Benito Guerra (pictured) starts the gravel event with a 15-point title advantage over fellow Ralliart Italia pilot Michal Kosciuszko and seemingly in the driving seat in terms of the title. However, with the Mexican a newcomer to the island gravel stages, Pole Kosciuszko is well placed to close up in the championship chase.
The Mitsubishi Lancer drivers have both claimed two wins apiece this season. Unlike Kosciuszko, Guerra has finished all four rounds that he’s tackled so far and he will be aiming to maintain that consistency on the Olbia-based round. Kosciuszko, however, needs to outscore Guerra to prevent his colleague from pulling clear in the standings.
Valeriy Gorban and Marcos Ligato are the only other two drivers in the PWRC to have tasted victory this season and both will be in action in Sardinia. They also remain in title contention but will need Guerra and Kosciuszko to hit trouble if they are to keep their hopes alive on the final round in Spain next month.
Gorban, from Ukraine won his class on the gravel-based Acropolis Rally back in May while Argentine Ligato, the leading Subaru Impreza driver, was victorious the last time the PWRC ran on the loose in New Zealand in late June.
Indonesia’s Subhan Aksa, Peruvian champion Nicolas Fuchs and Mexico Ricardo Trivino can perform strongly and remain in mathematical contention for the title but will be reliant on other results going their way.
Italians Lorenzo Bertelli and Gianluca Linari provide local interest, while Oleksii Kikireshko, who partners Gorban at Mentos Ascania Racing, has shown flashes of speed this season.
Sweden’s Ramon Karlsson will be hoping for an upturn in fortune after a luckless campaign. Briton Louise Cook has made the two-wheel drive section of the PWRC her own this season in a Ford Fiesta.