With an 18-point lead over Flodin, Araujo is guaranteed the title if he finishes sixth or higher - whatever Flodin does. In order to claim the championship for the first time, the Swede realistically needs to win the event and hope that his rival has a problem.
But, as always, there are a few other drivers who are liable to get in the way of the fight for the title. Toshi Arai is likely to be the strongest of the regular Production competitors, while the Pirelli Star Drivers are also out in force on their final appearance of the season.
Estonia’s Ott Tanak and New Zealander Hayden Paddon have been quickest of the Pirelli protégés all year, and that situation looks set to continue in the slippery forests of Wales. With so much at stake though, Araujo and Flodin are sure to set the pace.
Araujo commented: “It’s a very good situation for the championship because I am 18 points in front of Flodin for Rally GB. It’s better than nothing. We couldn’t do a practice rally but we did have some tests to prepare for the event and this was important because my last event on gravel was Portugal in May.”
Flodin is hoping that his presence will pile the pressure on Araujo, forcing the Portuguese driver into a mistake. “Hopefully now Armindo will have some pressure,” said Flodin. “Maybe we still have a chance so we’ll certainly be trying to win Rally GB. Also, there’s a good chance that some other drivers could be between us, so we’ll just have to see what Armindo is doing. This has always been a good rally for us and I feel at home on the Welsh stages.”
The two ‘wild card’ entries nominated by the British motorsport federation are Dave Weston Jr and Jason Pritchard, both driving Subaru Imprezas. Weston Jr, aged 20, is part of Team UK, formerly the MSA Rally Elite programme, while Pritchard is one of Wales’s most promising young drivers. Pritchard actually comes from Builth Wells, with his family garage just around the corner from the service park used on Friday and Saturday.
Follow this link to see the full P-WRC championship standings.
“It’s a very good situation for the championship because I am 18 points in front of Flodin for Rally GB. It’s better than nothing."