M-Sport Ford driver Grégoire Munster is confident of a stronger showing in his second World Rally Championship start in Rally1 machinery as he switches from gravel to asphalt.
The Luxembourger will again pilot a Puma on next week’s Central European Rally, allowing him the chance to improve on his steady debut in the car on Rally Chile.
Despite numerous challenges, including a lack of pacenotes on the first morning of the event thanks to co-driver Louis Louka leaving his pacenote book in the hotel, Munster completed all 16 stages and brought the car home for a respectable 13th place finish, ahead of fellow Rally1 debutant Alberto Heller.
With good learning under his belt, the 24-year-old is eyeing a stronger showing on a surface that should be more familiar to him.
“Yeah I think we are a bit more [of a] Tarmac specialist, and also we’ve been driving a lot in Germany, some events in Austria, and then the Barum Rally [in the Czech Republic],” Munster told DirtFish.
“So I guess we will be more comfortable on Tarmac, but now it’s also the point of how the car behaves on this kind of stages.”
The M-Sport Ford driver wouldn’t go as far as setting himself a target for CER, opting instead for a wait-and-see approach.
“That’s a difficult question,” he said, when asked what would represent a good result on the event.
“I guess on gravel, it’s more a bit about the feeling and just if you can take the corners pretty well in one time with a good slide. Not being too perfect and everything. It’s more forgiving.
“I think on Tarmac it’s really demanding, everything needs to be precise as well.”
Comparing the Puma to his more regular Rally2 Fiesta, Munster noted just how different the driving experience is.
“First of all you have the hybrid, which is quite difficult to get to know when to use it, how much you can apply not to lose too much time with no traction,” he said.
“You have to find a good compromise, and it takes a bit of time to get used to it.
“And then you also have the aero. I will say the faster you go in these short corners, then you can use it. But sometimes you don’t have the grip into the corner, so it depends if the tire will also hold on and accept all that grip you have. So that’s also tricky.”
The Luxembourg-native completed a pre-event test in Austria this week, ahead of the WRC’s newest event which runs October 26-29.