Wednesday, May 12, 2010

WRC 2010 New Zealand

This was one hell of a rally! The action starts on day one when Loeb makes one of his rare mistakes on SS4. The backend got away from him a right hand corner and he slid sideways into the the end of a bridge barrier, which destroyed the driver side door. When Loebs gets it wrong, it goes wrong in a big way! He managed to limp back to service but lost well over a minute, trying to close "the shit door" as he put it. Loeb jokingly added that it was all a tactic for better road position on day two.

Those words were not so funny on day two. Loeb delivered a master class in rally driving as he used his road position to claw back almost all the lost time. He finished day two in second only 5 seconds behind Ogier. It was a spectacular drive with perfect road position for day three. Loeb looked set to take the win again.

Oh, but day three was to be a very different day. First Ogier spun and handed the lead to Loeb. Then Loeb uncharacteristically made a second error for the rally! A Loeb victory looked unlikely as Ogier was once again in the lead. Then Ogier made yet another error, and suddenly a Loeb win was once again a possibility. Then, almost unbelievably, Loeb made a third mistake and crashed! For Loeb to make three mistakes in a rally is so inconceivable, that I almost fell out of my chair because I was laughing so hard! Mark this rally in the history books folks.

Loeb got going again after the crash and was handed third by Petter Solberg. He had the scent of a win in the air and went all out on day three, only to crash out in spectacular fashion on the final stage. Sadly, Petter Solberg's bad luck continues but he was really trying hard for that win.

So, after all that action on day three, the winner is the one driver who had a completely unremarkable rally: Latvala. He had not a single incident, not even a stage win, throughout the entire rally. That's quite an achievement and shows how much Latvala has improved. And considering Ogier's performance, it's clear we are going to see a lot more of the younger drivers this season.

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