Tidemand eyes fightback

Pontus Tidemand is aiming to close the gap to WRC 2 points leader Jan Kopecký at this week’s Dayinsure Wales Rally GB (4-7 October).

The Skoda Motorsport driver heads a 14-car entry in Wales and is looking to bounce back after a Rally Turkey retirement handed his Czech team-mate a 32-point advantage in the title race.

With Kopecký missing the event, Tidemand has an opportunity to score strongly in his Fabia R5 and take the championship battle into the final two rounds of the season – although both drivers’ remaining programmes are yet to be confirmed.

Kalle Rovanperä is expected to push Tidemand hard as he takes the wheel of a second factory Fabia. The Finn, who celebrated his 18th birthday on Monday, will return to the scene of his WRC debut in 2017.

Norway’s Ole Christian Veiby will switch from Skoda to Citroën machinery and after a pre-event test he’s hoping his new C3 R5 will carry him to a positive championship result.

Eric Camilli is entered in an M-Sport Ford Fiesta

“There are obviously some new things I have to get used to, but at the same time I felt that I understand the car,” Veiby said. “My goal is to finish on the podium in the championship and I think I have a fair chance to do so.”

Simone Tempestini and Stéphane Lefebvre will also drive a pair of C3s in the classic Welsh forests, while Gus Greensmith lines up for his home event in his usual Fiesta.

Other Fiesta runners include former FIA Junior WRC champion Nil Solans and former M-Sport factory driver Eric Camilli.

Hyundai development driver Jari Huttunen will contest his sixth event of the year in an i20 R5, while Pierre-Louis Loubet will use a privately-entered i20.

After his debut podium in Turkey, Chris Ingram will once again use a Fabia in Wales, as will Marquito Bulacia, Fabio Andolfi and Lukasz Pieniazek.

Head to WRC+ to watch All Live from Dayinsure Wales Rally GB, including every stage broadcast live, breaking service park news and expert studio analysis.

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