Dean Herridge has had a busy month, competing in the first round of the Asia Pacific Rally Championship, Rally New Caledonia and Targa Tasmania, as well as doing some testing in China with Subaru Rally Team China.

RallySport Magazine's Carolyn Schonafinger caught up with Herridge ahead of this weekend's Rally of Canberra.

You've had an extremely busy few weeks, with the first round of the APRC, Rally New Caledonia, where you finished second, then a third outright in Targa Tasmania, and some testing with Subaru Rally Team China. How's the feeling going into Canberra, in what is your 'home' event?

The feeling is great.  We've had an unreal start to the year with second in New Cal and then third in Targa.  Prior to New Caledonia I spent a fair bit of time travelling around the country with Subaru for the launch of the new Forester, so then stepping into a new team, we didn't really know what to expect results wise.  It does take a little while to adjust from 'gravel' mode back to 'tarmac' mode, but the feeling ahead of this weekend is great.

This year you're with a new team, Cusco Racing, and have a new co-driver in Chris Murphy, so second place in round one must have been a great feeling.

It certainly was and I think that has taken the pressure off us just a little for this weekend.   Having finished second in New Cal, it means we can now go out and just run our own rally as we've already got some points on the board.

Rally New Caledonia was pretty slippery.  What conditions are you expecting in Canberra this weekend?

It will by a typical Rally of Canberra - the roads will be slippery whether it's wet or dry and there is usually a pretty high attrition rate in this event, for some reason.  To me, Canberra is kind of like two rallies in one - the 'mineshaft' stages are very different to the 'Kowen' stages, and for us, both days count so you have to really be consistent to get a good result.

After spending today out testing, how does the car feel?

We had a really good day today and did about 60-odd km of testing.  We've tried a few different things and modified the set up slightly from New Caledonia, but really there are no issues with the car and we are confident it can do the job.

Do you see the other Aussie drivers as you main opponents this weekend?

I know they will all be fast, having all rallied here numerous times before, however we have to be mindful that our main aim this weekend is to secure points, firstly in the Pacific Cup and secondly, in the Asia Pacific Championship.  It will be important for us to keep an eye on Katsu (Taguchi) and Leyraud as they will probably be our main rivals for the Pacific Cup, but the Aussie guys will be fast, too. There'll be plenty of competition, that's for sure.

As a past winner of Rally of Canberra, what's the secret to being a step ahead of the other boys come Sunday afternoon?

Well, definitely speed, but in saying that, you also need consistency.  We'll probably take the first couple of stages fairly easy as that's when you can judge where you're at and then step up to the level required.  Our aim will be to try and hold it together for both days.  With the usual high attrition rate, it would be surprising if everyone gets to the end.  Hopefully we'll be one of the lucky ones!

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