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2020 FIA World Rally Championship

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Apparently, M-Sport doesn't have the finances to confirm their entry in WRC 2019. Wilson will ask the FIA to move the deadline forward to find the necessary funds
https://www.autosport.com/wrc/news/140701/msport-seeks-extension-in-fight-for-wrc-future

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I really hope M-Sport will manage to stay in it. If only Ford could get off their lazy behinds and shove some peanut money their way... 

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Dytut said:
I really hope M-Sport will manage to stay in it. If only Ford could get off their lazy behinds and shove some peanut money their way... 
it’s ridiculous that m sport have basically just won two driver’s titles and a manufacturer title on ford’s behalf and they’re not even interested in backing them properly

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Dytut said:
I really hope M-Sport will manage to stay in it. If only Ford could get off their lazy behinds and shove some peanut money their way... 
it’s ridiculous that m sport have basically just won two driver’s titles and a manufacturer title on ford’s behalf and they’re not even interested in backing them properly
Yeah its a Shame for Ford, I am huge Ford Fan ,always was, but they rather support Ken Block madness..  
What would The Founder Henry Ford say if He knew what are his Company do Today..

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I'm disappointed as well. I was under the impression that since Ogier stayed at M-Sport for '18 that Ford must have stepped up their support, because I believe that was his requirement for staying there after the '17 season. But reading that article it doesn't sound like they did much at least financially.

I also found it hilarious that when Ogier won the titles, Ford Performance was quick as heck to post it all over social media. Almost trying to take credit for it as if it was their blood, sweat, and tears that won those championships.

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function9 said:
I'm disappointed as well. I was under the impression that since Ogier stayed at M-Sport for '18 that Ford must have stepped up their support, because I believe that was his requirement for staying there after the '17 season. But reading that article it doesn't sound like they did much at least financially.

I also found it hilarious that when Ogier won the titles, Ford Performance was quick as heck to post it all over social media. Almost trying to take credit for it as if it was their blood, sweat, and tears that won those championships.
From what I understand, red bull pretty much paid for ogier’s wages, whilst ford did a lot of work on car performance and development. Not sure how much/if any financial support they gave

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I'll be gutted if M-Sport aren't back in 2019. I can't see them having the driver(s) to challenge for the title next year, but I love the Fiesta and it would be a real shame to drop down to three different marques again. 

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Daniel Barrit is sitting next to Katsuta in WRC2 for 2019 season, so Elfyn is out of WRC then. Pontus Tideman left EVEN Management, https://www.facebook.com/PontusTidemand/posts/2402135849801150 he and Breen are most likely to apply for M-SPort 2nd (pay-driver) position I guess. 

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If Barritt has signed with TMG/TMR, it probably means that discussion has been going for a while and he’s opted for the certainty and probably (hopefully) a better pay cheque.

Wouldnt necessarily count out Elfyn just yet, and Scott Martin and Paul Nagle are both out there still I assume.

Pity that WRC2 doesn’t seem to be working out, would be great to see Paddon v Breen v Evans in Hyundai, Citroen and Ford R5s to really showcase how those cars can compete with VW and Skoda.

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https://www.facebook.com/PontusTidemand/posts/2405210416160360 Pontus with M-SPort car in Monte Carlo and Sweden. Hope he does well and gets funding for rest of the season.

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That is fantastic news! So M-Sport is confirmed as not pulling out then I assume? 

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yes idd, they are registred and confirmed.  https://www.fia.com/news/2019-fia-world-rally-championship-entrants?fbclid=IwAR22Hz8ACAYj1DbyCiM4x6JmtruUmmyqSALvVaRruKYhQ7S3Yhy5Mpt6vRw

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Am  I the only one who thought the Ogier testing looked a bit... tentative? Like he didn't trust the car at all. Will be interesting to see how he adapts to it.

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Dytut said:
Am  I the only one who thought the Ogier testing looked a bit... tentative? Like he didn't trust the car at all. Will be interesting to see how he adapts to it.
He always has a very clean driving style and with that road condition I think it was quite hard for him to keep the car the way he wanted. The C3 still does seem nervous, expecially in low grip conditions and at the rear end, so it's no surprise he was cautious.

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So all teams done with their lineup now, right?

Looks like we'll have the major battle between Tänak, Ogier and Neuville. And most of us seems to hold Tänak as the favourite for the title. Citroën has a fast car, but a big question mark is if it's gotten versatile enough to compete for the full season. Hyundai needs to step it up a bit if Neuville is to have a chance.

What do you think of potential upsets?
Both Meeke and Latvala _might_ challenge, but I have a hard time seeing either of them really beating Tänak.
Mikkelsen... nah, he was so lackluster last year that I have a hard time seeing him bouncing back. 
Lappi? Don't think it's his year yet.
Suninen and Evans? So hard to say. Suninen is still developing, so I think he might be fighting for podiums a bit more this year but not consistently.
Evans has shown speed at times, and I suspect he will try his damndest this year to take wins now that he kind of is the no.1 driver in the team. If he can start off on a high note, I wouldn't count him out.

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I'm hoping that the signing of Loeb will be the push that Hyundai needs to get their car really competitive again. If so then Neuville might surprise us all again..

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What does success look like?

Citroen - Being competitive and in the running for the driver's title. Whilst a driver's title would be the expectation, the main thing is being competitive again after two years of being behind the curve.
Ogier - A title with a third manufacturer. Already a great, anything less will be deemed as unsuccessful. 
Lappi - Being close to Ogier, being second on occasion and picking up a win or two if anything happens to the boss. Being four or five places behind Ogier on any event will unsuccessful.

Hyundai - Need a championship. More than either of the other two, either the driver or manufacturer title is a must.
Neuville - The overall title. Nothing less. If the first half of the season is problematic, a good second half will be a reprieve.
Mikkelsen - Being close to Neuville, beating him for speed on occasion. If he's not a podium regular on gravel, he'll be disappointed.
Loeb - Out there to have fun. From a personal perspective, I'm sure he'll be wanting to win or be in a position to give Neuville wins. As long as he's on the pace all will be good.
Sordo - Same as last year will be a success, a few podiums will be job done. Will need to convince the team he was the right choice over Paddon.

M-Sport - Staying afloat and financially balanced. A win with Evans will likely be the target and hope against expectation that Tidemand or Greensmith produce a breakthrough. Personally, they should focus on the new R5 car and WRC2 Pro campaign, where success will result in profit.
Suninen - Podiums and being competitive with Evans. The main challenge will be with his teammate and comprehensively beating Evans and other teammates on gravel events will be the aim. Not doing so will suggest he is not progressing at the required rate for a works team to invest.
Evans - A win must be the target, but generally being M-Sport's most competitive driver will be seen as a success. Being beaten by Suninen or any round-to-round competition like Tidemand will be a failure in the last-chance saloon.
Tidemand - Beating Suninen for pace at Monte-Carlo and Evans at Sweden will be the minimum. Obviously, his year will come down to finding funding for future WRC outings or helping Ford promote their new R5 car, but he will be the easiest WRC driver to judge in the short-term.

Toyota - Anything less than both championships will likely be a disappointment. Don't require the titles with the same need as Hyundai but it won't be considered a successful year without competing for both.
Tanak - Having established himself as Toyota's number one, anything less than the title will be a disappointment. 
Latvala - As rear gunner to Tanak, podiums and wins where Ott isn't in a position to will be success for Latvala, similar to last year. Failure to keep pace with either teammate could spell the end of his career.
Meeke - Wins, or being in the position to win and helping Tanak and the team instead. Finishes, at this point in his career, won't be enough on their own.

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+1 to everything Rodger said, except I don’t think Neuville can afford to have a bad half season. Having a strong half a season didn’t work out for him in 2018; if he wants to beat Ogier he has to be like Ogier. 

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M-Sport testing with Suninen for Montecarlo
https://youtu.be/GH3fzFqoMH0
Interesting to see how the Red Bull sponsor has disappeared, I'm assuming this will be the case for the whole season

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Redbull was a personal sponsor of Ogier.
Citroën is said to have a celebratory livery for its 100th anniversary, but no mention of Red Bull being included though

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All the team changes that has happened so far.  Also, Travis Pastanara  want's to compete in three consecutive Finnish WRC event with latest generation WRC car. Tbh, I hope he does and does it well enough to get more attention from Ford and USA.

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