Well, heres my spin on the whole bit...
Burns: good driver, has a good car. He has the potential to be a WRC champion, but hes too cocky, and arogant. Somthing you cant have in teh WRC and win with. Plus his two #2 drivers arent going to support him that much. Especialyy if they cant make it to the seconed stage. If he learns to be cool, he'll have it bagged.
Makkinen: has the potential, but i still dont think the FVO-6.5 is gonna carry him. Its been improved alot, but its still a Group-A car, and just cant hang with the WR cars. Once the EVO-VII WRC is ready...WATCH OUT!!
McRae: Good driver, better car. Im putting alot of faith in McRae this year. Hopfully he can keep the car out of the ditch, and from going off the clif this year. If he can do that, then he will be good for a championship.
Gronholm: perhaps, hes a very cool and clam driver. A technician. He put on a WRC driving clinic last year. Hopfully he can adapt this year as well. But i dont think teh flukes that put him up top will happen this year again. So hes gonna have to claw his way to the top this time. My hopes are also riding high on Gronholm
Sainz: One word describes Carlos best..consistancy. He has tons of it. He showed he can get around the Fords technical problems through smooth driving. With a greatly improved focus. I expect to see him getting a fair amount of stage wins. ANd being a top contender for a championship.
Delecour: I dont see him doing much this year. I think he will prove an asset on tarmac. But beyond that, hes not going to be fighting for the top.
Panizzi: he should be fast on tarmac, but i dont think he will do much to best Gronholm.
Auriol: Hes just switched to the biggest WRC car, to the smallest WRC...i think teh learning curve is going to be a bit steap. I think we will see some GREAT improvement over his time with Seat. But im not expecting anything spectacular.
AS for the Skoda and Hyundai boys...we are all pulling for you.
If i had to put money down, i would have to say my favorites are McRae, Sainze, and Grinholm respectivly. With Burns coming in a close 4th.