He departed Umeå with a podium and plenty of confidence in the car as he looks forward to next month’s Méxican gravel.
After a troublesome opening day when the Belgian struggled with understeer and watched as the northern Scandinavian snowbanks bit chunks out of the Hyundai’s aero, he settled into a solid weekend.
Fastest through Saturday, and taking an amazing six seconds out of the nearest non-Hyundai on Sunday’s second test, his hopes of second place were dashed by a mistake in the Wolf Power Stage. He didn’t let that spoil his reflection on a fifth snow rally podium in six years.
“It was a good weekend,” said the 34-year-old Belgian. “Friday was a bit more difficult running near the front of the field on the road, but the car was good and giving good confidence.
"I would have liked to have taken more points from the Power Stage and it’s a shame we made a small mistake. We had a plan, but we couldn’t quite make it happen – it was tight. And anyway, Craig [Breen] drove well and he deserved the second place. It’s been a strong rally for the whole team, I think.
“I’m looking forward to México. We go there third on the road, with the main championship rivals directly ahead of us. It’s going to be a really interesting fight.”