WRC-3 is a new FIA championship for 2013 that is open to two-wheel drive cars. Drivers must contest at least six events in the season, with the best five results counting towards their final championship points total.
Frenchman Sebastien Chardonnet (pictured) drove a Citroen DS3 R3T to victory on the opening round in Monte Carlo and with no drivers choosing to run in Sweden or Mexico his 25 points are the only ones on the championship table.
All that will change this weekend, however, when the first of six qualifying rounds of Citroën’s ‘Top Driver’ scheme brings eight more drivers to the party.
The field in Portugal includes a mixture of youth and experience. In the youth camp, 24-year old Chardonnet will do battle with Simone Campedelli (25), Federico Della Casa (21) and former WRC Academy front-runner Alastair Fisher (24).
Also in action will be national Citroën Racing Trophy winners Keith Cronin (26) and Quentin Gilbert (23), and the runner-up in last year’s German Rally championship, Christian Riedemann.
At the other end of the experience scale are 34-year-old Bryan Bouffier, outright winner of the 2011 Rallye Monte-Carlo and Francesco Parli, 41, the runner-up in last year’s European Championship in the two-wheel drive category.