The Numbers Game

The WRC’s coveted drivers’ and manufacturers’ titles can both be secured at this week’s Dayinsure Wales Rally GB (26 - 29 October) after a thrilling season.

In the drivers’ battle, Sébastien Ogier (pictured) has a first opportunity to clinch a fifth consecutive world crown at what could be a dream double celebration on home soil for the British-based M-Sport World Rally Team.

The French Ford Fiesta driver holds a 37-point lead over team-mate Ott Tänak with the British forest road encounter and next month’s gravel fixture at Kennards Hire Rally Australia (16 - 19 November) remaining. Thierry Neuville is a further point behind.

The permutations are complex but a record fifth GB win or second place and maximum bonus points from Sunday’s final Power Stage would guarantee the title for Ogier and co-driver Julien Ingrassia.

To keep the destiny of the title alive until the final round, Estonian Tänak must score at least seven points more than Ogier while Hyundai Motorsport’s Neuville must take eight more.

The numbers are much simpler in the manufacturers’ championship, in which the private M-Sport squad is within touching distance of toppling three of the world’s biggest car companies.

M-Sport holds an 83-point lead over Hyundai, with a maximum 86 available from Britain and Australia. It means the British squad requires four points to clinch its first manufacturers’ crown since 2007.

If one of the team’s three nominated drivers – Ogier, Tänak or Elfyn Evans – finishes in Britain, irrespective of the overall position, it will be sufficient to set the champagne corks popping.

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