Rally Catalunya

Surface: Tarmac

Spain is another tarmac event, but this one is a very different event from the nerve-jangling Corsican event that precedes it. Open roads let the drivers really let fly with the throttle and they get a chance to show a World Rally Car flat out on the grippiest surface there is.

The rally takes in a variety of different types of tarmac, too, and the range of abrasion gives the teams real headaches when it comes to fine-tuning tyres.

Of course the only way to win a tarmac rally is to slice across the corners, which tends to bring mud and gravel on to the road for the next competitor: an added bonus. Colin knows the way to win here, having taken victory in 1996 and 2000 with two different teams.

The local fans will be behind Citroen on this rally, but Colin will have to accept that team-mate Carlos Sainz is the local hero and that any flag bearing the French marque's insignia will also be emblazoned with the words 'El Matador'. He won't worry about it, and it certainly won't slow him down.

Rally Catalunya is based in Lloret de Mar, the popular seaside resort just North of Barcelona. The World Rally Championship arrives in the off-season and takes over the town, putting on a spectacular show for the locals and travelling fans alike.

The bars and restaurants certainly make hay while the sun is shining too, and the atmosphere at the penultimate round of the title chase is always something to behold.