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WRC World Rally Championship Thread - Won by a Frenchman named Seb since 2004

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Where to Watch (UK).

 

Subsciption

WRC+  

Pay TV

Some Live Stages and Daily Highlights Show on BT Sport

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VERY Brief Highlights on YouTube

 

 

I used to love rallying back in the late 90s early 00s with McRae, Makkinen, Burns and Sainz battling it out but then a combination of Burns tragic death, McRae retiring the the complete dominance of Loed meant I lost interest in the late 2000s around the same time Subaru quit because of the financial crisis. This was at the same time as the coverage moved from the BBC to Channel 4 and then I don't know where it went after that but for a few years I don't think it was on tv at all.

 

Since I got BT Sport a few years back I've started to get back into it. I caught the tail end of the VW Polo's domination but since they quit because they needed the money to pay off some diesel related lawsuits it's actually been nice and competitive with  lots of different drivers winning events and new talent like Tanak coming through.

 

I still wish the cars were closer to their road going version and actually desirable. I know this will never happen again due to safety but they can at least make them nice to look at. I mean look at the Citroen DS3 WRC, that has to be the ugliest rally car ever to compete.

 

13179_WRC_Citroen-2018_2.jpg.f4396b1bb5bea778786cb47f64006df6.jpg

 


They are seem to be a lot more fragile as well. One minor impact and they're out of the race. You are never going to see something like this again.

 

 


Anyone else still watch it? I still think Ogier will win this season because Neuville is making too many small errors that he is unable to recover from as well as Ogier. It's a shame Tanak wrecked his cooling on a rock for the second time this season because he was making a great late charge for the title but it'll take something special for him to win it now.

 

Also Kris Meeke has somehow got another competitive drive, he's going to be with Toyota next season

 

https://www.autosport.com/wrc/news/139286/meeke-secures-toyota-seat-for-2019-wrc-return

 

 

I cannot see him changing his driving style to avoid crashing quite so often but this really is his last chance I just hope he makes the most of it. Personally I'd rather have some new talent in what should be a competitive car but hopefully he'll prove me wrong.

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I used to be really into Rally too, don't really follow it these days but I see the results sometimes and it appears that it's got to "Schumacher" levels of dominance.

 

I first got into it when Loeb came on the scene but he was against Sainz, McRae, Gronholm, Burns, Martin, Solberg etc.

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It did, it changed once VW left.  Yeah Ogier won last year but he had to fight his arse off for it.  And this year looks like it might be a step beyond him, although he's still in the mix with 2 to go.

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Neuville bottles it again and makes another mistake and throws away even more championship points and Ogier is back in the lead of the championship. Loeb wins in his fourth difference era of WRC car and I don't see any way back for Neuville now with one rally left to go.

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Story of the latter half of the season in Australia. Neuville makes yet another mistake, Tanak crashes out of the lead and Ogier races a controlled race to take the championship. If the Citroen is actually drivable next year I wouldn't be surprised if he equals Loeb's 9 titles before he retires unless the other drives get themselves together, the M-Sport Fiesta was the third best car this year and he's still managed to win.

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Yeah, notwithstanding the slightly increased involvement of Ford this year, the Fiesta is essentially an independent car made "Just about quick enough" by a damn good team.

 

Ogier has made the difference, not least as you say by being consistent and controlled.  He'll be very tough to beat over a season in any of the current 4 cars.

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Not long until the season starts in Monaco and there has been a surprising driver move.

 

https://www.autosport.com/wrc/news/140647/loeb-seals-sixround-wrc-deal-with-hyundai

 



Hyundai has announced Sebastien Loeb will contest six rounds of the 2019 World Rally Championship, sharing an i20 Coupe WRC with Dani Sordo.

 

Autosport had revealed on Wednesday that Loeb had agreed to join Hyundai, and his two-year deal with the starts with next month's Monte Carlo Rally.

 

It's going to be weird seeing Loeb in the WRC not driving a Citroen.  Ogier must have vetoed his return to Citroen because that looked nailed on at the end of last season but sharing the drive with Sordo means Paddon is out of a drive for 2019 which is either a shame or no great loss depending on how you feel about him. Personally I don't think Sordo or Paddon are good enough for how good the Hyundai car was last season. My only hope is they manage to keep the Red Bull branding off the Hyundai car, it would be a shame for another nice design to be ruined by that RB logo again. 

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All F1 liveries are terrible these days so with the exception of Citroen's being ruined by the Red Bull logo these all look really good.

 

 

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Use the code WRC2019 to get 20% off a WRC+ subscription. I don't know when this offer ends.

 

https://plus.wrc.com/en/

 

This reduces it from €89.99 to €71.99 which is around £64. I've signed up for the first time at that price and it's better than trying to catch it on BT Sport who do not allow mirroring from their app unlike the WRC.

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Enormous crash for Neuville in Chile today

 

 

Both he and co-driver are unhurt which shows you how strong the modern rally cars even if they do lack the charm of the older cars. A real shame as well it was looking like being a really close race but he says he'll be back for Portugal.

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I guess it's one of them that looks spectacular but is actually not so bad because it's lots of little hits scrubbing off momentum?

 

I guess the rotation speed was quite hard on the passengers though!

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Yes the commentators mentioned that because it wasn't a sudden stop it looked much worse than it was. The onboard footage is scary though.

 

 

 

They've also uploaded the footage of Portugal 1999 which is a lot better quality that most footage on YouTube.

 

 

If I can go 'it was better in my day' this is what rallying it to me. Road cars that have had a rollcage put in driven as fast as possible over gravel in front of huge crowds. Look how clean they all are compared to the clutter of aero parts on modern rally cars and so many different manufacturers competing as well. The complete lack of Red Bull branding is nice as well. 

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Yep, proper golden age of rallying that.  Every car from that era should be in every rally game as far as I'm concerned, along with the ability to throw your helmet through the back window of the car (not a euphemism).

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Portugal not a happy place for Meeke again. Spun out of second place in the morning and now crashed out of the power stage after a roadside tree stump took out his steering.

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I think this might be the year Ogier's dominance ends. Citroen have given him a car so bad even he cannot drag it to race win and unlike Neuville Tanak is not going to bottle it from the championship lead which is looks likely he is going to extend at the end of Rally Germany this weekend. Even Meeke has kept it on the road this weekend so far after binning it from podium positions in the last two rallies, I still think he will be the one to miss out next season at Toyota when Katsuta is promoted.

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And so he should to be fair. He's been destroyed by Tanak and while he's just about beaten Latvala so far he's 6 years older, isn't the future and doesn't have nearly Latvala's WRC pedigree.

 

He's not the future, he's not the present, so he's the obvious name.

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I know but I've got a soft spot for Meeke but the fact he's been in and around the WRC since 2002, has only just done his 101st WRC event and has only done two full seasons in that time means his time is coming to an end. 

 

Rally Turkey this weekend which is basically a test of how well your car is bolted together because the roads will shake it to pieces. Barring mechanical issues I expect another Tanak win as he gets closer to the title.

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And what do you know Tanak out with electrical problems, Neuville nowhere thanks to a mistake and Ogier about to the take the lead in the race. The title race might still be on.

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I take back what I said about these cars disintegrating easily, Breen drove away from this crash with just minor bodywork damage.

 

 

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How stupid are people? They had to suspend a stage yesterday because spectators wouldn't move from an area the Marshall's had deemed dangerous.

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