Simone Tempestini defends his FIA Junior WRC lead in Poland this week at a rally in which he claimed his only win last season.
The Italian tops the standings courtesy of victory at Vodafone Rally de Portugal in May after an enthralling battle with Martin Koci, and many view him as favourite to extend his advantage at PZM 73rd Rally Poland given his success there last season.
But Slovakian Koci heads to Poland full of confidence after winning the two-wheel drive category at Rally Hustopece in the Czech championship, while Terry Folb, third in the points, aims to enhance his title credentials.
Norway’s Ole Christian Veiby showed great pace in Portugal but the 2015 championship runner-up was delayed by punctures and hopes to enjoy better fortunes on his Poland debut.
“We cross our fingers that it will go our way in Poland since, after all, we did a great job in the car in Portugal. We won several stages and were among the fastest crews when everything worked properly, and that is something we will take with us,” said 20-year-old Veiby, who warmed up with a win at the fourth round of the Finnish championship.
Andrea Crugnola, one of the title favourites, must score heavily to make up for a disappointing ninth in Portugal while local hopes rest with Lukasz Pieniazek.
Ten crews will battle for honours in identical DS 3 R3 MAX cars on lightning fast sandy stages near Mikolajki. The cars ahead will create deep ruts and drivers that find the right balance between attacking and looking after their car will inevitably finish high up the standings.