Pontus Tidemand starts as favourite to extend his unbeaten WRC 2 record at YPF Rally Argentina (27 - 30 April).
The Swede is joint leader of the championship with Andreas Mikkelsen after victories in his opening two rallies in Sweden and Mexico. Mikkelsen topped the rankings in Monte-Carlo and Corsica but is absent from the south American classic this weekend.
It is Tidemand’s first start in Argentina and the Skoda Motorsport driver had a rude welcome to the country when he crashed his Fabia R5 during Monday’s pre-event test.
“It was maybe not the best preparation! We rolled the car one time over. It was not a big roll but we have good mechanics and they changed the roof and today the feeling was good in the shakedown. I was fully confident and the car is 110 per cent,” said Tidemand.
If Tidemand falters, then Benito Guerra could capitalise on his first rally outside his native Mexico for three years. He won the PWRC category in Argentina in 2012 en route to the title, but admitted that lack of recent experience could hinder him.
“I haven’t raced here for five years so it’s a little bit different. The stages on Saturday are different, very fast sections that I didn’t know. Our notes are a little bit different now, as well,” said Guerra, who is co-driven by Dani Cué for the first time in many years.
Fabia R5s dominate the entry, with five of the six starters in the Czech car. Pole Hubert Ptaszek, who retired from his only appearance so far this year in Mexico, is joined by Paraguay’s Gustavo Saba and Argentina’s Juan Carlos Alonso in similar cars.
Pedro Heller is the only non-Skoda driver. The Chilean, who finished fourth in Mexico, drives a Ford Fiesta R5.