Sébastien Ogier hopes that the forecast eleventh-hour arrival of rain before PZM 73rd Rally Poland will transform his chances of victory this weekend.
The weather in host town Mikolajki has been fine and dry for the pre-event reconnaissance and shakedown, but rain is expected on Friday.
As championship leader, Ogier will be first to tackle Friday and Saturday's stages and expects to lose time as he sweeps away loose gravel to leave a cleaner racing line for those behind. In wet conditions however, the sweeping effect is less pronounced.
"First is definitely not the best position if it's dry - that's why I'm watching the sky and hoping for rain," said Ogier, who is chasing a third successive Poland win this week in his Volkswagen Polo R.
"Okay, this rally has a fast character, and being first will cost us less than on a really technical event. If it stays dry you will not see stages where I lose eight-tenths per kilometre like in Sardinia, but sometimes it will be a couple of seconds a stage - and they are always difficult to catch up."
"If it's a bit wet then I hope I can make some good times. The best would be some good rain during the night so it's a damp surface and then not too bad weather during the day so spectators can enjoy the show without being too wet.
"I don't hope to have any advantage, but I would hope to have less disadvantage. Either way, like always I'll give my best and see what I can get," he added.
Ogier also denied that the arrival of his son Tim earlier this month would lead to a more cautious strategy behind the wheel.
"The main difference is that it's a bit harder to leave home than before. But I don't think it's changing my approach to the rally because even before he was born I didn't want to hurt myself!" he said.
"Now yes, I have another responsibility, a big one, and I want to be there for the long term, so I will not take more risks - but I will not take less either."
During shakedown the Frenchman was presented with gifts for Ogier junior including a mini racesuit and ride on car.