Kawasaki World Superbike team boss Paul Bird will start the defence of his Manx Telecom Rally title in Port Erin this evening.
Bird and co-driver Kirsty Riddick will have the number one plastered on their Ford Focus world rally car.
But they face some tough opposition.
Sports Editor Tim Glover reports:-
Bird hadn't enjoyed much luck on Manx tarmac until 12 months ago when he took an emotional victory at the event.
His main challenge will come from the several other world rally cars in the field of 77 crews.
However, many will fancy the chances of British Rally Champion Keith Cronin in the Suburu Impreza.
Local interest will be centred on Steven Quine and Richard Skinner.....and George Collister and Janet Craine who performed so well a year ago.
There are five stages this evening from 7 o'clock and a further full day of action tomorrow ahead of the finish at the Grandstand.