World Rally Championship star Sebastien Ogier has been confirmed as an entrant in the next round of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge in Sardinia next week - and points leader Juho Hanninen thinks he will be a major threat.
Ogier will return to the Peugeot team after contesting this year's IRC-opening Monte Carlo Rally in a 207, in an effort to bolster the chances of defending champion Kris Meeke.
"It will not be easy in Sardinia because the entry is strong and I know Sebastien Ogier will be very fast," said Skoda driver Hanninen. "And he only has to think about winning the rally, not the championship. The idea for me is to drive for victory, but it will be stupid to take any risks."
Hanninen has started all four IRC rounds this season, winning once in Argentina, to build a seven-point lead over his team-mate Jan Kopecky. Hanninen pointed out, however, that he needed another big score on the Sardinian loose before the series moved into an asphalt phase of the calendar where four of the five rallies are running on sealed surfaces.
"I need to win because we have some Tarmac rallies to come and winning those will definitely be more difficult for me," he added.