Category winners Yuriy Protasov and Nasser Al-Attiyah head a strong WRC 2 entry for Rally Argentina which includes five of the top six drivers in the championship points.
Protasov claimed maximum points in Monte-Carlo and Mexico, but will be keen to put a troubled Rally de Portugal behind him when he failed to score. The Ukrainian has switched from a Ford Fiesta R5 to a RRC version, favouring the older car’s proven reliability for the rough stages over the newer R5.
He holds a 16 point lead over Lorenzo Bertelli, who is also in a Fiesta RRC. Third placed Karl Kruuda is absent, giving Jari Ketomaa (Fiesta R5), second in Sweden and Portugal, and Portugal winner Al-Attiyah (Fiesta RRC) the chance to move up the order.
Max Rendina lies sixth in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X but the Italian’s priority will be to extend his lead in the Production Cup, which runs within WRC 2. Closest rival Gianluca Linari is 32 points behind while third-placed Juan Carlos Alonso is also here.
Ott Tänak returns to WRC 2 after his World Rally Car outing in Portugal. The Estonian will hope to climb into the title battle after a disappointing result in Mexico, as will Quentin Gilbert. Both drive DMACK-shod Fiesta R5s.
Last season’s WRC 2 runner-up Abdulaziz Al-Kuwari lines up for his second outing but missing is Yazeed Al Rajhi, who was taken ill last week during the recce for the Jordan Rally.
Sixteen crews are due to start, including FIA Codasur Championship leader Diego Dominguez and fellow newcomers Gustavo Saba and Miguel Angel Zaldivar, both from Paraguay.