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Dytut said:

Østberg - in his "own" car with more backing from M-Sport unless Ford comes in full time.
(4th car run as a loaner/hire/ with Suninen as often as possible)

His car is for sale so I think it's safe to assume he's out for the next year.

Kajetan Kajetanowicz (3 times ERC champion) will be driving that car in Rally Barbórka Warszawska



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Oh, I had completely missed that. Doesn't mean he's not going to M-Sport, but I kind of doubt it. I know I'd have gone for Suninen if I was Malcolm.

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Wilson just want Suninen as the 3rd driver, so if Teemu doesnt make the whole season is to make money by renting the car to privateers, bertelli, Kremer, Kajto?, Etc or save it

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I just finished watching Rally Australia. 2017 was a good season. A lot more unpredictable. I'm hoping that M-Sport gets support from Ford so that they can fight back next year. I would love for them to keep Ogier.

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Tideman will have his chance I hope. There's no one else in WRC2 who deserves it more. I'm thinking M-Sport will have Evans - Sunninen + who ever and Tideman in some events with 4th car. WRC2 is growing a lot in 2019 - Fiesta, C3, i20, Fabia and joingin Polo, Iriz and Yaris. When was the last time 7 factory teams in WRC ?
versedi said:
His car is for sale so I think it's safe to assume he's out for the next year.

Kajetan Kajetanowicz (3 times ERC champion) will be driving that car in Rally Barbórka Warszawska

That's propaply same car that was racing in TipCars Pražský Rallysprint 2017 by Dohnal Jan and Ernst Michal https://www.ewrc-results.com/carinfo/69-ford-fiesta-wrc-17/?spz=3763 .
Stunning livery imo. LOVE IT!

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No Yaris R5 mate, 4 M-Sport Cars?? Mmm I doubt it, he may have the chance by renting by his own a Fiesta WRC17, but never a driver from Eric Veiby used a M-Sport car, so why it would change?

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No Yaris R5 mate, 4 M-Sport Cars?? Mmm I doubt it, he may have the chance by renting by his own a Fiesta WRC17, but never a driver from Eric Veiby used a M-Sport car, so why it would change?
There has been 4 M-Sport cars this year when Mads Ostberg would drive and when Sunninen drove.

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No Yaris R5 mate, 4 M-Sport Cars?? Mmm I doubt it, he may have the chance by renting by his own a Fiesta WRC17, but never a driver from Eric Veiby used a M-Sport car, so why it would change?
There has been 4 M-Sport cars this year when Mads Ostberg would drive and when Sunninen drove.
Not paid by M-Sport, privateers yes, they can have as many as they want

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That's what i ment, 4th rented car.
Why are you so sure there won't be Yaris R5? They had plans before, and with the commitment to WRC there's no reason to doubt in R5 project. Not next year, but why not 2019? Also there has been rumors that new logistic-base in Estonia will do the R5 development.

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juu1ius said:
That's what i ment, 4th rented car.
Why are you so sure there won't be Yaris R5? They had plans before, and with the commitment to WRC there's no reason to doubt in R5 project. Not next year, but why not 2019? Also there has been rumors that new logistic-base in Estonia will do the R5 development.
I think what Makinen said, was that the engine that Toyota has, doesnt met the regulations needed by the Fia, or something like that, I Will find it and check it
Edit: yes, it is because of the engine (you need base in a 1.6 Turbo road engine or i'm not sure install a turbo on a 1.6) and there is any Yaris that has an engine with that Specs, also they Focus on the development of the WRC version

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I also feel that the r5 market is pretty saturated now, especially with VW coming in and another Citroen. The Fiesta’s have sold ridiculous amounts too. There’s not that many people who can afford a £200k rally car!

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http://www.wrc.com/en/wrc/news/november/ogier-msport/page/5042--12-12-.html

There we go!

Ogier and Evans to head the team, sounds like the third car will be shared between Suninen and Tidemand.

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Dytut said:
http://www.wrc.com/en/wrc/news/november/ogier-msport/page/5042--12-12-.html

There we go!

Ogier and Evans to head the team, sounds like the third car will be shared between Suninen and Tidemand.
Sounds good to me! I wanna see that Fiesta fly. B)

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I think this is good news, especially for M-Sport of course, but also for the championship. Without Ogier M-Sport wouldn't have enough driving strength to fight against Hyundai and Toyota. I think Evans is missing just a bit of speed - although it's hard to compare his 2017 season because of the DMack tyres he used. Maybe he finally closed the gap to the best. Suninen and Tidemand on the other hand have great potential, but wouldn't be competitive everywhere right now. Both need some more outings in WRC cars.

Besides, you have to beat the best to become the best. If Ogier had retired and Neuville would become champion - I'm sure that would take something away from his win. At least a lot of people would think so.

That said, I think Neuville has to be the favourite for 2018, but Ogier, Latvala, Tanak and Mikkelsen will be ready to jump at the opportunity if he has another bad start to the season. I don't see Citroen as a real contender, but hopefully not as unreliable (hello Kris!) as in 2017.

It's looking to be another great season.

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I would still like to see more manufactures in the WRC. Besides that 2018 is looking great.
Wouldn't we all! One can hope that these more exciting times will lure at least one more brand into the fray. VW will most likely not return for a while, and I doubt any of the other VAG brands will go up to WRC either.
The PSA group will most likely not put a second brand in there when they have Citroën.
If Ford ever returns they'll just be continuing M-Sport so not really any big addition to the scene in that regard (but would be great).
Subaru doesn't really have a car that fits the regulations, do they?
Fiat, which auto group are they owned by now? They could rally as themselves, or get Lancia back in the mix as a performance brand again.

As for others, I'm not sure.  Volvo don't seem to be that interested in rallying even though we have a decently strong rally tradition in Sweden.
Can't think of many more of the big brands with rallying pedigree that might come back in.

Would be cool if one or more of the new brands from Asia would go for it to get brand recognition. There are quite a few Chinese brands that are unaffiliated with the bigger brand groups and might want to get their brand out to the rest of the world. But I have a feeling that Rally China would need to be on the calendar for that to happen.

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I also feel that the r5 market is pretty saturated now, especially with VW coming in and another Citroen. The Fiesta’s have sold ridiculous amounts too. There’s not that many people who can afford a £200k rally car!
I certainly wouldn't disagree with you that the R5's are expensive, but based on the number of cars M-Sport have pushed out of the door there do seem to be quite a few people with deep enough pockets!
dwkGravey said:
2018 is looking to be as good as if not better than 2017 already.
2018 looks like it might be a little bit more predictable than 2017 - we haven't got the unknown quantity of so many new cars - but I agree it's shaping up to be another fantastic season.
I would still like to see more manufactures in the WRC. Besides that 2018 is looking great.
More competitive manufacturers would be a good thing, but I wouldn't want to see manufacturers joining for the sake of appearances or coming in and dominating the series.

It's perhaps the biggest unanswered question of 2017 but, as much as I cursed them at the time, I think the departure of VW from the WRC may have been the best thing that could have happened. 

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Interesting
Bakkerud considering WRC2 after Hoonigan's WRX exit

Andreas Bakkerud says he will likely pursue a switch to WRC2 in 2018 if he's unable to secure a top-line drive in the World Rallycross Championship.

Bakkerud had expected to remain with Ken Block’s Ford Performance-backed Hoonigan Racing team for a third term next year, but was left without a seat when the outfit announced it was withdrawing from World RX last month, ahead of the season finale in South Africa. 
https://www.motorsport.com/wrc/news/bakkerud-considering-wrc2-switch-after-hoonigan-s-wrx-exit-984272/?s=1

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That is interesting. But I really like him in the WRX. He is one of the coolest drivers and I would be sad to see him leave. If he does switch to WRC2 then I hope he can make into the WRC but for now I hope he stays in WRX. Its more fun to watch with him in it.

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Dytut said:
I would still like to see more manufactures in the WRC. Besides that 2018 is looking great.
Wouldn't we all! One can hope that these more exciting times will lure at least one more brand into the fray. VW will most likely not return for a while, and I doubt any of the other VAG brands will go up to WRC either.
The PSA group will most likely not put a second brand in there when they have Citroën.
If Ford ever returns they'll just be continuing M-Sport so not really any big addition to the scene in that regard (but would be great).
Subaru doesn't really have a car that fits the regulations, do they?
Fiat, which auto group are they owned by now? They could rally as themselves, or get Lancia back in the mix as a performance brand again.

As for others, I'm not sure.  Volvo don't seem to be that interested in rallying even though we have a decently strong rally tradition in Sweden.
Can't think of many more of the big brands with rallying pedigree that might come back in.

Would be cool if one or more of the new brands from Asia would go for it to get brand recognition. There are quite a few Chinese brands that are unaffiliated with the bigger brand groups and might want to get their brand out to the rest of the world. But I have a feeling that Rally China would need to be on the calendar for that to happen.
Fiat are owned by the Chrysler Group. I think it would be cool to get an Italian team back into the WRC. More Japanese manufactures are always welcome. If Subaru did ever come back to the WRC they would be my automatic favorite team because I'm a huge Subaru fan.

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YoMrWhite said:
Fiat are owned by the Chrysler Group.
Isn't it the other way round?
You know what, I think your right its FCA, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.
He's right. Fiat owns the Chrysler Group and they're now merged in FCA. Also, given that for the 2018 F1 Season Alfa Romeo is going to come back with Sauber and Marchionne (CEO of FCA Group) is interested in Formula E I don't see the group starting another racing program in the future unfortunately

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Areyouben said:
Interesting
Bakkerud considering WRC2 after Hoonigan's WRX exit

Andreas Bakkerud says he will likely pursue a switch to WRC2 in 2018 if he's unable to secure a top-line drive in the World Rallycross Championship.

Bakkerud had expected to remain with Ken Block’s Ford Performance-backed Hoonigan Racing team for a third term next year, but was left without a seat when the outfit announced it was withdrawing from World RX last month, ahead of the season finale in South Africa. 
https://www.motorsport.com/wrc/news/bakkerud-considering-wrc2-switch-after-hoonigan-s-wrx-exit-984272/?s=1
It's a poor article compared to the Norwegian one that came some days before this.
The Norwegian one mentions:

  • The costs per KM driving is much much lower in WRC2
  • He feels he have something to prove to the rally-people who looks at WRX as a "retirement home" for old or not good enough rally drivers, and he feels with some proper training with pacenotes - he is willing to move to get more training by professionals - he would be able to fight with the rally guys as well. Showing that RX drivers have loads of talent, they've just chosen RX instead of e.g rally.
  • He feels it is very important to be in RX, and preferably with a manufacturer that will move to the electric cars, as he thinks RX will go electric and that will be the big thing pretty soon. And he don't want to drop off the radar when that happens.
  • Petter have said he is interested in signing up Bakkerud for 2018 - and that Bakkerud acknowledges it would be stupid to say now, and that the dynamic between them will be different if they drive for the same marque, team and Solberg is the team boss.
  • For rally he feels R5 is a better choice than R2. He have more experience with 4WD, he feels the R5 are more pure racecar, and when he was driving R2, it was fun, but a bit harder to understand the cars limit, as it could withstand certain things, but not others, due to being more stock.

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