We’ve had all sorts of years in the World Rally Championship; Citroën year(s), Loeb year(s), Volkswagen year, Mini-revival-that-never-happened year, promoter-ends-up-in-prison year, we-have-no-TV year, all sorts of years. And dramas, never forget dramas. Yet, despite all this, sport prevailed and, dare I say it, grew. Last year we saw Volkswagen Motorsport and Sebastien Ogier topple the almighty Citroën Racing, after the latter dominated the sport utterly for almost ten years. Immediately the whining started all over again – will the VW – Ogier combo turn into another dominant force and rule the WRC with an iron fist for years to come, similar to Citroën and Loeb. I say, who cares. Really. I for one refuse to think of 2014 as another year of team A or team B dominance, no, no and no. What I want instead is a year of WRC, plain and simple.
Everything does seem to be set up right this time. There is (a promise) of a more elaborate TV coverage plan for this year’s events. Hyundai Motorsports is ready and waiting to join the show as a proper manufacturer team. We have all sorts of lineup changes across the field. I’d love to say that even the timing services will operate smoothly this year, but that’s a hard guess and I’d rather skip this particular area for now. Teams are ready, crews are ready, TV & radio & internet based media are ready… everything seems to be in place for a year of pure, superb, badass WRC action.
Regardless of the outcome of 2014 WRC season, I’d like to call it a WRC year, at least for now. May our season be long, exciting and full of the unique taste of dust in your eyes, dirt in your mouth, flying stones in your balls, turbocharged wail in your ears and the unmistakable scent of burned racing fuel and oil and brake pads. Bring it on!