continue the good start to the season we have had so far. Last time out in Norway was fantastic for us as we gradually built up the pace right until the last day and were only just pipped by Petter Solberg, competing on his home rally, at the last hurdle. We finished in 7th overall which is a great result and more points for the team.
Cyprus is a whole different rally to Norway and having done a few of the recce's I am looking forward to it. Each day will be totally different and seeing as it's been off the WRC calendar for a while it's hard to picture the individual stages back from 2006.
I am getting a good feel for the surface though and because it's a tarmac and gravel mixed surface, I will have to adapt the car's set up and my driving to account for this.
In terms of wear and tear on the car, with a gravel set-up for the car, the tyres should cope fine with the change in surfaces; the main worry is making sure the brake discs, which are smaller on the gravel set up, last the entire day. We can change tyres at the refuel so they are not my major concern.
It's hard to say who will emerge as front runners this weekend; I envisage there will be a certain amount of tactics coming in to play if it stays dry, as on Saturday there are no repeat stages. The team that goes out first on Saturday will be going out first all day.