Mads Østberg insists he has no plans “to do anything special” when he rallies in Latvia for the first time in almost 10 years next week.

The FIA World Rally Championship event winner took part on Rally Talsi in 2012, giving the Norwegian a flavour of what to expect from the opening leg of Rally Liepāja, which is based around Talsi to the north-east of host city Liepāja.

Østberg hasn’t competed since Rally Sweden in mid-February but will be back behind the wheel of his PH Sport Citroën C3 R5 when Rally Liepāja takes place for the eighth time from 14-16 August as round two of the 2020 FIA European Rally Championship.

“My intention isn’t to do anything special, but to get back into normal rhythm as quickly as possible,” said Østberg, 32. “I think it’s easy to make things too complicated, when you are a little bit insecure, but I feel quite comfortable to prepare normally for this event, even if I have been out for a long time, I don’t intend to do anything other than what I normally do. My approach is to be back to my normal driving as quickly as possible, but, for sure, not having been in rally car for six months, it will take a little bit of time, to get back up to speed. In terms of driving, it will be interesting to see our pace for me as well.

“I know that ERC already started in Rome and drivers are probably a little bit better prepared than me as this is our first outing back in the car. We will probably be more focused to get back into rhythm. Obviously, it can cost us some time, but we want to do well. We want to be competitive and at least we want to be the fastest crew on the second day. That’s our target.

“Rally Liepāja is a very good rally. It’s the preferred choice by Citroën to do this event. For me it’s good as well. I know it slightly from the past and it will be nice to meet Raimonds Strokšs. I met him in 2012 and he is still the organiser of this event.”

Mads Østberg was speaking toRoberts Graudiņš of Rally Liepāja. Follow this link for the full interview: http://2020.lvrally.com/eng/news/228

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