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Ostberg still has eyes firmly on WRC

Mads Ostberg and Hayden Paddon will both contest the Otago Rally. Photo: Peter Whitten

Norwegian, Mads Ostberg, is excited about his second trip to New Zealand’s famous Otago Rally, and says he’s hoping that ‘staying in the system’ will help him return to the WRC in 2020.

Ostberg and his family touched down in New Zealand last week to enjoy the sights and set his mind forward to the famous Otago stages, which starts tomorrow.

“(I’m looking forward to) the stages of course – it truly has its own uniqueness,” he told RallySport Magazine.

“Like last year, I will also combine the rally with a vacation. I absolutely love going on road trips on this beautiful island.”

The Otago Rally organisers have introduced a two-pass recce for the first time in 2019, something which Ostberg and fellow competitors will be relishing.

“The two-pass recce is what I’m used to, and of course you feel more prepared with two passes,” he added.

“When I get in a rally car I’m in competition mode. I don’t drive for fun, but it’s always fun to drive!”

Mads Ostberg at the Otago Rally’s pre-event dinner last night. Photo: Peter Whitten

The Norwegian will be partnered by his regular co-driver, Torstien Eriksen, who will also bring added value to the event.

Ostberg also understands the off stage side of rallying well, and continues to give back to the sport.

“It’s important connecting to people and sharing the sport that I love.

“I’m lucky enough to do it globally, and Kiwis have shown to be hard core rally fans, so it’s great to be rallying in Otago.”

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The underlying fact for Ostberg though is that he is out of a factory WRC drive, despite a hugely impressive 2018 season for Citroen. It’s something he wants to rectify.

He’s currently campaigning a factory Citroen R5 in selected events this year.

“In this game you have to prove yourself, and my chances are in my results,” he said.

“I think my results in 2018 were good enough – better than many with seats this season.

“I also hope still being in the Citroen system increase my chances.”

Ostberg will drive a Ford Escort RS1800 in the Otago Classic Rally, and will start as the hot favourite.

More rally news:

APRC focus for Paddon and Kennard at Otago

Interview: Jari-Matti Latvala – 200 WRC rallies and counting …

Luke is the third generation of the RallySport Magazine team and is currently studying Marketing at university. He has rallying in his blood!

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