The only stumbling block to a Meeke triumph may well be Volkswagen Polo-shaped. The German machines have again done the bulk of the winning this year, courtesy of Sébastien Ogier (Monte Carlo, Sweden, Germany, Corsica and Catalunya), Jari-Matti Latvala (Mexico) and Andreas Mikkelsen (Poland) with the Frenchman securing a fourth consecutive drivers’ world title after winning in Spain last time out.
Ogier comes to Wales aiming to be only the second driver in the event’s history to make it four wins in row – matching Norwegian Petter Solberg’s quadruple whammy for Subaru between 2002 and 2005. Several drivers have done the hat-trick (Timo Mäkinen, 1973-1975; Colin McRae, 1994, 1995, 1997 (1996 was a non-championship affair); Richard Burns, 1998-2000; Sébastien Loeb, 2008-2010) but a quartet of wins for Ogier now that the title pressure has gone away would be a fitting bolt-on to his season.
Other headaches for Meeke could come in the form of the two other VW Polos of 2011-2012 winner Latvala and Andreas Mikkelsen and the three Hyundai i20s of Thierry Neuville, Hayden Paddon and Dani Sordo.