The 2019 Africa Rally Championship (ARC) series officially get underway this weekend with the 45th edition of Rally Bandama in Ivory Coast.
The new season comes with many changes, especially in the regulations but with less yet to be exhibited in the numbers of ARC competitors.
Only nine crews will score in the continental championship round.
Reigning and two-times ARC champion, Manvir Baryan will be making his debut in the traditional ARC season opener. He will be launching his bid for a third ARC title.
The Kenyan has dominated the ARC in the last two years; registering only victories in all events except in his home event; the Safari rally.
However, Baryan is not to have a smooth race with home crews hoping to break his dominance.
Gary Chaynes, a former ARC champion is expected to go neck-on-neck with the Kenyan.
Dumas Romain, Soumaoro Morifere and others will up to tight the fight at the top this weekend.
Rally Bandama revs off with a power stage on Friday afternoon covering competitive distance of 2.50 kilometres.
Crews will then cover eight stages on day two, with five stages set for Sunday.
The rally has a competitive distances of 274.05 kilometers.