However, due to the fact that he had a very tough recce in Ireland two years ago – when the World Rally Championship last visited the Irish route – Aava's main focus for the first round of the season will be finishing the event. Rally Ireland is this year's season opener in the WRC, due to get under way a week from now.
“The plan is to find a good rhythm but it's most important to get the car to the finish. This is not a rally we want to attack in. When I did the race in 2007 I found the most difficult part of the stage to understand was the grip,” said Aava.
“The tarmac is changing all the time and it is especially bad on the sections where there is grass in the middle of the road. For sure this will be a very difficult rally, maybe even more so than Monte Carlo, and in some places it's like Finland but only on tarmac - with very high speed sections over crests,” added the Estonian.
Aava's best performances last season were recorded on tarmac surfaces. He scored an impressive 4th place in Rally Greece, followed by a 5th place in New Zealand.
He will be joined in by Matthew Wilson and Henning Solberg in the Stobart lineup for Rally Ireland. Stobart put both its drivers inside the Top 8 in the 2007 Rally Ireland, with Jari-Matti Latvala finishing 3rd and Wilson recording the 7th best time of the weekend.