Mads Ostberg boosted by Rally Portugal victory
|By David Evans||Thursday, April 26th 2012, 15:53 GMT|
Rally of Portugal winner Mads Ostberg says he was boosted by his maiden World Rally Championship win.
Ostberg picked up his maiden WRC win on the last round when Mikko Hirvonen's Citroen DS3 WRC was excluded for contravening regulations regarding the car's clutch.
"I've said it before and I say it again: winning my first [world championship] rally in this way is not the way I wanted to do it," said Ostberg, "but the reaction has been positive and for sure it has helped us a lot on the sponsor side.
"The sponsorship side looks a lot better now than it did before Portugal and I am happy for that."
Ostberg is currently third in the World Rally Championship drivers' race, having taken two podiums from his three starts in the 2012 series. The Norwegian says his priority for the extra funding will be more testing rather than an entry on Rally New Zealand, the only event outside of his programme for the rest of the year.
"I want to do more testing and prepare better for the events," he said. "So far this year we have done two one-day tests, one of those was on the snow and one of those was on the gravel.
"So, it's not perfect and we want to be able to do more. At the moment, if we test, we take budget from the rallies for the second half of the year, so the extra sponsorship we get will firstly go to testing and then to enter New Zealand."
Ostberg remained in Portugal for a holiday, but was greeted by significant interest when he returned home to Norway.
"I wasn't surprised at the interest," he said. "I have seen it over many years with Petter, so I knew what would happen. The response was very good with the television and the rest of the media. This kind of thing is really good for the sponsors and for everybody involved in the team."
Despite becoming only the second Norwegian ever to win a round of the world championship, Ostberg said he could still walk down the road unmolested in the nation's capital city Oslo.
"Some people maybe come for the picture," he said, "but in Norway the people are really quite calm 'it's no problem to walk down the street."