Nil Solans hopes to secure the 2017 Junior World Rally Championship title next week when the series reaches its finale at his home round RallyRACC Catalunya - Rally de España [5 - 8 October].
After winning the first three rounds of the championship, 25-year-old Solans and his co-driver Miki Ibanez start the final round as favourites in a two-way title battle with Frenchmen Nicolas Ciamin and Thibault de la Haye.
But the odds are stacked in Solans' favour. He has a 23-point advantage and needs just three more points to seal the title, having already claimed the WRC 3 crown at the last event in Germany.
Ciamin needs a win, a maximum haul of stage win points and Solans to hit trouble to have a realistic chance of the title.
As well as the headline title duel, the mixed-surface rally will also settle the competition for the final pair of WRC 2 prize drives in 2018. Five drivers are in with a chance, led by Germany's Julius Tannert, the winner of the Junior category at the previous round [see video below].
For Solans, it's an extra incentive to push. “Firstly we are focused to fight to secure the Junior WRC title and secondly our aim is to try and take the last set of prize drives in WRC 2 – there is a lot still to be decided and everyone is close," he said.
"It’s our home event and I want to really enjoy the rally. We have an event here the weekend before so it will be great to get up to speed before the WRC round.”
Ciamin also has plenty to fight for. “It will be tough to win the championship but I will try. At the very least we will push to win the rally and the prize drives – this is still very possible,” he said.
Completing the Junior WRC field are Frenchman Terry Folb and rookie Swede Dennis Rådström.
Spotlight: Nil Solans
We focus on the driver chasing a WRC title double