Mads Østberg aims to challenge again

Mads Østberg aims to challenge again

Mads Østberg

Privateer Mads Østberg and codriver Ola Fløene (Ford Fiesta WRC) plan to continue challenging the factory teams in Rally Portugal . After dropping Mexico and Corsica from his WRC schedule, Mads came back with a strong performance in Argentina three weeks ago.

“I think there were quite a few among the factory guys taken by a bit of surprise by our speed especially the first day in Argentina. We had found a good setup for the car, despite limited testing, and I felt confident and motivated. I have the same feeling before Portugal and aim to fight for top positions”, Mads Østberg said.

As a privateer Østberg can test during the last days at the overseas events, while factory teams do not have that right. The team used this chance to get a couple of hours driving together with some argentinian drivers on the Monday before the rally. Mads only managed to do a few testruns, but when the factory teams noted how competitive he was in the rally, they sent the FIA  a complaint.

“I found the situation funny to be honest. And really can’t do nothing else than to take this as a compliment”, the Norwegian commented.

Mads did a guest appearance in the Norwegian championship Rally Sørland event in his Ford Fiesta R5 a week ago. He won convincingly with a solid margin against tough competition from a strong field with WRC2 frontrunners Veiby, Brynildsen and Grøndal.

“The R5 Fiesta is very different from the WRC-car and demands a totally different driving style. Still I had the chance to push really hard on technically demanding gravel roads and got some very positive answers regarding my speed”, he says.

Mads Østberg: “I think there were quite a few among the factory guys taken by a bit of surprise by our speed especially the first day in Argentina”

The 29-year-old Norwegian did a test in Portugal, mainly concentrating on differential set-up. The roads there have quite similar character, especially when it comes to a rocky and rough surface. Østberg wants to run the same suspension set-up as he did in Argentina.

“I had to adapt my driving style back to the WRC-car after running the R5 Fiesta in Norway. But soon found the rhythm again. I am really looking forward to the rally here in Portugal. It’s a classical and very demanding rally and the atmosphere with all the spectators is brilliant.”