PHOTO: Scott Pedder was in outstanding form with driving like this at Rally Portugal.
AUSTRALIANS Scott Pedder and co-driver Dale Moscatt have completed an important test before this weekend’s Rally Poland, one of the fastest and most challenging events in the FIA World Rally Championship.
The flowing Polish stages allow extreme speeds, but after the test Pedder says he’s extremely confident of a good result in his new WRC2 Skoda Fabia R5.
“From all reports the Skoda is up to 20 kilometres an hour faster than our rival R5 cars,” Pedder said.
“Last year in Poland the Skodas were unbelievably quick, so knowing we’re in equal machinery this year is hugely encouraging, in fact, I can’t wait to get on those fast roads and see what the car is capable of.”
Apart from the high speeds, Pedder will also have to contend with a road surface that will be heavily rutted by the time he enters each stage.
“The surface in Poland is very sandy, so with the World Rally Cars and at least another 10 WRC2 cars starting ahead of us it’s going to be a real challenge.
“We had a taste of what to expect on the test stage today. It was really rutted out and so we didn’t achieve as much as I would have liked in terms of setup. But I remain confident we have a good base to work from after Portugal and we’ll just have to knuckle down and get some good runs in during shakedown later in the week.”
Pedder finished an outstanding fourth – and would have taken third if not for a last-stage error – on the 2014 Australian champions’ 2016 return to WRC2 in Portugal in May.
In 2015, the Polish rally marked a turning point for Pedder in his inaugural WRC2 campaign.
“This event last year was the first time I started to see how competitive we could be in an R5 car. I’d found a setup that was working for me and I could push at the speeds I felt comfortable with,” he said.
“Coming off a decent result last time out in Portugal I’m confident we can continue to set top-five WRC2 times and if we can have a clean rally there is every chance of a podium.”
Pedder and Moscatt will be fighting hard against both the conditions and a stellar entry list of WRC2 contenders.
“It’s a pretty incredible entry list, over 25 serious contenders, I think it’s going to be the biggest fight of my career.”
After Poland. Pedder and Moscatt will contest Neste Rally Finland in July, Beijing Rally China in September and Kennards Hire Rally Australia on the Coffs Coast on 17-20 November.
Follow Scott Pedder:
Websites: www.scottpedder.com.au and www.wrc.com
Twitter: @scottpeddercom or #scottpedder