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2020 FIA World Rally Championship

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Looks like a complete disaster for Neuville with that puncture and Mikkelsen out so he only has one teammate. Both of Ogier's mates does the team game and steps in between them. So as it looks now it's the 6th title for Ogier unless his cars breaks... but judging from this season it'll probably be a sudden puncture or gearbox issue on saturday evenning that suddenly evens it out and they'll be neck and neck again. 

Or Ogier's car breaks down on Sunday, relegating both him and Neuville to fight for 8/9th place, while Tänak does the drive of his life andlands that perfect 30 points and grabs it. It would somehow be a fitting end.

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Correction: Breen didn't hit a kangaroo, it looks like a wallaby, and it hit him!
https://www.reddit.com/r/rally/comments/9xh7b4/craig_on_ss1_on_australia/

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At this point, looking current pace of our drivers- Ott will miss title by 1p (including 5p from PS and as Toyotas, Citroen and Hyundai drivers are all faster than Ogier) I woke up my wife with my yelling when I saw Breen accident live. I hope the  weather coming in will make things more interesting but I'm not sure if I'm able to sleep at all tonight. Fingers crossed....

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That's it, I'm going to bed. Ogier won fair and square, hope Toyota will let Latvala win at least. 

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Man he was the only one I didn’t want to win. Yet I’m not surprised either. It feels a bit sour too in a way. 

Tanak will win WDC next year though. Mark my words

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That last day was chaos! Poor Craig just couldn’t keep it on the road. I went to bed after Tanak went off the road. I was really hoping for a new champion but I knew that whoever won would deserve it. Tanak has had three wins in a row ripped away from him!

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While I am disappointed that Ogier won the title, as usual, the thing I'm not disappointed by is Toyota winning the Manufacturers title. 

I also noticed the top 4 in 2018 are the same 4 that was on top in 2017 it's even in the same order

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As much as I would like to have seen a different name winning the Championship I personally think it's been another superbly measured drive from Ogier this season. I don't think the Fiesta is the best car, but he knew when to push and when to hold back.

Neuville has been disappointing in the second half of the season and I don't think he deserved the Championship. I am hoping that 2019 will be Tanak's year. 

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What a superb year that's been, both for the sport and for the coverage with WRC All Live.

I was a fully paid up member of the 'anyone but Ogier' fan club until this year, but honestly I was cheering for him for the second half of this season because it's clear that he's doing it in an inferior car to the Hyundai and Toyota and to me he's really proven his status as a legend of the sport this year; an absolute example of how to manage a championship and win a title due to having the best mentality rather than outright speed. To me this was his first real year as underdog and for that reason I'm glad to see him win.

Delighted for Malcolm Wilson too, this was likely his last chance for a while so to achieve this with a private team is up there and arguably more impressive than Vatanen's in 1981. Now time to go focus on the new R5 for a bit...

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So when Ogier has dips and makes mistakes that cost him points & rallies, it's no problem because he is consistent? But when other drivers experience the same (even then it's mostly about Neuville that people talk, Tanäk is also still consistent...) they are dissappointing?
Sorry but that's utter bullsh*t.
Let's compare Ogier, Neuville & Tanäk's results from this season.

Ogier: 4 wins, 6 top5 finishes, 2x 10th place & 1 retirement
Neuville: 3 wins, 6 top5 finishes, 1x 6th, 1x 9th, 1x 16th & 1 retirement (18pts less than Ogier)
Tanäk: 4 wins, 2 top5 finishes, 1x 6th, 1x 9th, 1x 14th, 1x 19th & 2 retirements. (38pts less than Ogier)

So explain me again why Neuville is so dissappointing and didn't deserve the WRC crown? You all talk about such a bad second half of the season, I only see a bad result in Finland (because the car itself seems to be having problems with Finnish gravel roads) and  in Turkey where Ogier also didn't do well. Neuville also did most of the work (if not all) on his own with no (or not much) backup from his teammates or teamorders (maybe once in Spain where Sordo dropped behind Neuville on the last day?).
Ogier had to rely on teamorders much more, needing his teammates to take penalties and such or deliberately checking in late himself to get better position for the powerstage. Which forced the FIA to make rules about the powerstage and checking in late.
Tanäk had a superb second half with 3 wins in a row but then halted with mechanical issues, but his first half of the season wasn't so good. Didn't see people call that dissappointing though...

And yes you can all call me a fanboy, all you want, I just can't stand it anymore seeing people bashing his performance when it's not so much worse (or actually even better) than Ogier's or Tanäk's.



*Edit*: 1 thing that I will admit though is that he was a bit overconfident after Spain, where he said he will be champion after Australia because of Ogier having to clean again. And Hyundai for doing the same thing and hyping Neuville to be champion after Australia.
They really shouldn't have done that

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What a superb year that's been, both for the sport and for the coverage with WRC All Live.
This for sure, not the ending I hoped for, but what a season. And the All Live coverage was brilliant, what an incredible job they did with that for its first year.

If I had my way, Neuville (or Tänak) would have won WDC this year, then Ogier would win WDC next year with Citrëon and cement his status as a legend; then let Neuville and Tänak and whoever else fight for championships from 2020 on.

I think Ostberg and Loeb have shown that the C3's problems have been sorted out (sorry, Meeke), and Toyota is just getting stronger. 2019 could be just as good as 2018.

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I think at the moment I'll be cheering for Ogier next year, but I certainly wouldn't begrudge a first title to anyone else. I'm seeing a lot of Latvala in Neuville at the moment and it would be a shame if a guy so talented didn't win a title (as well as Hyundai who have given a lot to the sport recently), but Tanak has to be the early favourite for 2019 so far.

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What a dramatic finish to the season. While I dont like a monopoly in WRC like Loeb and now Ogier, gotta give him credit for winning twice with Ford and I was pleased to see Malcolm Wilson celebrating a title once again. I remember seeing him for years in charge of M-Sport since the late Escort and despite the absence of titles while having McRae and Sainz, I've always kind of supported him and the new Focus. Shame they didnt win in those years.

I was kind of supporting Tanak to win, although I know it was a long shot now. But so far, he has proved to be the fastest driver. Opinions aside, it's great to have a batch of drivers competing for the title once again like this. It reminds me of the pre-2004 era. Curiously, Toyota wins once again, on it's 2nd year after returning to WRC, like in 1999, but this time the absence gap from WRC was way bigger and so the achievement is even bigger . They're setting a trademark there.

A note of congratulations to the 4 manufacturers as well. Not only the cars are fast as hell but also proved to be very reliable in general. I was suspecting one of the 3 cars from the top drivers would break down, but they didn't.
Looking forward to 2019, the new rallies, the new team changes and hopefully some light over Subaru and Mitsubishi defiance by Toyota.

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Yeah was a great season. I would love to see someone new win the chanpionship, but guess we'll have to wait another year for that. Very impressed with how Ogier managed to bring it back this year, he's clearly a worthy winner. But Evans also has a large part of this win, dropping down the order on numerous occasions to help out, something Neuville has lacked from his teammates most of the year. And getting that title with a car that's showing lack of pace in many rallies really impresses. 2017 the Fords were the best package overall, this year I'd say they've been struggling to keep up.

Will be interesting to see how next year goes. It's a given that Tänak is the one to beat, given his insane pace the second half of the season on all surfaces. We know the Toyota is fast, but neither Latvala or Lappi could keep up with what Tänak has done. Hope Toyota manages to put some extra protection for the radiator, or that Tänak puts all the dangerous jumps into his pace notes.

Hope Neuville will be able to bounce back and fight again, he's looked a bit lackluster lately. And I hope Hyundai manages to develop the car a bit more, feels like they've been a bit on the back foot in 2018. Citroën has made leaps forward, Toyota looks like the car to beat, while Hyundai appear to be at about the level of the Fords.

I expect Ogier to be on podium form pretty fast in the Citroën, probably winning Monte Carlo.

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I have seen a few comments about Evans contribution. I think Evans bolstered the total for Ogier by 7 points; Ogier won by more than that though, so is that really a significant factor? I was actually hoping Evans would place higher in the standings this year, German, Turkey and the UK were all disappointing weekends for him though (especially the UK given his performance last year).

Has to be said that the other drivers for Hyundai haven't really delivered much support. I have been disappointed with Mikkelson, that early season podium has been his highest point of the season.  

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tbtstt said:
I have seen a few comments about Evans contribution. I think Evans bolstered the total for Ogier by 7 points; Ogier won by more than that though, so is that really a significant factor? I was actually hoping Evans would place higher in the standings this year, German, Turkey and the UK were all disappointing weekends for him though (especially the UK given his performance last year).

Has to be said that the other drivers for Hyundai haven't really delivered much support. I have been disappointed with Mikkelson, that early season podium has been his highest point of the season.  
GB wasn’t Elfyns fault. He was right on the pace with Tanak on the Friday, but the car/team let him down on that one. I’m sure he would’ve won if it wasn’t for those problems. 

Mikkelsen has been useless this year. Nearly getting beaten on points by Paddon and Sordo who both did 5 rounds less than him! Very disappointing that neither of them have a full time drive. But if the rumours are true than Paddon has a full time drive in a different car. 

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tbtstt said:
I have seen a few comments about Evans contribution. I think Evans bolstered the total for Ogier by 7 points; Ogier won by more than that though, so is that really a significant factor? I was actually hoping Evans would place higher in the standings this year, German, Turkey and the UK were all disappointing weekends for him though (especially the UK given his performance last year).

Has to be said that the other drivers for Hyundai haven't really delivered much support. I have been disappointed with Mikkelson, that early season podium has been his highest point of the season.  
There's more to it than just 7 points in my honest and humble opinion.
Evans dropping time gave Ogier a better start position for e.g. a Power Stage which led to more points from that stage than he would've scored initially. If Ogier hadn't had that better starting position, he might not have scored the same amount of points. If you catch my drift... As a Belgian I'm slightly biased but still.

About team orders though, I see it as a form of unsportsmanlike conduct and it should not be allowed. It can directly influence the end result of a rally or even a championship. Ban it so that the best driver wins. Whoever uses it should be heavily penalised, if it's Neuville, Ogier or Tanak. It's just not correct.

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Yeah, but how would you police something like that? If it became a rule, you'd just have teammates stall or spin at hairpins, or have some kind of "intermittent" mechanical problem, etc, etc.

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Evans has been miserable tbh, yea he has given up places for Seb, but he hasn't been near podium places  anyways. Only Mikkelsen has been bigger disappointment this year. Evans only chance is that no one else will show up with big wallet and snag his place in MSport. 

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tbtstt said:
I have seen a few comme9nts about Evans contribution. I think Evans bolstered the total for Ogier by 7 points; Ogier won by more than that though, so is that really a significant factor? I was actually hoping Evans would place higher in the standings this year, German, Turkey and the UK were all disappointing weekends for him though (especially the UK given his performance last year).

Has to be said that the other drivers for Hyundai haven't really delivered much support. I have been disappointed with Mikkelson, that early season podium has been his highest point of the season.  
Hyundai's second place is entirely Mikkelson's fault. Both Paddon and Sordo did what was expected of them considering the challenges of a part time programme.

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I was expecting more from Evans and Suninen to be honest, but specially Evans. Ford could've won the manufacturers again had Evans repeated his performances from last years added with experience this year. But if it was bad, now it's gone to worse with Ogier leaving to Citroen. Ford might be the new 4th place of the championship next year (or they can just hire me and problem solved ;) ) and Citroen are now serious contenders with Ogier and Lappi. Toyota keeps a strong lineup with Tanak Latvala and Meeke, Hyundai a big question mark.

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Toyota will win Manufacturers and Drivers next year with ease sadly.
Unless a wildcard joins M-Sport and have another Title shot, but seems unlikely

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Toyota will win Manufacturers and Drivers next year with ease sadly.
I wouldn't rule out Ogier in the C3. At this point I wouldn't rule out Ogier on a bicycle TBH.

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