Official WRC thread

Necx0

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Very interesting, especially that you could get a scan of the Argentina roadbook!! It's a tricky one, especially as obviously these guys would run on pacenotes and not the roadbook, therefore they would've made the required adjustment in the notes and probably forgot about it.

I can see why Mikko in particular would feel aggrieved, given that he lost the rally by, what, 2.5 seconds or something? I agree fining the organisers was the most prudent action.

I hope we do see a bit of variety, although the three-day format does work very well. I am really liking the mixed-surface stages, although 20km in El Condor was asking a bit much. Perfect opportunity to bring back night stages on the Col du Turini?

I am in two minds about the marathon event. It would be awesome, although it still wouldn't replace the Safari. But it is also completely at odds with the cost-cutting that all motorsport is going through. If it's a proper marathon event I am imagine special cars will need to be built, and dispensation would be needed in terms of engines and gearbox rules given the extra distance put on them.

I can't see it being too popular with VW at least, they have just spent a bucketload of money over the past three years winning a marathon event in Argentina, pretty sure they don't want to do it all over again!
 

Hazardous

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Very interesting, especially that you could get a scan of the Argentina roadbook!! It's a tricky one, especially as obviously these guys would run on pacenotes and not the roadbook, therefore they would've made the required adjustment in the notes and probably forgot about it.
The roadbook page was posted by Tomi Tuominen in his blog, I just shamelessly hotlinked to it :whistle:

I hope we do see a bit of variety, although the three-day format does work very well. I am really liking the mixed-surface stages, although 20km in El Condor was asking a bit much. Perfect opportunity to bring back night stages on the Col du Turini?

I am in two minds about the marathon event. It would be awesome, although it still wouldn't replace the Safari. But it is also completely at odds with the cost-cutting that all motorsport is going through. If it's a proper marathon event I am imagine special cars will need to be built, and dispensation would be needed in terms of engines and gearbox rules given the extra distance put on them.

I can't see it being too popular with VW at least, they have just spent a bucketload of money over the past three years winning a marathon event in Argentina, pretty sure they don't want to do it all over again!
I don't think the 'marathon' in this case would be a Dakar type of a deal which would demand a lot of specific engineering, just an event that is a bit longer and possibly a bit more demanding than the others.

I really like the fact that organizers are given more freedom to make their events distinctive and we can get away of this current system where you have few stages in the morning, service, same stages in the afternoon (or possibly one new one), service, possibly a superspecial and bedtime by 8pm. It's an efficient system but it also makes things a bit bland and I think it's pretty obvious that stamping all events into the same mould does not work.

Now Finland can have an event with only two, more intensive days (as they pretty much already do), Argentina can have this longer event, Monte Carlo can have night stages in the mountains, we could have a proper mixed surface events as Portugal and San Remo used to be, Sweden could collaborate with Norway to make an international winter event, GB could return to the days of running all the way up to Scotland and back...

On Col de Turini, I really hope that will be back for WRC. Those stages have been the finale of the event over the last two years, run in the darkness of friday night and televised live. One of the best things about Monte's time in IRC...
 

Necx0

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My likes are pretty much the same as yours. I think the problem at the moment is not so much the format of the event but of the stages. Running repeated stages really isn't or shouldn't be what rallying is all about. Ironically when driving in a rally, at least on roadbook, repeated stages are fun because they give you a chance to push harder! And they are also massively massively easier logistically, but I'm not sure the World Championship should be taking the easy route.

Maybe repeat stages where events are under pressure to keep things compact but pretty sure events like New Zealand etc. or rally mad countries (Argentina, Portugal etc.) would welcome wider stages accessing more of the country.

Of course the biggest challenge is fixing the road sweeping issue. Given the current state of the championship I can't see going back to reverse top 10 being a problem. The 'second-tier' of drivers are never going to catch the front runners anyway so what does it matter if they are 5 or 10 minutes behind at rally's end? The Power Stage has shown that after the field has gone through the difference is really very small (although they are usually repeated stages).
 

Hazardous

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My likes are pretty much the same as yours. I think the problem at the moment is not so much the format of the event but of the stages. Running repeated stages really isn't or shouldn't be what rallying is all about. Ironically when driving in a rally, at least on roadbook, repeated stages are fun because they give you a chance to push harder! And they are also massively massively easier logistically, but I'm not sure the World Championship should be taking the easy route.

Maybe repeat stages where events are under pressure to keep things compact but pretty sure events like New Zealand etc. or rally mad countries (Argentina, Portugal etc.) would welcome wider stages accessing more of the country.
I think the tight format is exactly where the problem lies; Finland was never exactly the same as RAC or Monte Carlo were, but over the last 15 or so years FIA and ISC / North One have tried to make the all the events logistically as similar as possible, which is why all events now are span three days, two legs a day with a service in the same service area in between and all spanning about 350km of stages. They had their reasons for this (reduced costs and improved TV coverage) but it obviously has not worked and I don't think it's the right approach for rallying either.

As far as repeated stages go I don't have that much against them as long as the rallies don't boil down to having six stages, all run twice over the course of the event (a'la Tour de Corse a few years ago). I guess they give some unique challenge as well, and at least in Finland they sadly seem to be a necessity because it's hard to get enough marshalls to all stages. But the organizers should have the chance to do bigger events that

Of course the biggest challenge is fixing the road sweeping issue. Given the current state of the championship I can't see going back to reverse top 10 being a problem. The 'second-tier' of drivers are never going to catch the front runners anyway so what does it matter if they are 5 or 10 minutes behind at rally's end? The Power Stage has shown that after the field has gone through the difference is really very small (although they are usually repeated stages).
Happily I can report that FIA is changing the running order rules for next year. After the first day the running order for Priority 1 and 2 drivers (= pretty much all notable WRC entries and some S2000 crews) will be reversed. Additionally, for gravel events the drivers can select their road position and the first choice is given to whoever sets the fastest time on the shakedown stage.
 

Hazardous

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What's the admission process to WRC events? Is it free to stand on the side of the track? Or is this a thing that varies from event to event? (Some help from Australians who have visited a wrc round before would be good)
Have you checked the event website?

In Finland you generally need a ticket to attend (although you probably could go around the problem by going through the forest and watch beside the road in a non-designated spectator area) and tickets cost around 10-15? per stage. Superspecials (spectator stages) are generally a bit more than that. You can also get a rally pass which is around 50? and with which you can access all stages and service area. A pass for the service area costs around 5-10?. The shakedown stage (which is held before the event starts) used to be free but I think they now require tickets for that as well.

Are you thinking of attending your first WRC event?
 

Zesty

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Feel I should try and revive this thread a little by posting the 2012 WRC event calendar.

January 17/22 - Monte Carlo
February 9/12 - Sweden
March 8/11 - Mexico
March 29 / April 1 - Portugal
April 27/29 - Argentina
May 25/27- Greece
June 22/24 - New Zealand
August 2/5 - Finland
August 24/26 - Germany
September 13/16 - Great Britain
October 4/7 - France
October 18/21 - Italy
November 1/4 - Spain

I don't really know that to make of GB in September. Strange to not have it as the finale event anymore. At least Monte Carlo and New Zealand are back. :)

In other news, next year the shakedown will be used as a qualification for gravel events, and rally organisers will have the choice of allowing crews to SuperRallyor not (not on an individual basis of course, but for everyone for the duration of the event). I think shakedown actually being used meaningfully other than to simply test set-up parameters was well overdue.
 
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Hazardous

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Feel I should try and revive this thread a little by posting the 2010 WRC event calendar.
...

I don't really know that to make of GB in September. Strange to not have it as the finale event anymore. At least Monte Carlo and New Zealand are back. :)
2010? :p

There have been few years when GB hasn't been the final event, so it's not that strange. However, I would prefer having it during late autumn since the conditions in Wales tend to be trickier then.

Apart from that it's a delightfully traditional calendar, with all the modern classics in. It might as well be straight from 20 years ago, apart from the lack of Safari.

In other news, next year the shakedown will be used as a qualification for gravel events, and rally organisers will have the choice of allowing crews to SuperRallyor not (not on an individual basis of course, but for everyone for the duration of the event). I think shakedown actually being used meaningfully other than to simply test set-up parameters was well overdue.
I'm a bit torn about the shakedown 'qualifying' thing... On one hand it does get rid of the running order problems but on the other hand it underlines FIA's tendency to make things much more complicated than what they need to be. Seriously, what was wrong with setting the running order according to reversed world championship standings? But I guess that's just me nitpicking...

Also, WRC says free live web content coming this weekend for France. Fantastic news for those without ANY live coverage (like me).

http://www.wrc.com/news/wrc-to-pilot-live-web-content-during-rallye-de-france/?fid=15432
It's going to be interesting to see how this will pan out. Personally I think that live radio is pretty much as good as it can get for rallying and kinda doubt the video coverage would be a great success but I'm looking forward to see what they've come up with.
 

ZondaR

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It's going to be interesting to see how this will pan out. Personally I think that live radio is pretty much as good as it can get for rallying and kinda doubt the video coverage would be a great success but I'm looking forward to see what they've come up with.
At the very least you could supplement the radio with the live videos, if they're sometimes matching up. The live video is great for me, because there is NO way for me to watch ANY rally footage (legally) until almost two weeks after it's over.
 

Necx0

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Thanks to Zesty for reviving this thread. What did everyone think of WRC Australia? I was lucky enough to go and all I can say is thank god for SupeRally rules! Otherwise there would have been I think four, maybe five cars running after Day 1. Citroen's tactics stunk to high heaven and Ford's wasn't much better, Latvala shouldn't have been made to move over.

In a "someone pinch me" moment, in Coffs Harbours pokey little departure lounge before my flight out there was Jari-Matti, Mikko (and co-drivers), Evgeny Novikov and Michele Mouton. And at the after party Sebastien Ogier was at the bar!

Anyway, next year's calendar looks good. Although ending the championship in Spain is a massive fail. Dunno why, I just can't get into that event. Also not sure what Italy is planning but at least three of the final five events are on tarmac. So basically one of the Finns is going to have to have a MASSIVE lead going into Germany to stand a chance in the championship. Might try and go see WRC NZ it would be awesome. I am all for the Shakedown thing. Maybe there are easier ways of doing it but hey at least it's happening. Hazardous surely this amounts to the same thing? I.e the top guys will be fastest anyway so Block, Qassimi, Van Merkin (yes I know that's not his name but I can't help it) etc. will still be sweeping the road.
 

Hazardous

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Maybe there are easier ways of doing it but hey at least it's happening. Hazardous surely this amounts to the same thing? I.e the top guys will be fastest anyway so Block, Qassimi, Van Merkin (yes I know that's not his name but I can't help it) etc. will still be sweeping the road.
Exactly, it amounts to the same thing so what's the point? It's just extra complexity for no real gain so I don't see the point. It's one of those things that if you need to explain it to someone who is not familiar with the sport it'll take you ten minutes and they'll still be confused. Much like DRS in F1.

Apart from giving organizers more incentive to sell tickets to shakedown stages. Not that Rally Finland organizers needed any convincing on that...

edit: As for Rally Australia, very dramatic stuff. Good to see that even Loeb is a human after all. Hope you had a good time, Necx0!
 
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Necx0

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I think the only difference it will make it that now on tarmac the fastest driver can choose to go first. You certainly don't want to be 10th on the road in Germany or Corsica when the roads start getting dirty or, even more so, if a sudden rain shower right about the time the 5th car starts sets in. As with most things there are pros and cons.

Interesting that David Lapworth of Prodrive Mini has said the idea is ridiculous and that "if anyone should be at a disadvantage it should be the fastest drivers." WTF? That is the most fucked logic I have ever heard. Let's hear him say that when Meeke loses a rally after being forced to sweep the road on the last day.

I did have a good time, I was there partly for work so didn't get to see many stages but oh how I laughed when I heard Ogier had crashed a mere two stages after Loeb.
 

Hazardous

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Interesting that David Lapworth of Prodrive Mini has said the idea is ridiculous and that "if anyone should be at a disadvantage it should be the fastest drivers." WTF? That is the most fucked logic I have ever heard. Let's hear him say that when Meeke loses a rally after being forced to sweep the road on the last day.
Funnily enough I think that's exactly what FIA said when they introduced the current starting order a few years ago.
 

Zesty

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I was impressed by the roads up around Coffs for sure, much bigger challenge (conditions helped a lot though, I'm sure) for everyone than I could have ever imagined. Mind you, from what I've heard ticketek were their usual fail selves when it came to getting tickets sorted, and the whole system of allocation for spectator areas was very confusing - which must've caused people a lot of unnecessary angst. I would've liked to have gone myself, but there's the every annoying problem of having enough time / money. Sigh...

If anything, in Australia Ogier showed if anything that he is NOT ready under any circumstances to be a team leader, until he shows otherwise or does the much-rumoured swap with Hirvonen at Ford, he's going to have to just take it like a man and support Loeb. In fact, he has recognised leading up to France that his championship push is over and that he's there to support the team. I actually like the guy a lot, but my goodness does he need to pull his head in. :blink:

As for Ford, the fact that they could celebrate Australia as a 1-2 'victory' is just laughable. I don't think even if the Hirvonen-Ogier swap happens (which I actually think it won't) it will not be enough to beat Loeb next year...UNLESS perhaps if they can fix the reliability of the fragile Fiesta.
 

Hazardous

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I'm a bit confused about the potential for Ogier remaining in Citro?n... When Loeb's new contract was published I was absolutely sure that Ogier would be leaving the team, because neither him nor Loeb seemed happy with the current situation there and I half expected that Loeb's contract would have a clause that Ogier would not be there next year. However, now that Ogier has (at least claimed) to start helping Loeb it seems to me like he might have decided that he'd be quite happy to remain with Citro?n after all. I'm fairly certain something has happened within that team since the summer, I'm just not sure what...

On Ford side, I'm slightly doubtful that either Mikko or Jari-Matti would want to go to Citro?n. It's a great team but it's also a very french team (JM said pretty much exactly that in an interview), and that combined with Loeb being there means it's a shortcut to definite number 2 status and I'm fairly sure neither of the finns would want that. If either of them gets kicked out from Ford I'd think the most likely new address would be one of the new teams, either Mini or VW.
 

Necx0

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I was impressed by the roads up around Coffs for sure, much bigger challenge (conditions helped a lot though, I'm sure) for everyone than I could have ever imagined. Mind you, from what I've heard ticketek were their usual fail selves when it came to getting tickets sorted, and the whole system of allocation for spectator areas was very confusing - which must've caused people a lot of unnecessary angst. I would've liked to have gone myself, but there's the every annoying problem of having enough time / money. Sigh...

If anything, in Australia Ogier showed if anything that he is NOT ready under any circumstances to be a team leader, until he shows otherwise or does the much-rumoured swap with Hirvonen at Ford, he's going to have to just take it like a man and support Loeb. In fact, he has recognised leading up to France that his championship push is over and that he's there to support the team. I actually like the guy a lot, but my goodness does he need to pull his head in. :blink:

As for Ford, the fact that they could celebrate Australia as a 1-2 'victory' is just laughable. I don't think even if the Hirvonen-Ogier swap happens (which I actually think it won't) it will not be enough to beat Loeb next year...UNLESS perhaps if they can fix the reliability of the fragile Fiesta.
Thankfully I didn't have to pay for any access as I was there as media, and thank god for that. Tickets were EXPENSIVE!! and access left a bit to be desired. I dunno, I just find the concept of paying to watch rallying a bit difficult to swallow!!

I'm a bit confused about the potential for Ogier remaining in Citro?n... When Loeb's new contract was published I was absolutely sure that Ogier would be leaving the team, because neither him nor Loeb seemed happy with the current situation there and I half expected that Loeb's contract would have a clause that Ogier would not be there next year. However, now that Ogier has (at least claimed) to start helping Loeb it seems to me like he might have decided that he'd be quite happy to remain with Citro?n after all. I'm fairly certain something has happened within that team since the summer, I'm just not sure what...

On Ford side, I'm slightly doubtful that either Mikko or Jari-Matti would want to go to Citro?n. It's a great team but it's also a very french team (JM said pretty much exactly that in an interview), and that combined with Loeb being there means it's a shortcut to definite number 2 status and I'm fairly sure neither of the finns would want that. If either of them gets kicked out from Ford I'd think the most likely new address would be one of the new teams, either Mini or VW.
It's an interesting situation for sure, and going to get a lot more complicated now Mini and VW are on the scene. It Ogier isn't careful, he is going to fall foul of 'Francois Duval' sydnrome. Now, Ogier has a lot more talent and speed than Duval, but the way he keeps throwing it off while in the lead won't be tolerated for too long. Loeb doesn't seem that bothered, he still doesn't often drive as fast as he can, only as fast as he needs to. On the rare occasions that he does, well, look at what happened in Sardinia and Finland this year. Won despite running first on the road all three days.

If I was Mikko Hirvonen I'd be rather nervous, which is a shame because I think Mikko has championship winning pace: he just can't unlock it unless something goes wrong and all the pressure is off. In Finland he left everyone in his dust, but only because he wasn't fighting for anything. It's all in his head. Jari-Matti has shown this year that he is the fastest Ford driver, the Fiesta just can't keep up with him.

Would VW take a risk on Ogier and his crashing, or Mikko and his potential slowness? But really, who else is out there for them to sign? Jari-Matti is probably still a bit precocious, Loeb isn't going anywhere, Gronholm's been out of the sport too long. Petter is really the only option but there are a few doubts about his ability to sort out a car. I know I will sound like a biased Aussie, but what about Chris Atkinson?

I know he would be useless marketing-wise for VW, but he is still young enough, supremely fast and motivated.

To be honest, though, I think Petter Solberg and....Juno Hanninen? Ott Tanak? Andreas Mikkelsen? Are the most likely candidates. What am I missing?

To be honest, Haydon Paddon deserves a WRC drive sooner rather than later as he has made everyone else in PWRC look extremely silly this year (no great hardship I'll grant you)
 

jack_christie

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Just a reminder that there are is free live streaming video of Rallye de France on wrc.com
 
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