Volkswagen, M-Sport and Hyundai have named Sebastien Ogier, Mads Ostberg and Dani Sordo as their respective 'manufacturer' nominations ahead of the 2016 World Rally Championship season.
Though the nomination of three-time champion Ogier for VW and Ostberg for M-Sport Ford is of little surprise, Sordo is notable for receiving the nod over Thierry Neuville and Hayden Paddon.
Sordo replaces Neuville as the Korean firm's top pick in 2015, though the Belgian – who scored Hyundai's first WRC win in Germany in 2014 – insists all three drivers have equal status despite stepping back to a non-manufacturer nominated role for last year's Rally Wales finale. Hyundai has insisted this is merely formalities though.
Nominated drivers must contest a minimum of 10 events in the season, though Sordo, Neuville and Paddon are set to contest all events in 2016 driving the latest generation i20 hatchback.
As well as the three manufacturer entries, the FIA has named four other teams eligible to score manufacturer points - the DMACK Ford Team (Ott Tanak), Hyundai Motorsport N (Paddon or Neuville), Volkswagen Motorsport II (Andreas Mikkelsen) and Yazeed Racing (Yazeed Al-Rajhi).
In addition, the Abu Dhabi WRT team (formerly backed by Citroen) is set to contest an unconfirmed number of rounds – beginning with Monte Carlo and Sweden - led by Kris Meeke, while ex-F1 driver Robert Kubica and Italian racer Lorenzo Bertelli are set to contest multiple events in 2016.