Wednesday, November 3, 2010

WRC Spain 2010

Even with the driver championship already won, Loeb showed no sign of backing off, a fact which left Petter Solberg jokingly begging for some mercy from Loeb. The fight for second between Solberg and Sordo was very interesting, considering that neither were challenging for the position after day one.

Day one consisted of mixed surfaces and everyone, except Loeb of course, struggled with setups that were not quite right for the conditions. At the end of day one Solberg was in fourth place and Sordo was in a disappointing sixth place, not the performance he hoped for at his home rally.

Days two and three were back on full asphalt. On day two Solberg went on a charge and soon took third place away from Latvala, who is not entirely comfortable on asphalt. Then Ogier made a mistake and gifted Solberg with second place. Meanwhile, Sordo had finally found some speed and charged up to third place by the end of day two. Solberg and Sordo continued their tussle on day three, but Solberg held on to claim his fourth second place this season, with a margin of just under six seconds.

That's a pretty big margin when you consider the following. Sordo is driving for a factory team while Solberg is a privateer driving a 2009 car. Sordo's car should be much faster and yet he was not able to make full use of that advantage. Solberg was probably carrying his car to keep ahead of Sordo. It shows the relative difference in experience between Solberg, who has won a driver title, and Sordo, who is still chasing his first win.

Raikkonen is not endearing himself to anyone by rolling the car in the shakedown. The roll cage was so badly damaged that he wasn't allowed to participate in the rally. That's two retirements in a row which I hope isn't the start of a trend. He has finished as high a sixth in his first full season, which isn't too bad. Of course, the detractors point to the fact that he has gone off the road more often than he scored any points.

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