Wednesday, October 13, 2010

WRC France 2010

The only real excitement in the rally was the three way fight for second and third between Ogier, Sordo, and Petter Solberg. Sordo and Ogier had a definite advantage in their factory Citroens and after day one it looked like Solberg would have to settle for fourth. On day two, Ogier survived an off-road excursion into the trees but later clipped a rock which wrecked the right front suspension. Solberg moved into third and, per his usual style, set his sights on the second place Sordo. Solberg as a very scary moment on day three which could have ended in disaster. With one stage cancelled on an already short day three, Solberg simply ran out of road and had to settle for third, which was still very impressive.

With Loeb and Citroen clinching the drivers' title and manufacturers' title respectively, the remaining two events will be somewhat anticlimactic. The sad fact is neither Loeb nor Citroen were seriously challenged this year.

Loeb is in class of his own. I almost wish he would retire but that would deprive us of the chance to see him beaten, although by whom, I'm not sure. Certainly none of the younger drivers are good enough yet. Solberg might have a chance if he had a competitive car. Just look at what he has achieved driving a 2009 car!

Ford's lack lustre performance this year was shocking and essentially gifted Citroen with the title. I hope the reason for the poor showing is that Ford decided to put all their effort into next year's car, which will use the same chassis as the SWRC cars but with a 1.6l turbo instead of the 2l normally apsirated engine (which sound awesome, by the way). While there were several Ford Fiestas contesting the SWRC, there were no Citroens at all. Time will tell.

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