Gardemeister ready for win

Ford's new recruit Toni Gardemeister, fresh from his runner-up spot in the season opening Monte Carlo Rally, believes that he can realistically target victory on next weekend's second round of the championship in Sweden

Gardemeister ready for win

The Finn has been impressive at times during previous Swedish events and, providing that fresh snow does not hamper his chances by forcing him to clear the roads for the cars behind him, he is gunning to grab a win in only his second event for Ford.

He said: "It's still early in my career with Ford, but this is one of the rallies where I think a win is realistic. Much depends on the weather.

"We'll start the first day second on the road. If temperatures are above freezing and the snow is soft, we'll have poor grip in that position and we'll lose time clearing the snow for those behind to have a cleaner line. But, if it's old snow and the roads are frozen and icy, then grip will be good."

Gardemeister will have a new fellow Ford points scorer for the Swedish event, privateer Henning Solberg who is the brother of Petter. The fact that as a non works driver he still start the opening day well down the running order means he could have a mammoth advantage on the opening leg if the cars ahead of him clear the road.

"If conditions remain as they are now, then competitors higher up the start order have the advantage," said Solberg. "If it starts snowing heavily, I will have a good position. I'm delighted Ford has the confidence to nominate me for manufacturer points. I'll have the best car and best tyres, so the rest is down to me."

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