Finn Hanninen is fourth in the SWRC drivers’ standings after making two appearances in the series this season. Martin Prokop and Ott Tanak hold the joint lead of the championship, four points in front of Hanninen.
But while Prokop and Tanak have both landed maximum scores in their Ford Fiesta S2000s, Hanninen has yet to climb onto the top step of the podium, finishing second in Mexico and Italy.
Now the Red Bull Skoda driver says a win is a must in Greece if he is to maintain his push for his first SWRC crown.
“Against those Ford guys it will be tough in Greece but I have to win,” said the 29-year-old. “I have to win for the championship because it can be difficult if I do not.”
Hanninen and co-driver Mikko Markkula will conduct a one-day test in Greece on Monday prior to the two-day reconnaissance getting underway on Tuesday.
“I will try everything at the test and try to find something really good [with the set-up],” continued Hanninen, who starts the event on the back of winning the non-championship Yalta Rally in Ukraine recently.
“That [rally] helped because although it was on Tarmac I had a good fight on difficult roads for three days,” said Hanninen. “It cannot be anything negative that’s for sure.”
All 10 registered SWRC drivers will be competing in Greece including Hanninen’s Red Bull Skoda team-mate Hermann Gassner Jr, who has scored on his last two appearances in the series and is sixth in the standings, one place in front of Nasser Al-Attiyah, one of the pre-season title favourites.