15 Oct 09
For Armindo Araujo, the forthcoming Rally GB will be a chance to parade his title-winning Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX - for the four drivers behind him in the standings, it will offer the chance of silver across the spread of a season.
Nasser Al-Attiyah is favourite for the runners-up spot. He has won twice this season in his Barwa Rally Team Subaru and will have benefited from competing more recently than some of those around him.
Al-Attiyah won the Troodos Rally round of the Middle East Rally Championship last week and is scheduled to tackle the Cambrian Rally - a British national event running through similar stages to those undertaken on Rally GB - on the Saturday before the start of the final round.
Martin Prokop has the opportunity to be first in Juniors and second in Production. The Czech driver’s Rally Australia success was enough to lift him above early-season hero Patrik Sandell. Sandell won the first two rounds of the championship in his Skoda Fabia S2000, prompting onlookers to tip him as potentially the first driver to win both the Junior and Production titles. Unfortunately for the Swede, his title tilt went off track with a heavy crash in Portugal.
Joining the Swede with Skoda power is the fourth and final protagonist for second place: Eyvind Brynildsen. Like Sandell, the Norwegian’s season promised so much at the start, when he collected second place at home in Norway, but reliability issues with a variety of Lancers - and his own car not even arriving in Argentina - have forced him to look down the Super 2000 road.
He demonstrated both his and the car’s ability in Spain, when he won Group N on the Catalunya Rally, but now it’s time to do it when it really matters - on the dirt in Wales. Like Al-Attiyah, Brynildsen will have had a chance to acclimatise to the nature of the roads as he too is heading for a North Wales warm-up on the Cambrian.
There are no wildcard entries for this event, but Scotsman Dave Weston runs the Inforally Team entry in his Impreza WRX. He has shown ever-improving pace in this year’s British series and he could threaten for points on his second Rally GB outing.