Who to watch out for in the WRC 2 category in Australia
- Abdulaziz Al-Kuwari could return to the head of the WRC 2 points standings this weekend at Rally Australia if he maintains his strong form outside Europe. The Qatari scored maximum points in Mexico and Argentina to build a solid lead but his advantage was erased by Robert Kubica last month in Germany.
- Kubica tops the championship by eight points from Al-Kuwari but the Pole is absent this weekend. A top six finish for Al-Kuwari would be sufficient for him to move back into the lead in his Ford Fiesta RRC.
- Although some of the top drivers elected not to nominate Australia as a scoring round, Al-Kuwari will still face strong competition at the Coffs Harbour-based rally.
- New Zealand’s Hayden Paddon finished third in both Finland and Germany and the Skoda Fabia S2000 pilot will be a contender on a rally that has happy memories for him. It was here in 2011 that Paddon secured the PWRC title.
- Yuriy Protasov returns for the first time since Italy in June in a Ford Fiesta R5. The Ukrainian lies fifth in the standings and will be keen to boost his points tally on what will be his final counting round of the season.
- Yazeed Al Rajhi returned from injury in Finland with a solid finish in a Fiesta RRC and Rally Australia marks only his third outing of the season.
- Subhan Aksa is behind the wheel of a Fiesta R5 while Arman Smailov returns in a Subaru Impreza WRX.
- Alex Gelvez drives a Mini John Cooper Works RRC for Motorsport Italia, stepping up from the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X that he drove in Finland for sister team Ralliart Italy. Fellow Venezuelans Carlos Fessman and Alejandro Lombardo drive Lancers run by the Italian squad.