To make matters even more interesting, Kaur - the winner of the opening three gravel events - has limited knowledge on asphalt, which was highlighted on the previous round in Germany when his challenge failed to pack its usual punch.
Although he’d been a contender for victory all season, Craig Breen was able to capitalise on Kaur’s lack of Tarmac pace to claim his maiden WRC Academy win. The Irishman is one of six Pirelli Star Drivers competing in the WRC Academy this season with support from the Italian tyre firm and the FIA, the governing body of world motorsport, and will be a contender for first place in France.
Like Kaur, Australian Brendan Reeves considers asphalt to be his least favourite surface and could struggle to hold on to his third place in the drivers’ standings, particularly with Spanish ace Yeray Lemes close behind.
Lemes, who placed second on ADAC Rallye Deutschland, is competing in France in the knowledge that he will drive a Super 2000 Skoda Fabia on his home round of the world championship next month after being selected for the step up in performance by Volkswagen Motorsport, which is assessing potential candidates for its entry into the WRC from 2013.
Christian Riedemann returns to the WRC Academy after competing in a Volkswagen-run Fabia in Germany. Like Lemes, he will also compete in Spain with the German make after impressing VW bosses with his performance on the Trier-based rally.
Miguel Baldoni will be on a high in France following his success on Rally de San Luis, a round of the Argentine championship, last weekend.
Alastair Fisher has been fast but frequently out of luck this season. Despite leading on several occasions and recording a number of fastest stage times, the Northern Irish driver has yet to secure the podium finish. He will be desperate for a change of fortune in France.
Several asphalt experts will be in action in France, including Spaniard Jose Suarez, Czech Jan Cerny, Dutchman Timo van der Marel and Italian Andrea Crugnola, who was third on round four. Conversely, Fredrik Ahlin, from Sweden, has limited asphalt knowledge but showed well in Germany by finishing sixth, while Molly Taylor attended an asphalt driving school in Italy to get ready for Rallye de France.
Ashley Haigh-Smith will make his WRC Academy debut in France although the South African’s late addition to the category means he is not eligible for points. Sepp Weigand, who took part in the series for the first time in Germany, in place of Riedemann, continues his campaign in Alsace. Like Haigh-Smith, the Weigand won’t be allowed to score championship points.
Miko-Ove Niinemae, from Estonia, and Russian Sergey Karyakin complete the WRC Academy entry in France.