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Australia’s Scott Pedder returns to the scene of his strongest WRC2 result from last season when he and co-driver Dale Moscatt return to Europe this week to contest Rally Finland.

“We got a great result here last year, fourth in WRC2 against some amazing competition, and we achieved it by knuckling down,” said Pedder who had come off frustrating mechanical failures and setup issues on the previous WRC2 outings last season.

“Even though it’s the fastest rally on the calendar I started the event not concentrating on speed, which for me is a hard thing to do, but on just concentrating on driving. My aim is to do similar this year.”

Scott returns to Europe after a strong result at Rally de Portugal earlier in the year, and then a mixed result at Rally Poland earlier this month. Despite showing his undeniable speed in his Pedders Suspension backed Skoda Fabia R5 against the cream of the WRC2 crop, he was held back in Poland by a differential failure and then setup gremlins.

“We did struggle with the car in Poland. After we worked out the diff had lost it’s preload I tried to make setup changes to suit but each time I think I went in the wrong direction,” he admitted. “I head to Finland with a much clearer idea about the setup I want to run with, so testing on Monday will be crucial.”

Pedder also admitted that he was probably a little unrealistic in his perception of his own performance after Portugal when comparing himself against the WRC2 young guns, including Finns Teemu Suninen & Esapekka Lappi, and Swede Pontus Tidemand, all of whom are reportedly being courted by Toyota for a factory drive next season.

“Those guys are driving for their career, they are testing between almost every event, and they probably have the latest spec everything, so thinking I can compete at their pace was probably a little bit of me getting ahead of myself. On pace if I can be fifth or sixth then that’s still mighty impressive,” said Scott.

“Finland is a crazy rally though, it can be very high attrition, so I’m still aiming for a third or fourth placed finish in WRC2. My aim though is to drive as fast as I can but not really to be looking at the timesheets. I want to be fast and smooth, that’s the aim.”

Scott’s testing plans for Monday include finding a setup that he once again feels comfortable with, but also finding the right balance in the car to suit Finland’s ultra fast roads and massive jumps.

“When people think about Finland they think about the fast stages and that you must need a very stable car that’s stuck to the road, but then you have the jumps so you can’t afford to have a flying brick. It’s a balance, but you really want a car that can change directions at speed,” he stated.
 
Testing gets underway for Pedder and the rest of the top flight of WRC contenders near the rally base in Jyväskylä, before the rally itself fires up on Thursday night with a street stage ahead of three full days of fast and furious forest racing.

About The Rally
Rally Finland dates back to 1951 and continues as one of the cornerstone events on the World Rally Championship calendar. It’s lightning fast roads, mixed with free flowing jumps and crests, makes it a real drivers rally and pushes man and machine to the limit – and often beyond.

The rally starts on Thursday evening with Harju street stage in Jyväskylä while Friday’s route heads west towards Keuruu, for classic forest challenges including Mökkiperä and Jukojärvi.  Saturday will take the crews south to the Jämsä region and the legendary Ouninpohja – the rally’s signature stage. While Sunday's route extends south east of Jyväskylä into areas that have not seen rally cars this millennium.

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