Official WRC thread

MadCow809

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not gonna be much help when they are trailing around in P10 ~ P30.

And personally I reckon Ken Block isn't even near Pastrana's level of consistency, he is in for a tough time.
 

Hazardous

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not gonna be much help when they are trailing around in P10 ~ P30.

And personally I reckon Ken Block isn't even near Pastrana's level of consistency, he is in for a tough time.
With the number of WRC spec cars being what it is for 2010, top ten finishes would not be out of quesiton. Even KB should be able to beat group N or Super 1600 cars in WRC spec car.
 

Necx0

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I think Block will be duking it out with Al-Qassimi and Rautenbach for the last couple of points.

Seeing what Petter did in an '08 car in Spain Chris should be able to bag a podium or two.

Suddenly the WRC is getting some stiff competition again! Just need to kick Qassimi and Rautenbach out and put Galli and Aava in an we are set.
 

Karoug

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^Don't forget P-G Andersson! I think he is good enough for a place in WRC.
 

rallyist

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I think Block will be duking it out with Al-Qassimi and Rautenbach for the last couple of points.

Seeing what Petter did in an '08 car in Spain Chris should be able to bag a podium or two.

Suddenly the WRC is getting some stiff competition again! Just need to kick Qassimi and Rautenbach out and put Galli and Aava in an we are set.
Yeah Galli pretty good driver, I miss him.I'm also wanted Markko Martin's return to WRC.:cry:
 

Hazardous

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Well, it was an interesting shootout for the world championship but sadly it came to an abrupt end as the bonnet pins on Mikko Hirvonen's Focus came loose and the bonnet slammed open on the penultimate stage. Kudos to Mikko though, his did his all and that 10+ second win on the second stage of the day showed that he never gave up.

But congratulations to Sebastien Loeb. Mikko did a fantastic job this weekend but Loeb proved why he is said to be the best rally driver of his time and maybe best rally driver of all time. Flat out all through the event and under big pressure and he didn't put a foot wrong. That's six world titles in a row now, all well deserved.
 

Loop

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Yeah, I think there is no denying now that Loeb is the best rally driver in the world... ever. He has been quick on all surfaces this year and Mikko was somewhat lucky due to all the problems that Loeb had that he got even this close in the end.

Still, Mikko did amazingly good job in many situations and never gave up, always fighting right up to the last meters. Sadly, Loeb was just too good to be beaten. Maybe next year...

As Hazardous already said, that is now six titles in a row. Pretty impressive, eh?

Oh, and finally: Congratulations Loeb !
 

argatoga

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What makes you think Kimi will be a great rally driver? F1 and rally racing are world apart.

Anyhow, I cheated and read crash.net before watching the Eurosports caps. Overall this season was great. Mikko is getting better and better as is Latvala and Sordo. With Petter now having a better car next year should be fantastic.
 

Gingertom

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Really disappointed that Hirvonen didn't win but congratulations to Loeb anyway.
 

Cobol74

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Congrats to Loeb - yes he has proved it - greatest WRC driver ever.

The Americans should be welcomed as they may possibly bring in new fans - WRC once seen never forgotten, and hopefully some money too.
 

Necx0

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Taken from Autocar, didn't see this one coming. Would be pretty cool though! More manufacturers the better

Prodrive will run Mini's forthcoming Crossover 4x4 in the World Rally Championship, according to reports.

Although there has been no official confirmation of the deal, Prodrive technical director David Lapworth has admitted that the team has a deal to run cars for a manufacturer new to the WRC - and that it will be increasingly difficult to keep the identity of the cars secret in the coming months.

The launch of the Mini Crossover is currently scheduled for next March's Geneva motor show, although it has been postponed twice. Autosport magazine is now reporting that the World Rally Championship version of the car would then be launched at September's Paris motor show.

Prodrive, which prepared the iconic Subaru rally cars that took Colin McRae, Richard Burns and Petter Solberg to world titles, has been working on a theoretical new-generation World Rally Car for much of this year, developing the parts required without actually working on a base model.

Lapworth said, "Right now there is nothing to say and I don't think there will be anything to say until the spring. This is not an official statement from me, it's just the way things look.

"That said, it's going to be very difficult to keep this thing under wraps. Very soon we will have to start involving more and more people: the FIA, a lot more suppliers and things like that. Once we do that, more is bound to come out.

"It's possible a holding statement might be made then. It?s going to be hard to keep it a secret."

When asked if Prodrive had a roadgoing version of the car it intends to run at its Banbury HQ yet, Lapworth replied, "That would be difficult, the car doesn?t exist yet."

This would tie in with the team developing the Mini, as the final production specification hasn't been set yet.

It's anticipated that if Mini entered the WRC, it would contest selected events in 2011 before launching a full championship assault in 2012.
 

argatoga

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Would be interesting to have BMW on board. But Prodrive didn't do so well the last few years.
 

Necx0

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Well similar to what I did in the F1 thread I thought I would give my view on a pretty awesome 2009 season driver by driver.

Khalid Al-Qassimi:
It must be nice to drive in the WRC for fun. Khalid is apparently the most exciting driver in the championship to watch live, sideways with the engine singing. This is of course because he is minutes off the pace and a gear lower than every other driver. I recognise that if he wasn't there, there would be no third works car and he brings a lot of money. But I hate that he is taking up a seat when others are on the sidelines, like for instance.....

Chris Atkinson:
A potentially promising season disappeared when the Novikov/Rautenbach chequebooks came out. I initially had my doubts about Chris in the WRC but he has truly developed into a world class driver. Hopefully he will make more appearances in '10. Citroen must be rueing the decision to give a car to Novikov over Atko. He may bring more money but look at the trail of destruction he left in his wake.

Mikko Hirvonen:
He may not be world champion but he is my "Driver of the Year". Loeb made 2 driving mistakes this year in Greece and to a lesser degree in Poland, Mikko made none. Without water pump failure in Argentina he would have only needed 7th or 8th in Wales to secure his first title. His drives in Norway, the gravel of Cyprus, Finland, Poland and Australia were just sublime 110% on the limit all the way. His improvement in the last 2 years has just been enormous, especially in overcoming his fear of being first on the road. Remember, when Loeb was Mikko's age he had 0 world titles and only a couple of wins to his name. Can't wait for next year.

Jari-Matti Latvala:
The bane of Malcolm Wilson's life. Stunningly fast but his first win came too early. At the beginning of 2008 he was happily looking forward to life as a number 2 at Ford. Then he won in Sweden and decided he should be fighting for the win in every rally. He then embarked on the rollercoaster ride of "lead for the first day-bin it" approach every WRC fan has become accustomed too. Immensely spectacular to watch and when he is on it probably the fastest driver in the WRC. Unfortunately that confidence has been knocked about this year. Will only get better though, apparently the nicest bloke you will ever meet as well.

Sebastien Loeb:
The year when "Mr Invincible" almost lost his self confidence. Fascinating to watch the driver who has been untouchable for so many years on the back foot. His crash in Greece was the biggest of his career and quickly followed by the mistake in Poland. It may have been a manufacturing error but everyone else missed the tree stump! So rarely have we seen Seb have to push 100% but there are few drivers in WRC history that could match him when he does. His efforts on the first day of Cyprus, in Australia and the second day of GB come to mind. 2010 will be perhaps his biggest test as Mikko is almost his match on gravel and Sordo seems to have the pace on tarmac.

Evgeny Novikov:
Its a curious fact that rally drivers don't seem to hit their peak until their 30's. For some reason there is a need for personal maturity, as well of course the experience that is attained along the way. Novikov is a perfect example of this. Geez the kid can drive, but he is on the ragged edge. Rally co-drivers are about the bravest souls you will find, so scaring one into giving up a world championship seat is no mean feat. I can only remember Duval in 2005 attaining this before. I hope Evgeny comes back to WRC at some point but personally I am glad he has had a troubled year this year as this approach of giving young guys new cars until they finally stop crashing is the wrong approach to driver development I think.

Sebastien Ogier:
A shaky start for the other-other-other Red Bull sponsored Sebastien lead to mutterings he was out of his depth. Certainly his performance in Cyprus was almost comical. To his credit he kept his head down and focused on finishing rallies and by the end of the season was showing impressive speed, enough for Citroen to want to provide a third car next year. Expect many many battles between him and Jari next year.

Mads Ostberg:
Very talented. Wrapped up another Norwegian national championship this year and has put in impressive performances in his WRC appearances in the 2008 Impreza. Perhaps not right on the pace and has been beset with regular mechanical dramas but as Solberg and Atkinson suffered with similar problems it hardly seems fair to single out Ostberg as the weak link. Was always going to be close between Ostberg and Mikkelsen for the next Norwegian superstar. Has a very tidy girlfriend as well!

Conrad Rautenbach:
Another money driver. There are those that say "well he has the backing so good on him" and I see the point, but this is meant to be a professional motorsport championship. If there were only 4 or 5 top line drivers in the world then it wouldn't be so bad, but when the Galli's, Aava's, Duval's and Atkinson's don't have drives then the paying public are no longer seeing the sport's elite. A good driver but not world class.

Henning Solberg:
One of the sport's true characters and a great ambassador. His best years are probably behind him unfortunately but still a consistent points finisher and it would be a shame for him to lose a drive when he provides such value for his sponsors! Much like Craig Lowndes, bad fortune may befall him but he will always be smiling.

Petter Solberg:
Runner-up for "Driver of the Year". As Petter himself said in Spain, "Up Yours" to all the doubters. I suspect his motivation was waning at Subaru but the role of underdog seemed to awaken his competitive spirit. In Cyprus my jaw was wide open as he caught Sordo by 40secs a stage to take third place. The results may not have always shown it but he drove that Xsara to within an inch of its life. Showed his class by matching Hirvonen for speed in Spain before battling mightily with Sordo in GB. Remember Sordo had an '09 car and a year's worth of experience to go with it. Hopefully secures the funding to do the whole year in 2010 and I look forward greatly to the post event interview when he wins again.

Dani Sordo:
Another driver who has made enormous strides in the past 2 seasons. From a promising young tarmac specialist he has become quick on all surfaces and a very reliable number 2. Still on the improve, good under pressure and very hungry for his first win. Surely it must come in 2010?

Frederico Villagra:
An interesting yardstick by which to compare the WRC drivers against. As a 5-time Argentinian champion Frederico is presumably an extremely capable driver, yet he is blown away by the WRC regulars showing just how damn good these guys are. Will presumably keep popping up in WRC events until his funding runs out!

Matthew Wilson:
Just how long is Matthew Wilson's development programme? Much has been made this year of Matthew's strong season and his regular points finishes. While it is true this has been his strongest year when there are only 8 or 9 WRC cars finishing every event it isn't hard to stay on the road and in the points. Yes he is improving and still only very young but he has been in the WRC a while now and he isn't exactly showing front running pace. A prime example is Rally GB, Jari-Matti (a driver of similar experience) was running him down at almost a minute a stage.

Well hopefully you have enjoyed reading this, although perhaps only Hazardous will bother :lol: I am aware I am perhaps a little harsh on some of the drivers. Rautenbach, Wilson et al are actually immensely talented drivers capable of scaring the pants off just about anybody. Unfortunately the nature of rallying is that being a second a kilometre off the pace (which no-one would ever notice) means you would be 5-6 minutes behind at the end of an event. Despite the thin fields 2009 has been an immense year and 2010 should be even better! As a final note this was my pre-2009 prediction.

ME
Of course Loeb will be the strongest, the guy is just a freak. Mikko and Jari got very close on pace last year, especially Jari so it could be pretty close on the gravel and expect Jari or Mikko to win in Norway. Dani Sordo just keeps getting stronger, although his car does have a strange habit of blowing up, maybe thats why they called it a C4?? (Boom-tish)

Behind them a fair few cars will be fighting it out. Atko will be quick when he appears and Urmo Aava will probably be best of the rest. Ogier and Ostberg proved at GB they can be mega fast but may not have the experience to challenge the front. Henning will grab a few points at most rallies as will Petter if he can get his hands on a half decent car for the rest of the year, he might struggle in a Xsara. Rauntenbach will continue attacking the scenery and Wilson will continue having "steady runs" at the bottom of the top 10. As for our local connection with Mr Novikov, I nominate him for biggest repair bill of the year, although hopefully Dale can curb that somewhat
 

Hazardous

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I somewhat disagree on some points... Mostly in that I'd hand 'driver of the year' title Loeb despite his two mistakes. His five wins in a row early in the year, including tricky tarmac at Ireland, snow in Norway and three gravel rallies showed that he is the man to beat in WRC, and his efforts in both Australia (which he still won in my book, but what can you do) and Wales were further demonstrations of his steel nerves.

Mikko did a great job this year and late in the season he showed that he can be a match for Loeb, but the first half of his season is what really cost him his title as my driver of the year. He couldn't match Loeb in those first five rallies, and didn't beat Loeb on pace before Finland. At that point he really stepped up his pace, and if he would have started the year in the form he finished it the end result could well have been different. Still, the gauntlet has been thrown and if Mikko can carry his current form into 2010 Loeb is going to be in serious trouble.

The rest of your review I pretty much agree with. Looking forward to 2010, this must be one of the longest winter pauses with Wales having been in October and next season not kicking off until mid-February in Sweden.
 

pfrocker

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Nice read Nexc0, I like Loeb, Hirvonen, and Latvala.

But I did feel it was Hirvonen's turn this year, just felt bad for him. Yes, Loeb is the faster driver, but I think this year Hirvonen was the more consistent driver.

Anyway looking forward to 2010.
 

Necx0

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I somewhat disagree on some points... Mostly in that I'd hand 'driver of the year' title Loeb despite his two mistakes. His five wins in a row early in the year, including tricky tarmac at Ireland, snow in Norway and three gravel rallies showed that he is the man to beat in WRC, and his efforts in both Australia (which he still won in my book, but what can you do) and Wales were further demonstrations of his steel nerves.
Really I agree with you, Loeb particularly in Norway since its his least preferred surface was just incredible. But he always gets all the awards so I thought I would give it to someone else :p
 

jack_christie

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Two brillant videos from Wales

WRC Rally GB 2009 (HD) / rallymedia.nl
[YOUTUBE]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ypeSuKTF0Hc[/YOUTUBE]

WRC Wales Rally GB 2009 Highlights / ingram motorsports
[YOUTUBE]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ncfJYNZX-2s[/YOUTUBE]
 

argatoga

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So will we be seeing new cars next year? I would imagine they would run them in a couple events next year before the change over.
 

Hazardous

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So will we be seeing new cars next year? I would imagine they would run them in a couple events next year before the change over.
We'll see. According to Malcolm Wilson Ford might add a Fiesta or two to their lineup on some WRC events in 2010 and I'd be surprised if Citro?n was't considering that option as well. Both are also rumoured to be interested in debuting their S2000 contenders in Monte Carlo.

All just rumours, of course, but then again it would be good testing for the new cars so I don't see why they wouldn't take the opportunities.
 
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