Former Production World Rally champion Nasser Al-Attiyah has already got 2010 off to a great start by coming close to beating Carlos Sainz to Dakar victory and then winning the opening round of the Middle East Rally Championship.
But that is just the start of his ambitions for this season, as he has completed a deal with the Volkswagen group that will allow him to contest the FIA Cross County series, the Middle East Rally Championship, the new S2000 World Cup within the WRC, and the Intercontinental Rally Challenge - and his aim is to win all four titles. AUTOSPORT heard his plan.
Q. Why the switch from Ford to Skoda?
Nasser Al-Attiyah: The Volkswagen Group wanted to help me out when I first started to look at doing the IRC series; Skoda is part of the same group, so when they found something we said: 'Okay, we stop with the Fiesta and do everything with the Fabia.' Now we will be doing a lot of rallies in the Skoda this season.
Q. Have you tested the Skoda yet?
NAA: No I haven't. I will test it in Mexico before the first round of the S-WRC programme. I'm not too worried about this, though. I drove the Fiesta S2000 in Qatar for the first round of the Middle East Rally Championship and enjoyed some success, winning the event. I think the Skoda will be a similar car to drive to the Ford.
Q. How much do you know about the Skoda?
NAA: It's a very good package and it looks like a very nice car. There was a good plan to complete the season with the Fabia and as it's part of the same group [as Volkswagen] where I have a three-year contract, it was good for the future.
Q. And what about the IRC?
NAA: I'm very excited about that. We start in Argentina, a rally we know well. We will do three rallies I've done before: Sardinia and Cyprus as well as Argentina. The other rallies are: Azores, Barum, Sanremo and Scotland - I don't know much about those events.
Q. And what about Volkswagen, how much will you be doing with the Race Touareg this year?
NAA: I know I will do three rounds of the [FIA World Cup for Cross Country Rallies] championship and some development with the car. I don't know which events I'll be doing, but I'm really looking forward to that as well. This is going to be a fantastic season with so many events. I'm certainly going to be busy!