Is It Time To Break Out the “C” Word?

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  • Alvin Kato

    Hmmm…I don’t know Jason. While its been good to see different winners, and even though you want me to put aside the road order controversy, I can’t help but think that this is all because of that.

    Admittedly drivers have now woken up and the rule has done a good job of babysitting them to this point. But if we want the duel, then the leash has to be taken off Ogier now and we see if the rest of the drivers are as good as they want us to believe when they are face to face with the top dog.

    That aside, I loved Poland and was crushed for Ott’s loss. But I loved the way Ogier consoled Tanak and hoisted him up. I wish Mikkelsen had let Ott have the lead, but then again this is competition….

    Looking forward to more exciting moments! And as always thanks for the article! :)

  • Revenger210

    Whilst I wouldn’t go out to call it a classic yet, I will agree that we have a lot of good moments to pick from, and the close rallying we’ve witness this year is so god damn refreshing to see from the Ogier domination of the previous years, and Loeb’s ones before it. It’s good and it finally lets other people shine through and give us memorable fights! I like it a lot and I’m sure 2016 will keep delivering as rallies come by, because the competition is so close this year! Neuville has come back on form after many rallies of bad luck, Paddon and Meeke are on fire, Mikkelsen is doing well, Tanak proved privateers can do extremely well in certain conditions. It is sad that Latvala is either top riches or bottom pits, whilst Ogier’s form is disappointing (which in turn is a huge plus, because finally we see other people on the top spot and I’m loving it because it is new and refreshing!)

    However, the running order drama has spoiled it quite a lot. All the winners have benefitted from a low starting position in gravel rallies, whilst the top struggled. It will be interesting to see how both Mikkelsen and Paddon react to running second and third respectively after Ogier in the next rallies.

    And although I do not entirely agree with Alvin about the “babysitting” part, I agree that Ogier is held back because of the rule. But that didn’t stop him the previous years from delivering memorable performances, and afaik this rule was in effect since two years ago, wasn’t it? And still, Ogier dominated fairly easily back then, so idk. I’m not sure either if Ogier’s drop in form is not only because of having to clean the roads two days in a row, but also because of fatherhood, that since he’s a father now, he has to be more sensible and take less risks, because he has more to lose. Mika Hakkinen, for example, in F1 was a terrific driver, two-times world champion, but his form dropped considerably after he became a father in 2001, and he retired altogether in 2002 because of the risks involved, he had said so himself in interviews. So it could be possible and true for Ogier too.

    As for later, I doubt there will be a main rival to Ogier. Mikkelsen doesn’t seem up to that task tbh, Paddon is not that consistent yet to match him, Neuville remains to be seen if his good luck will continue, whilst Latvala’s has run out and he’s now struggling. I don’t expect 2016 to be a classic because of controversies and because of the lack of a main rivalry, but I feel if both of those are ironed out (Paddon and Meeke bring on the pressure next year and WRC switches back to the old rally order from 2001, which was the fairest one it ever had imo), then 2017 will be a tremendous crescendo for the sport! …given the new cars don’t upset the balance and bring us down to one team/driver dominating and the rest playing catch-up again >.<

    • Also be mindful that WRC’s current subordinate-status in modern motorsports also contributes to that feeling of not really having a classic season. Back in the late 1990’s to early 2000’s with McRae, Burns, Grönholm, Sainz, Mäkinen etc. and cars like the Lancer, Focus, Impreza etc. all duking it out it with incredible stories still getting talked about today and obviously having that added sense of nostalgia makes that time seem rather grandious in comparison to what we have today. I still love rallying, don’t get me wrong, I just hope the kind inconsistend times the series has expierenced the last couple of years will soon fade away and I hope that the new regs for 2017 could add some momentum to the series.

  • FuchsrohreWRC

    Can’t be a ‘classic’ as already said; the road order has massively skewed the events; meaning Ogier can’t really win events on dry, dusty gravel. And that raises another point – far too many dry, dusty gravel events back to back.

    Finally, I don’t like to be negative, but from a UK perspective, this season with many winners isn’t doing anything to raise interest in the sport. Both F1 & Formula E at the weekend were far more popular on the major motorsport websites/ forums.

  • I agree with the folks who have commented down here, that the road order controversy definitely spoiled a lot of the results so far. Because, let’s face it, if Ogier would have been the one who was starting down in the road order, we wouldn’t have six different winners in seven rallies. Why can’t the WRC just run a show car/ classic car to run first on the road for the stages? It would be unclassified and also add some classic spice for the fans (think about Mäkinen in his ’99 Lancer in Finland for example). The car starting 2nd will still have an disadvantage but it wouldn’t be as significant as having to start first on a unsweeped road.

    • Revenger210

      That sounds like a very big gimmick tbh, and idk how most fans would feel about that. I feel it would still be fairer to have championship order on day 1 and rally order for the rest, that’d be sportsmanlike tbh.

      • Alvin Kato

        You see @revenger210:disqus the idea of a sweeping car is n’t so strange after all. Plus even the ERC did it at the Ypres rally where Hyundai debuted its R5. So if they want to stick with the current stupid rules then they should at least even up things.

        But like you said the rules from the 2000s were fairer and that’s what I want. Am tired of the FIA babysitting weak ambition less drivers and punishing the good ones. I want a fair fight.

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