Every year it’s the same thing. You can hardly believe we’re days away from the start of the new season. It feels like last season ended only days ago. It’s fantastic and I wouldn’t want to trade the start of WRC season for anything. We barely had time to abandon all our new year resolutions and already special stages, splits and tyre choices are upon us once again. Some motor sport series enjoy quiet winters, but we do not. We like to combat winter depression with sounds and sights of rally cars.
This year I think World Rally Championship will make further progress en route to its former glory, even though none of that glory was lost in the eyes of true fans. We have new line-ups, new ambitions, new potential and, dare I say, a great looking and sounding package, available (almost) world wide. Of course, sport could always use more of the good stuff, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves – WRC is in a very good shape at the moment. Or at least I’d like to think it is, because you simply must be an optimist at the start of a new season.
When I said sport could always use more of the good stuff, here is what I meant. Take Francois Delecour and his Monte Carlo Rally entry, for example. For years, Francois talked about this fantastic concept of GT cars on WRC stages. Even though this concept is not yet fully in motion, his Monte entry is a huge step forward, as is the new GT cup series, launched by the FIA. WRC could really use more of GT cars and legends such as Francois Delecour. I never get tired of talking just how much I enjoy his driving, because he is not driving his cars, he is squeezing the life out of them. You know that phrase “drive it like you stole it”? Well, Francois is driving like the entire world is collapsing behind him and he needs to reach the speed of light before the stage end. I am sure he won’t win in Monte, but he will have tons of fun and so will everyone watching him and his Visit Romania branded 911 out on the stages. This sort of passion is always welcome and always needed in WRC, despite the fact that our sport rarely lacked any of those ingredients, even in its worst years.
If you are still not sure about who to support in 2015, or at least in Monte, here’s another name for you. Or you could just do what we all do and root for them all with equal passion.