''I have some idea of what to expect''
Abarth driver Giandomenico Basso, contesting his first full year of the IRC series this season, says that his lack of experience should not stop him from challenging for victory on the Istanbul Rally, which takes place from April 4-6.
true that I am contesting this rally for the first time, but I have competed on other rallies before in Turkey, so I have some idea of what to expect," said the 34 year-old Italian. "We have made some small improvements to the car over the winter, so I'm feeling confident that we can be competitive from the very start."
Basso, a former European champion who won the IRC Madeira Rally last year, forms part of a revitalised Abarth squad this season. His team-mate is rising Finnish star Anton Alen, the winner in Russia last year.
"There is going to be very close competition this season – and I expect Anton to be very fast," said Basso.
"I have more experience on asphalt than on gravel, so he is sure to be pushing me very hard in Turkey. But in the end, he is just another rival to beat, and I have to try and beat everyone if I want to win the title. Although I will be learning most of the rallies, I don't see myself as starting at a disadvantage," he stated.
Basso and Alen will test their Grande Punto S2000s for the final time just before the rally start in Turkey.
"I think we are well-prepared," Basso considered. "That's just as well, as the competition is sure to be extremely close – which is what I am looking forward to most this year."