Recce Notes: Wales Rally GB
Here's what we found on the Wales recce
The title has been secured by Volkswagen, but as the season reaches its 13th and final round in the forests of North and Mid-Wales the battle for second is wide open with Hyundai and Citroën separated by four points and a maximum 43 to play for.
Citroën edged ahead of Hyundai on the last round in Spain. Ford powered M-Sport is the only other team with a chance of second but is 29 points further back.
In a bid to maximise its chances, Hyundai has made a controversial change to its line-up. Team leader Thierry Neuville has been rested from the main squad in favour of New Zealand's rising star Hayden Paddon who will pilot an i20 WRC alongside Dani Sordo.
“Wales Rally GB is a bit like a home event for me," said Paddon. "Wales is where I competed in my first WRC round outside New Zealand, many years ago, so it is a happy hunting ground for me! Now we are scoring points for the team, we have to make sure we have a strong event and try to bring home good points.”
The hopes of the Citroën Abu Dhabi squad ride with DS 3 drivers Mads Østberg and Northern Irishman Kris Meeke, who considers the rally his home fixture.
"I took part in my very first rally in these forests, so they are very familiar to me," said Meeke. "We know what we have to do, we have to finish second in the championship. So we have to try and finish in front of our rivals”
The action begins on Friday morning and finishes on Sunday afternoon after 19 stages covering a total of 312.16km.