The Fort Augustus driver will be at the wheel of a newly-acquired Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VII, while the MG Metro 6R4 in which he achieved a famous victory in the snow and ice 12 months ago, is off the road.
Second seed Jock Armstrong heads the south-west of Scotland challenge in his Subaru Impreza, with 2009 SRC runner-up Mike Faulkner starting third in his Evo 6.
Lancashire-based motorsport engineer Wayne Sissons and fellow Evo 9 pilot Shaun Sinclair from Oban are seeded fourth and fifth respectively, followed by veteran Andy Horne in his famed DAM 4100 Gti.
Hotly-tipped young drivers Alick Kerr (Subaru Impreza) and David Wilson (Evo 9) are both among the top ten starters along with Donnie MacDonald (Evo 9) and last year's Snowman runner-up Steven Campbell (Evo 5).
The Borders contingent is led by Duns driver Dale Robertson, co-driven by Tranent's Paul McGuire in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9.
He is closely followed by another Duns crew, that of Douglas Brydon and co-driver Dave O'Brien in their Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 6.
Competing with their new Honda Civic are the St Boswells crew of Ross Hunter and Eildon Hall while the Earlston crew of Warren Fairbairn and Derek Miller are entered in their Mitsubishi Evo 3.
The event is a counter in this year's 205 Ecosse Challenge and has attracted entries from the Peugeot 205s of Duns crew Gary Pearson and Robbie Mitchell, St Boswells crew Sean and Iain Robson and St Boswells driver Sarah Hunter and her co-driver Gary White from Melrose.
Berwick co-driver Christine Sanderson will partner Newton Stewart's Craig McMiken in his Mitsubishi Lancer.
As well as the ever-popular Escorts and Metro 6R4s, the entry list shows a wide and varied range of cars including a Proton Satria, a Lancia Delta, a Ford Capri, two Skodas, and a Lada Samara.
The organisers have reported that some of the stages still have snow on them although these have been ploughed.
A prestigious new award has been announced by the Scottish Rally Championship in the run up to the opening round of the 2010 season.
The 'Mitsubishi Evo Scottish Cup' will be supported by the Station Garage in Aberdeen - sponsors of the Granite City Rally.
There will be awards for registered competitors, both in the "Open" category, and for Group N.
The respective winners will be decided on their best six scores out of the eight constituent events in the 2010 SRC.
Registered competitors will also qualify for a substantial discount on Mitsubishi competition parts supplied through Station Garage.
Managing director Bob Shepherd was delighted to further the Station Garage connections with Scottish rallying: "We are long term supporters of Scottish motorsport in general and rallying in particular, having supported our local event - the Granite City Rally in Aberdeen for a number of years.
"During this period we have seen the Scottish Rally Championship go from strength to strength and are particularly pleased to be able to offer our support to the growing number of Mitsubishis that are competing in the series."
The popularity of the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo is shown by the large number of the marque entered for Saturday's Snowman Rally.
No fewer than 13 Evos feature in the top 20 seeds on the official entry list.