Official WRC thread

Necx0

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Just read a little article on wrc.com outlining the shift in seats for '09.

Obviously we all know about the Citroen Junior team. Despite Rautenbach being the only one to do all 12 events I expect him to get his arse handed to him by Atko and Ogier. Novikov will certainly be in the running for biggest repair bill of the year but he is meant to be insanely quick.

Stobart team of Wilson and Aava. This will be interesting, just like Rautenbach I expect Aava to destroy Wilson. I don't think I'm alone in thinking that Matthew Wilson is just not a world championship level driver. Yeh ok he is only 22 but Jari, Galli and Duval all were way faster in the same equipment and he has been on the World circuit for 3/4 years now?? When you have guys like Gardemeister, Duval and Petter Solberg looking for seats, pootling around at the bottom of the top 10 isn't acceptable. Will there be implications if Aava, after only one season of WRC, shows a clean set of heels to Mathew?
 

argatoga

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Stobart team of Wilson and Aava. This will be interesting, just like Rautenbach I expect Aava to destroy Wilson. I don't think I'm alone in thinking that Matthew Wilson is just not a world championship level driver. Yeh ok he is only 22 but Jari, Galli and Duval all were way faster in the same equipment and he has been on the World circuit for 3/4 years now?? When you have guys like Gardemeister, Duval and Petter Solberg looking for seats, pootling around at the bottom of the top 10 isn't acceptable. Will there be implications if Aava, after only one season of WRC, shows a clean set of heels to Mathew?
Matthew Wilson won't be going away as long as Stobart is under M Power. Malcolm won't fire his son.
 

Hazardous

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Just read a little article on wrc.com outlining the shift in seats for '09.

Obviously we all know about the Citroen Junior team. Despite Rautenbach being the only one to do all 12 events I expect him to get his arse handed to him by Atko and Ogier. Novikov will certainly be in the running for biggest repair bill of the year but he is meant to be insanely quick.
Might be right. I'm not expecting Rautenbach to do anything except have an occasional crash and maybe lucky score finish. Ogier showed his speed by leading in Wales and Atko has been beating Conrad despite being in the Subaru so I think it's pretty clear Rautenbach is not going to beat his teammates. As for Novikov, he's pretty unknown to me personally and thus can't say anything about his speed nor the potential repair bills, but I'm assuming he has no previous experience with WRC machinery and therefore don't expect much in the first few events. Hopefully he has the sense to go for finishes rather than results in the beginning.

Stobart team of Wilson and Aava. This will be interesting, just like Rautenbach I expect Aava to destroy Wilson. I don't think I'm alone in thinking that Matthew Wilson is just not a world championship level driver. Yeh ok he is only 22 but Jari, Galli and Duval all were way faster in the same equipment and he has been on the World circuit for 3/4 years now?? When you have guys like Gardemeister, Duval and Petter Solberg looking for seats, pootling around at the bottom of the top 10 isn't acceptable. Will there be implications if Aava, after only one season of WRC, shows a clean set of heels to Mathew?
Matthew Wilson won't be going away as long as Stobart is under M Power. Malcolm won't fire his son.
Matthew is on the fourth year of Malcolm's five year plan now. I expect the plan to go through and him to be around in 2010, but if there are still no results it'll be hard to get past that.

Anyway, I expect Aava to wipe the floor with Matthew as far as speed goes, there's no doubt in my mind about that.
 

otispunkmeyer

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Just saw this :-(

Petter Solberg has an epic fail and marks the end of SWRT by falling on his ass :-(

[YOUTUBE]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CLKnliJC9RU&eurl=http://www.autoblog.com/2008/12/24/video-petter-solberg-gets-a-subaru-boo-boo/&feature=player_embedded[/YOUTUBE]
hahaha thats brilliant... the boy always did come across as a bit of a mad clown so a stunt like this isnt suprising. embarrasing but solberg is still cool
 

Necx0

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Ok not WRC BUT.......FUCK YES!!!!

WRC.com
Formula One stars to tackle Finnish rally

Former Formula One world champions Kimi Raikkonen and Mika Hakkinen will both contest Finland?s Arctic Lapland Rally later this month.

The Finnish circuit racing stars will swap two wheel drive for four, and smooth asphalt for snow and ice when they tackle the event, the opening round of the Finnish Rally Championship, on 22 January.

Based from Rovaniemi, on the edge of the Arctic Circle, the event has been run for 44 years, and is sometimes used as a test for the winter rallies in the WRC. Previous winners include former WRC champions Marcus Gronholm, Tommi Makinen and Hannu Mikkola.

The event marks the Arctic rally debut for 2007 Formula One champion Raikkonen, who will swap his Ferrari for a Fiat Abarth Grande Punto S2000. He will be co-driven by fellow Finn Kaj Lindstrom, who previously partnered multiple WRC champion Tommi Makinen.

Raikkonen has long been a fan of rallying and has indicated that he will tackle more events once his Formula One career is over.

Formula One champion in 1998 and 1999, Hakkinen is also a big rally enthusiast and has driven the arctic event in 2003, 2004 and 2006. This year he will drive a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 9, accompanied by Ilkka Kivimaki - former co-driver to Markku Alen.

The last time Raikkonen and Hakkinen competed together was October 2001 at the Japanese Grand Prix when Raikkonen was in a Sauber and Hakkinen a McLaren. On that occasion Hakkinen had the upper hand, taking fourth place while Raikkonen retired after colliding with the car of Jean Alesi.

We?ll find out who wins the snow fixture when the rally concludes on 24 January...
 

Hazardous

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I was thinking of posting that but couldn't decide on which topic to do so...

JJ Lehto and Mika Salo are also on the entry list, adding up to four of seven finnish drivers who have started an F1 race. Just Heikki is missing from the modern era drivers, which is a shame because from what I understand he's quite a rally driver as well...
 

Hazardous

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Entry list for Rally Norway has been released. Again four factory cars and six for Stobart and Citro?n Junior teams, and with the Adapta team entering Mads ?stberg there are 11 more or less 'regular' entries. The guest entries include a few interesting names as well... Certain Petter Solberg is in the list, surprisingly entered by "Petter Solberg Rally MSN Edition" instead of the Adapta team which I would have expected. His car is marked as TBA. Another notable guest appearance is P-G Andersson who has been entered with a Skoda Fabia WRC. There's also Andreas Mikkelsen but he has been entered with a group N car.
 

Loz

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Autosport said:
Volkswagen Considers WRC entry.

Volkswagen is considering a move into the World Rally Championship and is expected to make a decision in the near future.

The German manufacturer will finalise plans for its future motorsport activity once it has completed this year's Dakar Rally.

VW motorsport director Kris Nissen revealed that the WRC is an option and said that a global motorsport programme is "important" to VW.

"We want to make a decision after Dakar," he told this week's Autosport magazine. "We have looked at the World Rally Championship and we have been keen to investigate whether this would be possible, as well as the Dakar or instead of the Dakar.

"Volkswagen is one of the world's biggest car manufacturers. International competition is really important - Dakar is international competition but so is the WRC. Nothing is decided yet."
Please do it VW, more entires the better.

http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/72803
 

Hazardous

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Propably tabloid speak for 'he is talking to Proton'. As he should, in his situation there's no harm in talking to everyone. Finnish media says he's speaking with Fiat as well. He's propably also talking to Skoda and everyone else who are likely to be around in 2010.

And in any case, who knows what Proton is going to do in S2000. Odds are they are going to get some motorsports specialists to do the development work for them (Mellors Elliot Motorsport has developed an S2000 Satria, but Prodrive's rally department is standing idle isn't it ;) ) in which case the make of car is largely irrelevant.
 

edkwon

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Here's an english language article for those who can't read Norweigan

http://www.autoblog.com/2009/01/20/proton-to-pick-up-subarus-mantle-in-the-wrc/

Before Subaru entered the World Rally Championship in the Nineties, it was little more than an obscure Asian automaker. Though its rallying efforts helped to put it on the map, Subaru has decided to ditch the WRC this season. But another little-known Asian automaker may be ready to pick up what Subaru is throwing away. That company is Malaysian automaker Proton. And it's not as ridiculous as you may think.

The state-owned enterprise has a strong customer base in Asia, and is the largest automaker in the Muslim world. Proton also owns Lotus, which brings the parent company a considerably performance engineering knowledge base to tap into. Subaru's former partner Prodrive is looking for a new client. And to cap things off, now unemployed former champion Petter Solberg (who used to drive for Subaru), is now rumored to be signing on to Proton's rally team. Together with motorsport garage MEM, Proton has been busy preparing an S2000-spec rally car based on its Satria Neo hatchback for the lower-level Intercontinental Rally Championship, and if plans to switch the WRC to a modified "S2000+" formula come through, it could pave the way for Proton to mount an assault on the WRC by 2010, as the brand is eager to expand outside its regional market and establish itself in Europe.
 

Hazardous

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There's no IRC thread but this is close enough...

Sebastien Ogier won the Monte Carlo Rally yesterday (yes, the event started wednesday and ended on friday). It was his first Monte, propably his first time on snow (which there was plenty of!) and first run in a S2000 spec car, so a very impressive start. He was not the fastest driver but he was consistent while others made mistakes. Freddy Loix took second place which was his goal as he'll run the whole championship while Ogier did only this event as a one-off and that effectively gives the Belgian the series lead. Stephane Sarrazin was third after making two mistakes that cost him well over five minutes.

He was lucky to get away with them, though, unlike early learder Juho H?nninen who dominated the event early on and Kris Meeke who was also strong, both of whom crashed out of contention on the start of the third day. Reigning IRC champion Nicolas Voullioz also crashed out on the second day, while Toni Gardemeister and Anton Alen retired in the final day with technical problems. All in all, it was one of the trickier Monte Carlo Rallies with plenty of snow and slush on tap and plenty of ice and wet tarmac too. And the live broadcasts in the night from Col de Turini were something else... :cool:
 

argatoga

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I'm glade that Petter will be present. If only FIA didn't scare Subaru and Sazuki with their Suck 2000 spec idiocy we would still have a more diversified car line-up as well.
 

Necx0

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This IRC isn't too shabby. Great driver line up, and pretty good action too although the cars still aren't fast enough.

Solberg in a Xsara?? Both Subie drivers now driving Citroen. If he can get a top 5 result that would be very impressive but perhaps a top 10 is more realistic.

In addition, a couple of new rules for 2009 I wasn't aware of. Number of mechanics in service reduced from 6 to 4. Probably not a great move, hardly going to reduce costs but might make the difference between a car continuing or not. Secondly drivers are allowed a safety crew (otherwise known as gravel/ice crews) to run the stage beforehand. Very positive step in the wake of some of the problems we had this year and of course Atko's enormous crash.
 
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Hazardous

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It's his home event and on snow... I would not be surprised to see him in top five, though that would require some problems for others.
 
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