Ott Tänak goes into this weekend's ADAC Rallye Deutschland in Trier, Germany, topping the driver's table by 22 points with five races remaining on the calendar, and on the back of a dominant win in Finland earlier this month.
Tänak and his co-driver, fellow Estonian Martin Järveoja won in Germany both last year and in 2017. The evening opening test begins at 8 p.m. Estonian time, ERR's sports portal reports, and is being liveblogged (in Estonian) here.
"Of course, I really like the German rally," Tänak said ahead of the event, according to a Toyota Gazoo Racing press release.
"Martin and I have won there the past two consecutive years, and we are aiming for a third win," he continued.
Tänak was not taking victory as a given, however.
"It's definitely not an easy rally. Last year was probably one of the toughest of my career because the competition was very strong and I had to put in a lot of effort right from the start," he said.
The WRC German rally is unusual in that it is held entirely on asphalt, with three very distinct stages, including one through vineyards in the mountains overlooking the River Moselle.
Saturday's stage runs the same course, but in the reverse direction from last year, with Sunday being marked by a return to the vineyard section. Altogether the race totals 19 stages over 344 km.
"The fact that one rally has so many different tracks, all of which have to be taken flawlessly and quickly is a big challenge for a rally driver. We know that the weather is also a major factor here, not to mention an unpredictable one," he continued.
Tänak and Martin are on 180 points ahead of the German rally, with reigning, six-time world champion Sebastien Ogier (Citroen) in second place on 158 points, and last year's runner up, Thierry Neuville of Belgium (Hyundai) on 152.
Maximum points at any WRC rally stand at 25 plus five bonus points. Tänak has maxed-out three times this season, in Sweden, Chile and Finland, and also won in Portugal.
Editor: Andrew Whyte