Kris Meeke has believes that having Rally of Portugal winner Sebastien Ogier in the Peugeot team for this week's Rally d'Italia-Sardegna will be a big boost for the French team.
Ogier has switched from the Citroen Total World Rally team to join the Northern Irishman in an expanded Peugeot lineup for the latest round of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge. As well as defending IRC champion Meeke and Ogier, Bruno Magalhaes, Franz Wittman, Thierry Neuville, Paulo Andreucci and Burcu Cetinkaya will also drive 207 S2000s.
"Sebastien is a huge talent," Meeke said. "Anybody who can beat [Sebastien] Loeb has got to be. It's great to have him competing for Peugeot and sharing our area of the service park.
"With Seb on board we can pose a genuine challenge to the Skodas. We'll have to work very hard indeed to beat them. But try and beat them we will, because that's the best way to score points, not just in the drivers' title race, but also for Peugeot in the manufacturers."
Meeke is fourth in the title race, 17 points behind Skoda's series leader Juho Hanninen.
Meeke's co-driver Paul Nagle added: "We've simply got to get everything right at Sardinia. It's the biggest field of the year so far. Along with the normal suspects we have P-G Andersson in a Mitsubishi and Andreas Mikkelsen in a Fiesta. We're looking for a good result this weekend. It's vital to our championship defense."
The event begins with a ceremonial start tonight, before running two full days on the gravelly Sardinian roads over the weekend.