The fast South Wales forest stages, with their sweeping roads, are the venue for the final round of the 2006 FIA World Rally Championship, Wales Rally GB to be held from December 1 -3. After the last two years, when the rally was held earlier in the autumn, this year the weather is expected to be cold with a high possibility of rain.

With a starting list of 118 competitors, this is the largest entry since Rally Finland in 2001 with all this season’s M1 classified teams contesting the event.  Kronos Citroen World Rally Team are expected to field a two-car team for Pons and Sordo, but a final decision is yet to be announced.  It is believed that Sebastien Loeb will not return to the championship until next year, allowing him longer to recover from his shoulder injury.  Having already secured this year’s Drivers Title, there appears to be little point in Loeb returning for Wales Rally GB.

BP-Ford World Rally Team will again be represented by Finns Marcus Gronholm and Mikko Hirvonen, and the team will be full of confidence after securing the Manufacturers’ title last weekend in New Zealand.

Subaru’s Petter Solberg will be attempting to win his fifth Wales Rally GB in a row, and he and team-mate Chris Atkinson will drive the Imprezas they last drove in Japan.

Two successive podium finishes for Austrian Manfred Stohl will see him keen to finish off the year with another top placing in his OMV Norway Peugeot.

Stobart VK M-Sport Ford Rally Team have entered three cars for this event with Matthew Wilson and Jari-Matti Latvala driving 2006 version cars, and 17 year old Andreas Mikkelsen in a 2004 version car.  The total age of the three Stobart-entered drivers is less than 60 years!

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