Official WRC thread

Necx0

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I admire your optimism, but Hirvonen is at least a tenth a kilometre off Loeb on all surfaces except snow at the moment I think. Another year with Marcus' help I reckon he would be right up there, I think he will get there. Jari-Matti will also be a future contender.
 

Hazardous

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It will be interesting to see how Mikko will rise to the challenge of being a number one driver next year. He will probably increase his speed by a notch but whether that'll be enough to challenge Seb, or too much to keep it on the road, remains to be seen. The fact that there are new events will help but still I think he'll need a miracle to be a real contender for the title. Still, he should be able to beat Loeb in the two Scandinavian events, and possibly in a few other faster gravel events as well.

Still, provided that Subaru does not pull a huge performance leap from their back pocket and Suzuki's SX4 won't turn out to be a brilliant car from the start, I'm not expecting a classic season in 2008.
 

Necx0

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I agree, I think it will be a Loeb whitewash for the next few seasons. Makes it even more important that Marcus wins the title this year. If he does I will be so so so so happy, happier even than when Kimi won.
 

HondaF1

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Just read in The Advertiser that this years Aussie Rally is the last here until 2009 at least when it moves to Qld.
 

Hazardous

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Argh. Gr?nholm's title hopes took a major hit as he retired from Rally Japan after a crash on stage 4. He might get a chance to continue tomorrow with superrally but with the time penalties for missing the stages he'll be half an hour behind everyone else and chances for points are bleak...

But it doesn't look like a clean sweep for Loeb either. Before the final two stages of today (two runs of the short Obihiro superspecial) Mikko Hirvonen leads by nine seconds over Jari-Matti Latvala and Loeb is on third place, a bit over a second behind Latvala. Sordo is on 4th after managing two fastest stage times but half a minute behind Loeb already.
 

pfrocker

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What a twist! I feel bad for Gronholm. Loeb finsihed the stage in 2nd. My god the Japanese Rally is like a death trap, it's has so many places that can take out drivers. The Solberg brothers and Hirvonen both almost went off in the same corner.

I personally will be happy whoever wins, both are great drivers. But since Gronholm is retiring, I like him to win his last year in WRC.
 

Hazardous

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Scratch that: Loeb also crashed out of Rally Japan this morning. What an incredible turn of events... :?

This means the gap between Gr?nholm and Loeb will stay as it is in 4 points going to the final two events. With Loeb having more wins than Marcus it means that if Loeb were to win them both he'll be the champion, while Marcus needs essentially a podium from one and finish ahead of Loeb in the other.

As for Rally Japan, Hirvonen still leads by 40 seconds from Daniel Sordo and by nearly 2 minutes from Henning Solberg. And the following positions are a clear indication of the major attrition there has been; 4th place is held by Luiz Perez Companc and Matthew Wilson is on 5th, over 5 minutes behind leaders.
 

argatoga

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Holy crap it is close. It's sad knowing that Loeb won't have any competition after this year.
 

Necx0

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Whoa!!! Twists and turns!!!! What a brilliant rally, I love this rally 100%. I have been a bit of a critic of Hirvonen. He has taken a step forward in this rally. He has beaten them fair and square on sheer pace. I think Loeb would have caught him, however he made a mistake (well Daniel did anyway). I do kinda feel for him, he was obviously gutted and Daniel will need to buy a lot of dinners to say sorry.

Such a shame for Marcus, it was a completely harmless off, he only lost about 50 seconds and obviously could have rejoined. Except for a bloody rogue tree stump.

What an epic season.
 

Hazardous

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I'm not that certain that Loeb could have caught Mikko... They were very even on the first two stages on saturday, with Mikko being 0.3 seconds faster on the 30+km stage 12. In truth, Seb would propably have given up the fight as soon as he was certain he couldn't catch Mikko without taking risks, he's smart enough to see that the 8 points would've been more important.

It will be interesting to see how Mikko will do in Wales. He said himself that in Ireland the only aim is to drive through the event and claim the manufacturer's title for Ford, but Wales will be flat-out. As it was last year.
 

Paddy

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WRC Ireland Results after SS1

Pos. No. Driver/Car Stage Time Diff Prev Diff Ldr
1 3 M. GR?NHOLM 1:30.8 0.0 0.0
2 1 S. LOEB 1:31.7 0.9 0.9
3 19 K. MEEKE 1:31.8 0.1 1.0
4 8 C. ATKINSON 1:32.0 0.2 1.2
5 7 P. SOLBERG 1:32.2 0.2 1.4
6 4 M. HIRVONEN 1:32.5 0.3 1.7
7 9 J. LATVALA 1:32.5 0.0 1.7
8 2 D. SORDO 1:32.7 0.2 1.9
9 5 M. STOHL 1:33.3 0.6 2.5
10 14 X. PONS 1:33.3 0.0 2.5
11 18 G. WILKS 1:33.7 0.4 2.9
12 21 A. MIKKELSEN 1:34.0 0.3 3.2
13 10 H. SOLBERG 1:35.0 1.0 4.2
14 22 E. DONNELLY 1:35.9 0.9 5.1
15 24 A. NESBITT 1:36.1 0.2 5.3
16 27 T. MCNULTY 1:36.3 0.2 5.5
17 20 G. MACHALE 1:37.0 0.7 6.2
18 17 K. AL QASSIMI 1:38.2 1.2 7.4
19 28 G. JONES 1:38.3 0.1 7.5
20 30 K. BARRETT 1:39.1 0.8 8.3
21 23 E. BOLAND 1:39.2 0.1 8.4
22 47 A. AIGNER 1:39.4 0.2 8.6
23 39 N. AL-ATTIYAH 1:39.5 0.1 8.7
24 93 J. VAN DEN HEUVEL 1:40.0 0.5 9.2
25 34 M. HIGGINS 1:40.1 0.1 9.3
26 46 A. Araujo 1:40.2 0.1 9.4
27 48 P. MORROW 1:40.2 0.0 9.4
28 54 G. POZZO 1:40.6 0.4 9.8
29 40 S. CAMPEDELLI 1:41.2 0.6 10.4
30 61 S. DEVINE 1:41.3 0.1 10.5
31 66 O. SVEDLUND 1:41.3 0.0 10.5
32 26 A. MACHALE 1:41.5 0.2 10.7
33 41 L. KUZAJ 1:41.7 0.2 10.9
34 81 H. WEIJS JR 1:41.7 0.0 10.9
35 84 R. CATHCART 1:41.9 0.2 11.1
36 70 D. GASS 1:42.1 0.2 11.3
37 32 S. JONES 1:42.4 0.3 11.6
38 50 P. FLODIN 1:42.5 0.1 11.7
39 25 A. MACHALE 1:42.9 0.4 12.1
40 49 S. VOJTECH 1:42.9 0.0 12.1
41 62 G. JENNINGS 1:42.9 0.0 12.1
42 53 N. MCSHEA 1:43.2 0.3 12.4
43 35 F. NUTAHARA 1:43.5 0.3 12.7
44 43 I. POPOV 1:43.6 0.1 12.8
45 59 C. MURPHY 1:43.7 0.1 12.9
46 16 M. WILSON 1:44.4 0.7 13.6
47 29 R. BREEN 1:45.0 0.6 14.2
48 89 K. SHAW 1:45.2 0.2 14.4
49 68 M. CURRAN 1:45.7 0.5 14.9
50 96 E. DONAGHY 1:45.9 0.2 15.1
51 69 I. BARRETT 1:46.6 0.7 15.8
52 94 C. BYRNE 1:47.4 0.8 16.6
53 64 J. FOLEY 1:47.6 0.2 16.8
54 65 R. WHITE 1:48.2 0.6 17.4
55 74 E. MCKINSTRY 1:48.2 0.0 17.4
56 77 B. O'MAHONY 1:49.3 1.1 18.5
57 101 S. FLANAGAN 1:49.9 0.6 19.1
58 82 O. MURPHY 1:50.2 0.3 19.4
59 87 T. LAWLESS 1:50.9 0.7 20.1
60 88 G. HARRIS 1:51.6 0.7 20.8
61 83 P. MCCULLAGH 1:53.1 1.5 22.3
62 60 A. RING 1:54.0 0.9 23.2
63 86 C. MCGLONE 1:54.1 0.1 23.3
64 98 A. MCELHINNEY 1:54.8 0.7 24.0
65 106 T. GORMALLY 1:55.2 0.4 24.4
66 85 K. O'DONOGHUE 1:55.6 0.4 24.8
67 91 R. ERRANI 1:55.6 0.0 24.8
68 76 P. WHITE 1:55.9 0.3 25.1
69 92 B. GREEN 1:56.0 0.1 25.2
70 97 A. MULLEN 1:56.0 0.0 25.2
71 90 P. ELLIOT 1:57.0 1.0 26.2
72 79 J. MULHOLLAND 1:57.3 0.3 26.5
73 109 M. CUMMINS 1:58.4 1.1 27.6
74 95 P. WARD 1:58.5 0.1 27.7
75 104 I. HYNES 1:59.8 1.3 29.0
76 110 T. KELLY 2:00.2 0.4 29.4
77 78 J. BUTTIMER 2:01.0 0.8 30.2
78 103 J. BARRY 2:03.0 2.0 32.2
79 99 F. MCCAUL 2:04.9 1.9 34.1
80 75 G. TRACEY 2:05.2 0.3 34.4
81 107 K. MCHALE 2:05.4 0.2 34.6
82 108 R. GILLEECE 2:05.5 0.1 34.7
83 100 M. MURRAY 2:10.2 4.7 39.4
84 71 N. MCCARRICK 2:14.9 4.7 44.1
 

Paddy

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Results after SS7: Gronholm is OUT after SS4

Pos. No. Driver/Car Stage Time Diff Prev Diff Ldr
1 2 D. SORDO 10:55.5 0.0 0.0
2 1 S. LOEB 10:57.0 1.5 1.5
3 4 M. HIRVONEN 11:08.6 11.6 13.1
4 7 P. SOLBERG 11:11.0 2.4 15.5
5 9 J. LATVALA 11:12.9 1.9 17.4
6 10 H. SOLBERG 11:16.7 3.8 21.2
7 8 C. ATKINSON 11:17.6 0.9 22.1
8 5 M. STOHL 11:23.1 5.5 27.6
9 18 G. WILKS 11:23.7 0.6 28.2
10 20 G. MACHALE 11:31.5 7.8 36.0
11 16 M. WILSON 11:33.2 1.7 37.7
12 34 M. HIGGINS 11:43.1 9.9 47.6
13 27 T. MCNULTY 11:46.8 3.7 51.3
14 24 A. NESBITT 11:52.2 5.4 56.7
15 17 K. AL QASSIMI 11:59.2 7.0 1:03.7
16 54 G. POZZO 12:02.9 3.7 1:07.4
17 28 G. JONES 12:05.8 2.9 1:10.3
18 25 A. MACHALE 12:06.3 0.5 1:10.8
19 26 A. MACHALE 12:11.7 5.4 1:16.2
20 29 R. BREEN 12:20.4 8.7 1:24.9
21 30 K. BARRETT 12:27.3 6.9 1:31.8
22 21 A. MIKKELSEN 12:39.6 12.3 1:44.1
23 14 X. PONS 16:23.7 3:44.1 5:28.2
24 60 A. RING 20:24.5 4:0.8 9:29.0
25 59 C. MURPHY 21:20.8 56.3 10:25.3
 

argatoga

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Ugh. Well there is hope for another Japan.
 

Paddy

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I don't think so, Loeb is being very VERY careful, it looks like he has this in the bag already :(

Official Standings after SS13

1st (1) Sebastien Loeb/Daniel Elena (Citroen C4) 2.02.01/1
2nd (2) Dani Sordo/Marc Marti (Citroen C4) 2.02.51.8
3rd (9) Jari Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila (Focus WRC) 2.03.39.3
4th (4) Mikko Hirvonen/Jarmo Lehtinen (Focus WRC) 2.04.30.2
5th (7) Petter Solberg/Phil Mills (Impreza WRC) 2.04.42.8
6th (18) Guy Wilks/Phil Pugh (Impreza WRC) 2.07.03.4
7th (16) Matthew Wilson/Michael Orr (Focus WRC) 2.10.20.9
8th (20) Gareth MacHale/Allan Harryman (Focus WRC) 2.10.54.1
9th (34) Mark Higgins/Scott Martin (Lancer N) 2.13.20.5
10th (21) Andreas Mikkelsen/Ola Floene (Focus WRC) 2.14.14.4
 

pfrocker

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Well Loeb won the rally! I have mixed feelings, I like both Loeb and Gronholm. Six points margin towards the last Rally is...lets say more boring than like a 2 point margin. Wanted a very close fight in GB. We might still have that.

Congratulations on Ford for winning the Constructors Championship.

Also good job Latvala for securing his first podium and keeping Hirvonen back.
 
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argatoga

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Looks like Loeb will take the championship, unless something happens tomorrow. Still worth watching, Hirvonen has thus far been doing an amazing job.
 

pfrocker

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Loeb wins the 2007 WRC championship.

Hirvonen finishes with his third victory of the season

Gronholm finishes second in the championship and the race, taking off his helmet and heading for retirement. He will be missed.
 
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