WRC 2019

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by autohabit, Dec 22, 2018.

  1. autohabit

    autohabit Moderator Staff Member Forum Supporter

    In just a few weeks time, the 2019 World Rally Championship will begin. The 14-round calendar will feature a brand new event in Chile.

    Factory WRC drivers will be able to select their own permanent competition numbers for the new season.


    2019 WRC calendar

    Monte Carlo Rally January 24-27
    Rally Sweden February 14-17
    Rally Mexico March 7-10
    Tour de Corse March 28-31
    Rally Argentina April 25-28
    Rally Chile May 9-12
    Rally Portugal May 30-June 2
    Rally Italy June 13-16
    Rally Finland August 1-4
    Rally Germany August 22-25
    Rally Turkey September 12-15
    Rally GB October 3-6
    Rally Spain October 24-27
    Rally Australia November 14-17
     
  2. autohabit

    autohabit Moderator Staff Member Forum Supporter

    The recent big news is that 9 times world rally champion Sébastien Loeb has signed a 2 year contract with Hyundai to compete in the WRC.

    Just recently, Hyundai named their starting line up for the 2019 Monte Carlo Rally as Neuville, Mikkelsen and Sordo. They have since announced that Loeb will be replacing Sordo in its Monte line up. Loeb is also looking likely to start round 2 in Sweden. Hyundai and Loeb are talking of a limited campaign for 2019, but I would guess if Loeb gets a strong start from the first two rounds, he will fancy a crack at title number 10.

    Loeb has quite a schedule ahead of him, he is doing the Dakar from Jan 6th - 17th, then he will roll off the start ramp in Monaco on Jan 24th for the Monte Carlo Rally.

    After driving exclusively for Citroen for the last 18 years, Loeb will finally attempt to win in a non French car!


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  3. autohabit

    autohabit Moderator Staff Member Forum Supporter

    M-Sport have revealed their 2019 livery, similar to their 2016 colour scheme, following 2 years with Red Bull.

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    The track outline of M-Sport's new Evaluation Centre is included into the new paint scheme. Elfyn Evans will be co driven this year by Scott Martin, Dan Barritt has gone back to Toyota to partner Japan's promising talent Takamoto Katsuta.

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  4. TR-Spider

    TR-Spider Member Forum Supporter

    These cars nowerdays almost look like the Audi Quattro Pikes Peak Monster, with all that aero...
     
  5. autohabit

    autohabit Moderator Staff Member Forum Supporter

    Just a few days to go before the start of the 2019 season. Loeb has just flown back from South America after finishing 3rd overall on the Dakar.

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    He will complete 2 days testing in the Hyundai, this will be his first time in the new car.

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  6. autohabit

    autohabit Moderator Staff Member Forum Supporter

    20 years ago today, one of Sweden's top rally stars was killed during the Monte Carlo Rally. But he wasn't at the wheel of a car, he was simply an unlucky spectator.

    Lars-Erik Torph had been a member of the Swedish Junior Rally Team, here is a team photo from 1983, if you are a rally nut like me, you may recognise some of the drivers in this photo, Lars-Erik is kneeled down on the right, wearing the red jumper.

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    Finishing 2nd overall on the '86 Safari

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    The bizarre accident that took Torph's life happened when the Lancia of Alex Fiorio left the road, Torph had been taking time out from ice note duties to watch the rally.

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  7. autohabit

    autohabit Moderator Staff Member Forum Supporter

    Round 1 - Monte Carlo

    A media scrum had gathered to see Sébastien Loeb, as the 9 time world champion was seen in non-PSA attire for the fist time since anybody could remember.

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    Citroën's new signing, Sébastien Ogier was visited by his bosses! Linda Jackson (Citroën CEO) and Carlos Tavares (CEO and Chairman of the Managing Board of PSA). No doubt both asking "Why are we paying this guy so much money!"

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    Toyota ended 2018 as the fastest car, would that still be the case in 2019?

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    Ogier had been followed to Citroën by Red Bull

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    The only woman ever to win a WRC round, Michèle Mouton is now working with the FIA

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    Tanak was fastest through stage 1, and led the rally at the end of the first leg

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    But he was soon under pressure from the two drivers who had beaten him to the title in 2018...

    Thierry Neuville

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    & Sébastien Ogier

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    A new for 2019 class is WRC2 Pro, open to manufacturer entries competing in cars built to R5 specifications.

    The two drivers who were battling hardest in this new class were Gus Greensmith in the M-Sport car

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    and Kalle Rovanperä in the factory Škoda

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    Loeb had done very little testing in the Hyundai, his comments during the rally were that the car moves around under him more than last year's Citroën. I'm sure he'll be working hard to set it up to his liking.

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    It was a bad start for M-Sport in the main WRC category, Teemu Suninen went off on the first stage

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    M-Sport new boy Pontus Tidemand had a mechanical problem and dropped 7 minutes. Elfyn Evans went off on black ice and retired.

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    1981 Monte Carlo winner Jean Ragnotti with Ogier

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  8. autohabit

    autohabit Moderator Staff Member Forum Supporter

    Tyres are always a big part of Monte Carlo strategy, Thierry Neuville making a last minute check

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    The ice note crews provide valuable information to the drivers, Neuville's fellow countryman and former factory driver Bruno Thiry was on hand to help out

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    Latvala

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    Meeke was on the pace in his first drive for Toyota, but an early puncture ruined his chances

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    Fastest on more stages than any other driver was Tanak

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    Loeb

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    Gus Greensmith won WRC2 Pro and finished a brilliant 7th overall, he is due to get his hands on a full WRC car this year at some point

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    Yoann Bonato was second WRC2 home

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    The overall battle for victory went down to the last stage, Ogier held a tiny 0.4 second lead over Neuville.

    Ogier does have a habit of coming out on top in these situations, this was to be no exception!


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    Six Monte wins in a row, and seven in total!! No doubt his bosses now understand why he is so special.

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  9. autohabit

    autohabit Moderator Staff Member Forum Supporter

    Valtteri Bottas was competing on his first ever rally last weekend, when he tackled the Arctic Rally in Lapland in an M-Sport Fiesta WRC. He finished an impressive 5th overall and managed a fastest stage time.


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    Not sure what the temperature was, but I don't think it's ever less than double digit minus temps in that part of the world!

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  10. autohabit

    autohabit Moderator Staff Member Forum Supporter

    This weekend's Swedish Rally marks a historic moment for Toyota driver Jari-Matti Latvala, he makes his 197th WRC start, more than any other driver, still only 33 years old, he has the potential to add to that tally considerably. Sweden is a special place for Latvala, in 2008 he won the rally to become the youngest ever WRC winner at 22 years old, a record he still holds.

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  11. autohabit

    autohabit Moderator Staff Member Forum Supporter

    Tonight, an old stager will make a one off return to the WRC. Marcus Grönholm is joining the likes of fellow Finns Vatanen, Salonen and Alen, in starting a WRC event in his 50s for fun. The other three Finns chose Rally Finland as their 'Senior' event, they finished 11th, 14th and 16th respectively. Grönholm is hoping for a top 10 finish, Sweden was always a good event for him. He will start at the wheel of a WRC Toyota, supplied by his friend Tommi Mäkinen.


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    He took to the ice prior to the rally weekend

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  12. autohabit

    autohabit Moderator Staff Member Forum Supporter

    WRC Round 2 - Sweden


    Neuville was fastest on the first super special stage at Karlstad

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    The old boys, Loeb and Grönholm, with a combined age of 95. Loeb predicted that Grönholm would find it difficult to get back into a modern WRC car

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    Grönholm actually beat Loeb at the Karlstad super special, finishing a very impressive 8th fastest, but it all went a bit wrong as soon as he got into the real stages!

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    Teemu Suninen took the lead early on, good to see M-Sport may have a competitive car this year

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    Suninen took a very small lead into the second day, but perhaps the pressure got to him

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    He got going again, and the team repaired the car, but any chance of a first WRC win was gone

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    I am told by man on the ground in Sweden, that it was closer to a water rally in places than a snow rally

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    Mads Ostberg was representing Citroën in the WRC2 Pro class

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    Kalle Rovanperä was flying high, but an early trip into a snowbank cost him his chance of winning WRC2

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    It was Norway's Ole Christian Veiby who would take WRC2 honours

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    Another driver who got stuck on a snowbank was Monte winner Ogier

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    Meeke won the Colin's Crest award for the longest jump

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    Evans set three fastest stage times on his way to fifth place

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    Latvala retired after leaving the road

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    Lappi

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    Tiedmand had car trouble for the second rally in a row

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    Aero!

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    So, that's how they avoid dancing on ice!

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    Another solid finish for Meeke

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    At the finish, it was Ott Tänak who proved he and Toyota are the fastest package currently out there, a fine performance

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    Final positions

    1 Ott Tanak Toyota 2h47m30.0s
    2 Esapekka Lappi Citroen 53.7s
    3 Thierry Neuville Hyundai 56.7s
    4 Andreas Mikkelsen Hyundai 1m05.4s
    5 Elfyn Evans M-Sport Ford 1m08.2s
    6 Kris Meeke Toyota 1m38.8s
    7 Sebastien Loeb Hyundai 1m49.7s
    8 Pontus Tidemand M-Sport Ford 3m37.7s
    9 Ole-Christian Veiby Volkswagen WRC2 6m34.0s
    10 Janne Tuohino Ford 8m21.4s
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2019
  13. autohabit

    autohabit Moderator Staff Member Forum Supporter

    Round 3 - Mexico


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    Meeke briefly held the lead but a puncture and suspension damage spoiled his rally

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    The now obligatory Citroen Cactus photo!

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    Evans and M-Sport were having a good rally

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    Ogier, making it look easy, it wasn't.

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    Final results:

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    Championship stnadings

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