02 Apr 09
In another exclusive blog with Airwaves Pro Matthew Wilson, we caught up with him ahead of Rally Portugal, the fourth rally of the 2009 World Rally Championship, to get his thoughts as he continues his quest for his first podium finish:
“Last time out in Cyprus I had my best rally to date, we were really happy with the performance over the whole weekend and finishing the last stage as the fastest driver was a phenomenal achievement after a gruelling couple of days.
Taking fifth place overall ahead of Sebastian Ogier, who I have been battling with all season, was fantastic for us as well. I knew he was receiving my split times and I also knew that I was four seconds up on him. That meant he was really pushing to get in front of me and sometimes spin-offs like his one happen when you’re pushing too much.
Lying in sixth position in the Championship standings I am looking to keep moving up the order. I constantly want to go faster and score more points than my previous rally. That is why this weekend I really have to capitalise on the good result I had last time out in Cyprus and get a flying start out of the blocks. It has not been that long since I was last in the car competitively and the surface conditions are not dissimilar to Cyprus.
Portugal is a great rally, with plenty of loose gravel which makes it fast and slightly quicker than Cyprus. The cars going out first have the tricky job of clearing away all the loose gravel for the guys running in the middle and back of the pack. I think this knowledge will influence a lot of drivers and there will be some tactics coming into play as the rally unfolds. It will definitely be a disadvantage to start at the front.
Another bonus this year, apart from the stunning scenery that the rally runs through, is the addition of two new stages that we are going to recce for the first time since the rally last came here in 2007.
The weather forecast for the weekend is very good. If it stays dry throughout the weekend I would hope to be really pushing at the front. I have great road position for Friday, as I am starting in sixth place, which helps enormously. However if it starts to rain at any point and the roads start to ‘gum up’ it could really turn my rally upside down.
I am looking to keep up the good form of the season so far and maybe go one better overall at the end of the final stage. I want to keep scoring points for myself and the team however there is increased competition for this round as, former World Rally champion, Marcus Gronholm is driving so it will be even more of a challenge to compete for the points. I feel confident and I really am looking forward to pushing as hard as I can and kicking it up a gear, I just have to keep the pressure on and keep this run going.”
To find out more on Matthew and the Airwaves Pro campaign visit www.airwaves-pro.tv