Quentin Gilbert is leaving no stone unturned as he prepares to drive a World Rally Car for the first time in the WRC at next week’s Dayinsure Wales Rally GB (27 - 30 October).
The outgoing Junior WRC champion has endured a tough season in his WRC 2 prize drive campaign. A season-opening podium at Rallye Monte-Carlo was the highlight of a year in which mechanical problems have offset strong pace.
The Frenchman has the opportunity to put those problems behind him when he joins the four-strong Abu Dhabi Total squad in a Citroën DS 3 World Rally Car for the penultimate round of the FIA World Rally Championship.
He is leaving nothing to chance and his upped his preparations for the gravel event, at which he joins Kris Meeke, Craig Breen and Stéphane Lefebvre, returning after his horror crash in Germany, in the French squad.
“I’m trying to adopt a different approach,” Gilbert explained. “I’ve ramped up my physical fitness training, I’m watching a lot of videos, I’m getting advice from experienced people and I’m taking in the maximum amount of information to be ready to face the challenge.”
Although Gilbert (pictured below left with co-driver Renaud Jamoul) has piloted a World Rally Car in the French Championship, that was two years ago and he has a test on Monday in which to reacclimatise himself. He has not set himself any targets in terms of taking on the WRC regulars.
“Obviously, we’re not expecting to be in a position to take the fight to the top drivers. That’s normal as they’ve got a lot more experience and have been racing in the WRC all year,” he said.
“For me the important thing is to up the pace as the rally unfolds and finish as close to them as possible in the final stages. I’m looking forward to see what we can do against drivers of our generation who we’ve only come across occasionally without ever having raced in the same categories.”