Tuesday | 01 Mar 2016

Kremer aims to make up ground

WRC 2 pacesetter, Elfyn Evans, will miss this week’s Rally Guanajuato Mexico – and the Welshman’s absence is expected to throw the battle for category honours wide open.

The M-Sport World Rally Team driver has taken maximum points from the opening WRC 2 events in Monte Carlo and Sweden and holds a 32-point lead over Armin Kremer in the current championship standings.

But Rally Guanajuato Mexico is a long haul event that Evans has decided not to nominate as a point scoring round in 2016, so that means Kremer will start the gravel event as the favourite to take maximum championship points.

History has shown that success in Mexico often comes the way of drivers that have experience and a cool head. Kremer has both. With 102 WRC starts on his record, the Skoda Fabia R5 driver will be looking to make up some ground on Evans by adding maximum points to the 18 he scored as he finished second at January’s Rallye Monte-Carlo.

Kremer’s bid will be helped by the fact that reigning WRC 2 champion, Nasser Al-Attiyah, will also be absent from the Mexican stages. The event clashes with an important phase in his Olympic Games training programme as a sport shooter.

But one man that is expected to push Kremer hard in Mexico is Teemu Suninen. The Skoda Fabia R5 driver has started the 2016 season strongly, finishing 12th in Monte Carlo and 10th in Sweden.

He wasn’t registered for WRC 2 points at either event, but it’s clear he’s currently enjoying a rich vein of form and getting back to a more familiar gravel event could be the catalyst the highly-rated Finn needs to officially get his WRC 2 championship charge off the ground.

Joining the WRC 2 field at Rally Guanajuato Mexico for the first time in 2016 will be Abdulaziz Al-Kuwari. The Qatar driver is vastly experienced in the category having tackled a full WRC 2 campaign with a Fiesta RRC in 2013, narrowly missing out on the title to Robert Kubica after three wins.

After a quieter campaign in 2014, Al-Kuwari returned to WRC 2 in 2015 and netted an impressive fourth-place finish in the final championship standings. This season he has swapped his Fiesta for a Skoda Fabia R5.

Nicholas Fuchs will also make his first WRC 2 appearance of the season at Rally Guanajuato Mexico. Like Al-Kuwari, the Peruvian has also made the switch to Skoda machinery and his Wevers Sport-prepared Fabia R5 will boast a brand-new livery (pictured above).
After driving a Skoda Fabia R5 in the opening WRC 2 events of the season in Monte Carlo and Sweden, Hubert Ptaszek will switch to a Peugeot 208 T16 at Rally Guanajuato Mexico. The Pole has joined the Peugeot Sport Slovakia team and this week’s event will mark the first time he has competed in North America.

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