Pedder and Moscatt return to WRC2 in Portugal
- 15th May 2016, 11:42pm
Scott Pedder and Dale Moscatt return to the scene of their 2015 WRC2 debut next week at the fifth round of the World Rally Championship, the Rally de Portugal.
Last year Pedder learnt that consistency and experience was the key to success during his five Round WRC2 campaign, and he’s confident that a new team and a switch to a Skoda Fabia R5 for 2016 will see him take another important step forward.
“Last year we had high expectations, maybe a little unrealistic in hindsight, because I was learning not only events for the first time but also a brand new car,” explained Scott. “But we proved in Poland and then in Finland that we have the pace to really be right up there with the front runners.”
“This year Dale and I return with the knowledge of the events, especially Portugal, and while we’ll be in a new car with the Skoda it’s going to be very similar to the Ford (Fiesta) we drove last year, so I’m comfortable it won’t be such a new challenge,” he added.
To help get up to speed Pedder and the AutoTek Motorsports squad will spend two full days testing the Skoda Fabia R5 on the gravel roads of Portugal. “We have an entire day on Sunday in the Fafe area, then the official test day on Monday with the other WRC2 runners.”
“I’m far more confident we’ll start Portugal this year with a strong setup in the car, and then we’ll refine it more as the rally progresses, but nothing like last year where we had no basis to work from and I spent every stage trying to work out how to get the car to work for me and my style,” continued Scott.
Pedder began cautiously at Rally de Portugal last year, and having set some promising stage times, was unfortunately caught out and in the deep ruts and ended up off the road in a blackberry thicket. Twelve months on he’s more determined than ever to return to the gravel event and show what he’s capable of.
“I could take a very conservative mindset into the rally and drive around looking for others to retire to get a good result. But that’s never served me well in the past, in fact when I drive to my natural instinct is when I’ve achieved not only my best results, like at Rally Finland last year, but also my most consistent finishing record.”
“I have the advantage this year of being able to push, I know the roads which are practically identical to 2015, and while it’ll be a new car it’s a very similar type of car to last year so I know what to expect from it and how to get the best out of it,” said Scott.
The rally takes in nineteen stages, totalling 368 competitive kilometres, over four days of action.
“Our aim is a top three or four finish,” Scott added. “We know the competition will be fierce again, even though a couple of the top drivers from last year haven’t elected to return. It’s a shame not to be able to benchmark ourselves again Nasser Al-Attiyah and Esapekka Lappi, but there are 25 other high quality drivers including factory teams from Ford and Skoda, so we’re going to face a tough challenge and I can’t wait!”
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