FIFTY-TWO CREWS REPRESENTING ALL THREE CHAMPIONSHIP CATEGORIES WILL TACKLE THE GRAVEL ROADS OF RALLY TURKEY (13-16 SEPTEMBER) AS THE EVENT RETURNS TO THE WRC FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE 2010.
The Marmaris-based round will play host to 13 World Rally Cars, with each WRC manufacturer fielding three entries.
The M-Sport Ford and Toyota Gazoo Racing squads will rely on their usual trio of drivers, while Hayden Paddon takes the wheel of Hyundai’s third i20, joining Andreas Mikkelsen and Thierry Neuville.
Citroën is also up to full strength, with team patron Khalid Al Qassimi making his third start of the year in a C3 WRC alongside team-mates Mads Østberg and Craig Breen.
Completing the top-line runners is Yazeed Al Rajhi, who will make his first start since Rally Italia Sardegna in a previous-generation Ford Fiesta RS WRC.
In WRC 2, top billing goes to championship leaders and Skoda Motorsport team-mates Jan Kopecký and Pontus Tidemand who will go head-to-head for the first time this season. With four rounds to go, Kopecký holds the upper hand with a slender seven-point lead in the support category.
Henning Solberg will return to the WRC in Turkey
Gus Greensmith, who is third in WRC 2, will be joined by another replacement co-driver as Craig Parry continues his recovery from a pre-event testing crash in Germany. Alex Gelsomino, who co-drove Greensmith in 2015 and 2016, will stand in for the rounds in Turkey and Dayinsure Wales Rally GB.
Parry meanwhile flew back to the UK yesterday (Wednesday) after a three-week spell in hospital in Trier where he was treated for a broken pelvis.
Also making a return for the 10th round of the season is Henning Solberg. The 45-year-old Norwegian will drive a privately-entered Ford Fiesta R5 during his first WRC appearance since Rally Sweden in February.
European under-27 champion Chris Ingram will also compete in the support category, as he makes his WRC 2 debut in a Skoda Fabia.
Thirteen crews will tackle the final round of the FIA Junior WRC. With double points on offer, any of the current top four in the standings – Ken Torn, Jean-Baptiste Franceschi, Dennis Rådström and Emil Bergkvist – have a chance of sealing the title.