Official WRC thread

Bishamon

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I don't know if any non-finns get anything out of this vid but I'll post it anyway since it's one of the funniest rallying videos I've ever seen.
That's hilarious! The EuroSport coverage only had a brief clip without any conversation.
 

Necx0

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Nothing much to say about the French WRC other than more complete dominance from Loeb. Looking forward to Japan and Wales as they are two of the best events on the calendar I think.

Ok I have a question for everyone and anyone who can answer. Subaru's gearbox has just won some innovative design award. For those of you not familiar with Subie's new box it is quite strange and I can't for the life of me figure out how it works.

It seems to be just your normal 6 speed gearbox operated via paddle from the steering column, pull backwards to go up the gears (1,2,3,4 etc.) and flick forward to do the opposite. HOWEVER the Subaru box is an H pattern box still, which apparently allows the drivers to select any gear at any time. It also means shift times are down to 12 milliseconds which is pretty insane. Maybe I need to look up the difference between the way sequential boxes are grouped inside the box compared to H pattern boxes.

Can anyone shed any light on this?
 

Hazardous

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On best events, you forgot Finland! :p

But yes, both Japan and Wales are interesting events and also have the tendency to provide surprises.

Anyway, according to Subaru's Richard Taylor(see wrc.com for more info) Prodrive is considering running another two Impreza WRCs next year, making it potentially six Imprezas on most rallies. I'm getting the impression it would be very similar to how M-Sport is running extra cars under the Stobart banner. Nothing has been confirmed yet, though, but one can always hope...
 

Necx0

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You notice I said 2 OF the best. Not THE best :p

I thought the same as you. Citroen could easily field 6 cars too. I thought the field may look like this.

Ford Works:
Jari Matti Latvala
Mikko Hirvonen
Whatsisname

Stobart:
Matthew Wilson
Gigi Galli/Francois Duval

Munchi's:
Henning Solberg
Whoever

Subaru:
Petter Solberg
Chris Atkinson

Subaru B:
Guy Wilks
Brice Tirabassi

Subaru Norway:
Mads Otsberg
??????

Citroen:
Sebastien Loeb
Daniel Sordo

Citroen B:
Andreas Mikkelsen
Sebastien Ogier

Citroen Private:
Urmo Aava
Conrad Rautenbach

Not a bad line up for '09 possibly?
 

Hazardous

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Seems beliveavable, although a tad optimistic. Though you forgot Suzuki from the list. Personally I'm quite doubtful of the Subaru and Citroen B-teams. I also doubt that Munchi's will be around next year but that's not a big loss, M-Sport will just run those cars under different banner (Stobart or something else).

What I'm looking forward to is seeing where these drivers end up in:
- Mikkelsen. Ford man so far but tested Citro?n. He could end up anywhere.
- Aava. Really strong performances at the latter half of this year
- Duval. Showed his pace in Ford, hopefully that's enough for a drive

It's an interesting silly season again...
 

Necx0

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I left Suzuki off deliberately as 1. Not sure they will be around next year and 2. If all those cars were in the game I doubt we would see them in the top 10.

I really think Duval has showed he still deserves a top line seat although Japan and Wales will be a big test for him. Aava has really been very very impressive for a first full WRC year, consistently top 6 running. Rautenbach I don't really rate, maybe thats a bit harsh but considering he is in the same equipment as Aava?? Has been a long way off his pace.
 

Hazardous

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I left Suzuki off deliberately as 1. Not sure they will be around next year and 2. If all those cars were in the game I doubt we would see them in the top 10.

I really think Duval has showed he still deserves a top line seat although Japan and Wales will be a big test for him. Aava has really been very very impressive for a first full WRC year, consistently top 6 running. Rautenbach I don't really rate, maybe thats a bit harsh but considering he is in the same equipment as Aava?? Has been a long way off his pace.
I've never rated Rautenbach. Ever since I first saw the guy at Rally Finland some years ago. Ironically what I saw that time was the team banging his S1600 Citroen back into shape with sledgehammers. But his results were never that impressive in JWRC and has continued in the similar way this year.

I do agree on Duval. He might not be the most talented guy around but deserves a full time ride. Hopefully he'll get the ride for Stobart or some other private outfit.
 

argatoga

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Ford is doing well so far which means they will fail spectacularly tomorrow.
 

Walsh_e

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Seb wins title number 5! :D Such an amazing driver, wonder how much longer he can keep his winning streak up?

Kudos to Suzuki as well who managed to get both cars in the top 6!
 

argatoga

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It will be close, but we may see Ford grab another manufacturers.

And wow, Loeb is fantastic. Who would of thought a non-Scandinavian would hold the records for most titles.
 

argatoga

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Loeb can now truly be called "the Schumacher of rallying".
Agreed. If only we could see him race in a Group B car.

On a somewhat related note does anyone know if he will be racing in the 2009 Le Mans?
 

noodles 555

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ari

ari

It will be close, but we may see Ford grab another manufacturers.

And wow, Loeb is fantastic. Who would of thought a non-Scandinavian would hold the records for most titles.
i seen where ari vatanen was asked once in an interview about loeb and he said well his grandfather is from finland thats why he is good:mrgreen:
 

Necx0

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No idea but he has been given a test of the Red Bull F1 car. He is simply an amazing driver, rare to see him make a mistake like he did in Japan, however the electronic centre diff was playing up which explains it.

On another note that was the most crazy rally I have seen in a long time. All rallies should be like that. 29 stages!!!! As I said further up Japan is awesome but this time it was for different reasons. That rally was just frightening. Second pass through 190kph+, the speed isn't such a problem but the massive ruts are. Any one of them could have thrown the car into the trees. Truly mental driving. The conditions on the third day reminded me a bit of Cyprus 2002 with the torrential rain, great to see.

Awesome to see Jari-Matti back on form, he was SO fast on the third day. Mikko has really stepped up too. Duval was doing a great job until his accident, that was always his weakness at Citroen.

On a slightly strange note, a couple of stages were cancelled due to snow. How bloody ridiculous. We had unexpected snow in our rally series this year and we didn't cancel stages!!!
 

Hazardous

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I rather doubt this route will be used again. The conditions were terrifying throughout the event, that's no gravel rallying. Some shots of the third day stages really reminded me of old Safari rally with the ruts and big puddles. The car were skidding on their sump guards more than on their tyres on corners. 'Shit rally' as Sebastien Loeb put it.

Duval was running really well, shame for his accident. So glad that Pivato is making steady recovery, though, the accident he had was seriously scary and had he the impact with the steel pole been inches further back the result could have been far worse.
 

Necx0

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Yes I am definitely not one of the "safety at all costs" crowd but I think this rally was bordering on too dangerous. Seeing the cars bouncing along at 160kph+ and with the route having metal poles like the one Duval hit next to the road is a real worry. Destroys cars as well.
 

Necx0

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Rallysport Mag
Two-time World Rally Champion, Marcus Gronholm, tested a Subaru Impreza WRC2008 last week, and was reportedly three seconds quicker than regular drivers Petter Solberg and Chris Atkinson.

According to RallySport Magazine sources at Prodrive, the test took place on a stage in the UK. After the SWRT drivers finished testing in the morning and left, it is believed that Gronholm, Andreas Mikkleson and Urmo Aava were helicoptered in by Subaru, and tested the car.

Although it is not known what times were posted, the word around Prodrive is that Gronholm was three seconds faster.

Autosport magazine in the UK reported that Gronholm drove the car in a secret test, but Subaru World Rally Team managing director, Richard Taylor, declined to comment.

Gronholm indicated at Rally Japan that he was interested in doing a few rallies next year, however he all but ruled a full-time return to the WRC in 2009.
Am I the only one that finds this hilarious??
 
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