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2021 FIA World Rally Championship


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bogani said:
I think Ogier will win this one.          
Nah, the Tänak attack will continue. Tänak first, winning by about 30 seconds after blitzing fridays gravel. Then I actually wager that Loeb will snatch second, while Ogier and Neuville will battle it out for 3rd after both having some small isuues. 

This would leave it wide open for a three way battle in Australia aswell :-D 
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So neuville has a very soft roll on shakedown, annoying but nothing really to worry about, just got caught in the ruts. Loeb almost followed him right after
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sTRWz7fablg

Yeah, deep rut and maybe a bit high car. Looks like it just flips. 
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Loeb, what a bloody legend. Spain this year has been incredibly exciting.

3 points lead for Ogier before Australia. Which means he has to sweep. Small enough of a difference that it might go down to power stage points to decide the win.
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I was considering earlier that, if he were to win again this year, Ogier might move a little closer to being considered the greatest of all time...

...but then Loeb sweeps in, takes victory and reminds everyone just how good he (still) is! 

Superb event and another unpredictable finish. Given his form in the last few events, I personally don't think Neuville deserves the Championship. Real shame that Tanak wasn't able to challenge for the win as that could have made things very interesting for the last round: at least we have two fighting for the title though.
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tbtstt said:
Superb event and another unpredictable finish. Given his form in the last few events, I personally don't think Neuville deserves the Championship. Real shame that Tanak wasn't able to challenge for the win as that could have made things very interesting for the last round: at least we have two fighting for the title though.
I was thinking the same thing. Neuville doesn't look quite ready to win the championship yet, especially the way Tänak started showing him up. But with a 3 point difference and Ogier sweeping, I'm happy to see Neuville try to prove me wrong in Australia!

No one is going to be cruising to a fourth place finish to win the championship :sleeping: in three weeks. 
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All 3 title contenders have had their struggles this season. Yes even Ogier made quite a lot of stupid mistakes in his new role of being the hunter.
Neuville has simply matured a bit more compared to previous years, trying to manage his lead more than just going flat out to stay ahead.
And to be honest I think he's done a good job managing his lead for such a long time compared to last year.
Also he's the only one of the 3 who finished and scored points on every rally so far, with only 3 times outside the top 5.
Last year he won rally Australia from starting 2nd on the road so this will indeed be a very interesting end of the season.
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Block rolled on the last stage yesterday and isn’t restarting, looks like he had quite a big one!

This championship fight is insane! I hope it finishes as it is, as Australia will be one hell of a final round!

edit: this aged well, Tanak puncture!
If Ken would only enter more races he MAY not crash as much and not be so rusty.  I still like the guy, but Krash Ken joke still continues.  
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tbtstt said:
I don’t think we’ve seen neuville flat out for a little while. I think that will change in Australia with the title on the line
I hope so: if he wins the title I want to see him earn it!
Well, with the championship fight as it stands, I don't think he has many more alternatives than pushing for the win... and the same goes for Ogier. Australia is going to be interesting I bet
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I really hope it'll be decided on pace and not on some random mechanical issue. 

Tänak will go for the win as usual, so the optimum excitement would be to have Neuville 2nd and Ogier 3rd before the power stage, then it'll be decided on who wins the last stage of the season.
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In other news, Sordo confirmed for a part time program next year. Most likely Paddon will partner up again. 
In the unlikely event that it's not Paddon, my bet would be on a development driver (Huttunen maybe?) or one of the other homeless current drivers (Ostberg?).

I'd wager Evans will get signed for M-Sport soon enough, finally he got a rally with no issues and got to show of his speed.
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Dytut said:
In other news, Sordo confirmed for a part time program next year. Most likely Paddon will partner up again. 
In the unlikely event that it's not Paddon, my bet would be on a development driver (Huttunen maybe?) or one of the other homeless current drivers (Ostberg?).

I'd wager Evans will get signed for M-Sport soon enough, finally he got a rally with no issues and got to show of his speed.
I heard Paddon wasn't interested in a part drive? 
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bogani said:
Dytut said:
In other news, Sordo confirmed for a part time program next year. Most likely Paddon will partner up again. 
In the unlikely event that it's not Paddon, my bet would be on a development driver (Huttunen maybe?) or one of the other homeless current drivers (Ostberg?).

I'd wager Evans will get signed for M-Sport soon enough, finally he got a rally with no issues and got to show of his speed.
I heard Paddon wasn't interested in a part drive? 
I've heard so to, guess it comes down to options. If that's the only choice he has, will he turn it down? I can see him going to M-Sport if that means a full time drive, but with his ties to Hyundai he might take a step back and take a year at home in the AP circuit. We'll see. I personally would love to see him get a full time drive at M-Sport.
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juu1ius said:
Aparently Huttunen was testin i20 WRC today, possible rounds in 4th car next year? Also Gus Greensmith to MSport? Is Wilson going back to training youngsters for other teams? 
Where did you read about Gus going to M-Sport? 
If M-Sport can't really find any top driver for next year (which looks increasingly hard), then doing a year with development drivers wouldn't be that bad of an option. Greensmith, Tidemand, Kopecky are all on the board and given a 2-3 year deal might be able to fight for a championship in 2020 if things pan out. If not, then at least they probably aren't that expensive. Who knows, maybe 2019 is the year the Evans finds the consistency he lacks. He's a bit like Tänak was earlier now, can show incredible speed on all surfaces but lacks the consistency to really kick off.
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Dytut said:
juu1ius said:
Aparently Huttunen was testin i20 WRC today, possible rounds in 4th car next year? Also Gus Greensmith to MSport? Is Wilson going back to training youngsters for other teams? 
Where did you read about Gus going to M-Sport? 
If M-Sport can't really find any top driver for next year (which looks increasingly hard), then doing a year with development drivers wouldn't be that bad of an option. Greensmith, Tidemand, Kopecky are all on the board and given a 2-3 year deal might be able to fight for a championship in 2020 if things pan out. If not, then at least they probably aren't that expensive. Who knows, maybe 2019 is the year the Evans finds the consistency he lacks. He's a bit like Tänak was earlier now, can show incredible speed on all surfaces but lacks the consistency to really kick off.
Gus Greensmith posted a picture on twitter showing him testing a fiesta wrc
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Ah, M-Sport and Gus published a testing video of him, ending in "2019?". So that sounds rather probable now.

So what do we reckon? Evans, Suninen, Greensmith for M-Sport? 
Evans has the speed but not the consistenct, Suninen might be a good team asset if he can up his consistency a bit, and Greensmith a complete wildcard. Not the strongest lineup, but it might land them one or two rally wins. Probably not enough to fight for manufacturers even if Evans start to shine.
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Suninen brings money
Breen can bring money
Greensmith will bring money
Ostberg may bring money
Evans has no money
Paddon has little money

The best three drivers are elsewhere, so if you're M-Sport there's only really the above. I think Paddon would prefer to keep his Hyundai seat as he has a good relationship with Hyundai NZ and Breen and Ostberg may prefer to not pay at Citroen for a part time role.

I would guess Ford will have Suninen, part-time Greensmith and either Breen or Evans depending on whether one of them is willing to pay. If Breen full time, let Evans develop and advertise the new R5, alternating with Greensmith.

To be honest, I'm hoping WRC2 Pro will be a hit and those doing part-time seasons will be in an R5 for the other rounds. If Paddon isn't doing tarmac rounds because Sordo is better, let Paddon do it in an R5 to gain experience.

I also think M-Sport should focus on the new R5 and pick two pro drivers to go head to head with VW and Skoda later in the season. Evans and Breen would both be great for this role.
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