Current SWRC points leader Juho Hanninen will hope to extend his points lead this weekend with a third victory on Rally Finland.

The Red Bull Skoda driver has taken class honours twice in the past on the high-speed gravel event and will now hope to extend his current eleven point lead in the championship.

"We have already won twice here, so it's pretty obvious that we want to complete a hat-trick, but we also need some more points for the championship," Hanninen, who won the event as a wildcard last year while competing in the IRC, said. "The competition is tough, but we are prepared to put in the best possible performance, also because many of our friends and our families, too, are going to come and keep their fingers crossed for us.

"I am looking forward a great deal to this rally - it includes fast stretches, many jumps and a lot of driving on forest roads."

German driver Hermann Gassner will partner Hanninen in the two-car Skoda line-up as he continues to acclimatise to Super 2000 machinery.