Pontus Tidemand believes he will start this month's Rally Sweden a better driver than he was in 2013 when he produced one of the stand-out performances of the event.
The 23-year-old Swede made his World Rally Car debut on his home round last year, and ran in the top four before his Fiesta RS WRC suffered an engine failure on day two.
Twelve months on, Tidemand is preparing for another Fiesta World Rally Car appearance on home snow, this time with a winning season in the Junior WRC under his belt.
“I certainly feel I’ve developed as a driver since the last rally in Sweden,” Tidemand told wrc.com. “Experience counts for so much but in the last year I have worked hard on areas like preparation and pace notes - as well as my driving of course. There’s not one specific area I can point to and say ‘that’s better’, I feel everything has moved on.”
Tidemand and his co-driver Ola Fløene tested a Fiesta RS WRC in Falltorp, Sweden on Tuesday and Wednesday, covering nearly 200 kilometres on roads similar in character to those on the rally.
“Although it’s been almost a year since I have driven a World Rally Car I felt comfortable again quite quickly. The feeling was good and I’m very happy with what we found,” he explained.
As part of his Rally Sweden preparations, Tidemand will take part in the Mountain Rally Norway on Saturday (25 January) before switching to an M-Sport
prepared Fiesta for the main event.
“The feeling I had last year was great so if everything goes smoothly, I think top five is possible. If I get fifth or sixth, well that’s good. My plan is to drive at my own pace, take care of the tyres and not get distracted by the other drivers around me. Let’s see where that gets us.”