The WRC 2 heavyweights come together at RallyRACC Catalunya - Rally de España this week as all six remaining title contenders face off against each other in what should prove a thrilling mixed surface encounter.
Pierre-Louis Loubet (above) heads the standings by six points from Benito Guerra, both in Skoda Fabias. Kajetan Kajetanowicz, driving a Volkswagen Polo, and Nikolay Gryazin, also in a Fabia, are just two points adrift.
Also in the hunt are Marco Bulacia and Fabio Andolfi (both Fabias) with only the final dirt road fixture in Australia to follow.
The points permutations are endless, especially with dropped scores likely to play a part in the championship outcome. Entrants only count the best six scores from their first seven rounds and Loubet is the only driver who could lift the crown here.
Realistically the title winner is likely to come from Loubet, Guerra, Bulacia or Andolfi who are also entered for next month’s Kennards Hire Rally Australia. Loubet is the favourite, but both Guerra and Andolfi could lift the title, irrespective of the Corsican’s results if they win in both Spain and Australia.
Out of the title running but likely to feature strongly this weekend is Ole Christian Veiby, category winner in Sweden, along with Eric Camilli and Spanish brothers Nil and Jan Solans, the latter making his WRC 2 debut after winning the Junior WRC title earlier this month.
Four drivers are entered in WRC 2 Pro, headed by teenage Finn Kalle Rovanperä who clinched the title at the previous round in Britain.
Rovanperä is joined by Skoda Motorsport team-mate Jan Kopecký, who secured the WRC 2 title at this rally 12 months ago. The pair, driving Fabias, can secure the manufacturers’ title for the Czech team, which holds a 53-point lead over M-Sport Ford.
Gus Greensmith represents the British team in a Fiesta, with Norway’s Mads Østberg completing the entries in a Citroën C3.