The entry list for the Latvian fixture was published today (Thursday 23 June) and contains almost 20 top-flight cars as well as plenty of big names.
Among those entered is New Zealand’s Hayden Paddon - winner of WRC Rally Argentina in 2016 and former Hyundai factory driver.
The Kiwi will make his second-ever FIA European Rally Championship start with a Hyundai i20 N Rally2, prepared and run by his own team and mechanics.
Paddon is using the event as a warm-up ahead of some WRC2 outings in Europe later this year as he works towards a full seven-round WRC2 campaign in 2023.
“It’s been three years since we did a rally in Europe, so it’s been a little while between drinks,” Paddon told FIAERC.com. “We’re really looking forward to getting started again.
“We’re not coming over to try and be heroes straight away. It’s a different kettle of fish from rallying in New Zealand to rallying in Europe, so we’re just looking to build ourselves back into it.
“Latvia is a pure test event for us,” he continued. “It’s been a big push to get the car ready in time and the first time we’ll sit in it will be on the shakedown. We’ll be testing lots of different things throughout the rally and it’s all sort of working towards 2023,” he added.
Team MRF Tyres Škoda driver and championship leader Efrén Llarena will resume battle with Nil Solans, who has once again entered a Hyundai i20 N Rally2.
Solans will be joined in his KOWAX Racing team by Tom Kristensson, while Llarena’s MRF colleagues include Javier Pardo and ERC Open graduate Mārtiņš Sesks.
Rally Islas Canarias podium-finisher Yoann Bonato is back in action with a Citrën C3 Rally2 and frontrunners Simone Tempestini, Simon Wagner and Vaidotas Žala have each entered Škoda cars.
Other entrants include Ken Torn in a Ford Fiesta as well as newcomers Mikko Heikkilä (Fabia) and Australian driver Luke Anear (Fiesta).
- Full coverage from Tet Rally Liepaja will be available on WRC+ All Live here, including every stage broadcast as it happens as well as key interviews, features and expert analysis from the service park.