Jump to content

Sign in to follow this  
RankStranger

Anyone else follow the WRC?

Recommended Posts

It's the only motorsport... hell, the only sport I watch.

 

Not sure what started me on it, but for about the last seven years I haven't missed a rally.

 

I love it.

 

I love that I can relate to the cars. F1 is too foreign and exotic, they might as well be racing jet fighters.

 

I love the situations they throw themselves into; 150kph down a one-lane gravel track with trees either side of the road. Dust, mud, snow, ice, night time... you name it, they drive it. Stopping to change their own tyre in the middle of a stage just to try to pick up an extra point. Spectacular offs that in the last few seasons have seen cars burnt down to the frame or sink into a lake or roll up to 11 times down a hill. Driver always walks away. Crazy.

 

I love the history of it, the Group B monsters of the 80s and the Safari Rally with its 100s of kms stages, the historical domination of the Finns, disrupted more recently by some astonishingly (yet somehow boringly) gifted Frenchies.

 

I love that it's a team sport, perhaps more than many others. In Sportsball, only one player controls the ball at a time but it a rally car the driver is totally reliant on the co-driver every moment of the stage and both are relying on the engineering team at the service park to make sure everything is in peak working order or they're all stuffed.

 

I love Jari-Matti Latvala because he was the baby of the field when I started watching and because he is an amazing driver but he's had such sh!tty luck for the last few seasons and he gets so cut up and emotional when things go wrong and I really feel for him.

 

I've never really had anyone to talk to about it so I'm hoping there might be another fan out there in SNAland.

 

Anyone?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Always enjoy the WRC. We don't get enough coverage on FTA Tv. Also enjoy the Oz rally and some of the smaller European races when shown. I don't watch as much as I used to buy if it's on and I have an hour or two spare I am happy to watch.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah I follow the WRC. I am hoping to get to Coffs later in the year actually!

 

Went to the first of the Australian WRC events that was on the east coast when they moved it over to Murwillumbah. Was Loeb and Latvala racing for the title that year. Red Bull were racing Citroen's then.

 

I started watching back when Tommi Makkinen was racing Evo 5 or something ... Makkinen, Gronholm, Burns.

 

Really enjoyed watching the young Kiwi Haydon Paddon get his first win a few weeks back too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hayden's awesome. He really deserved that win.

 

I'm really excited for Kris Meeke to come back next year as well. He has really shown some chops the last few times he has been out.

 

I'm not sure about going to the actual event. It's such huge hike from Melbourne. Maybe one day.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Anyone?

:welcome:    Love the WRC.  Haven't followed it closely for a few years....   but do enjoy it a lot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah I follow the WRC, keen rally fan and competitor since the early 80's but I also follow state and national championships, as well as MotoGP, Superbikes, Road Racing, F1, WEC, V8 Supercars etc. Lucky I've got Foxtel isn't it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm also a massive rally fan.  However, I can't get TV where I live, so haven't followed it closely for a couple of years.  I grew up around rally cars (my grandmother competed!) and my uncle is the director of the Classic Outback Trial.  When I first bought my Datsun roadster, I was a member of the HRA, and seriously considered rallying it, but soon realised that it's a tarmac car, and now limit it to track and hillclimbs.

 

You're right about the almost boring dominance of the French drivers, and I have a fairly straightforward theory about why and how this has come about.  Back in the day, even in the 90's, rally driving was all about maintaining speed - even if that meant putting the vehicle into a slide to do that.  On dirt, you've always got *some* grip, whereas on tarmac, it's kind of all or nothing.  So being fast meant a very aggressive attitude, and controlling a car sideways.  The Finns all grew up on lots of roads that encouraged that style - particularly fast and flowing, but with controlled sideways drifting (there's a reason that deliberately upsetting the car's grip is called a "Scandinavian flick").  Nowadays, though, with suspension technology and (especially) tyre technology being what it is, WRC cars have as much grip (or more) on dirt than most cars have on dry tarmac.  In other words, a smooth, circuit style of driving, where you're not wasting horsepower with drifts and slides, is quickest.  The French rally championship is entirely made up of tarmac events, and that smooth style is now what's winning races.  See how fast Latvala is, now, on tarmac, and you'll see it coincides with him getting faster and faster on all surfaces.

 

Here's a historical analogy - Jack Brabham raced F1 cars with no aero package.  Where did he start out racing?  Oval speedway, going sideways.  That style wouldn't cut it in modern F1, and it no longer cuts it in top class rallying.  This is why we don't see sensational drivers in the style of McRae, Blomqvist and Vatenen leading the pack anymore.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


I'm also a massive rally fan.  However, I can't get TV where I live, so haven't followed it closely for a couple of years.  I grew up around rally cars (my grandmother competed!) and my uncle is the director of the Classic Outback Trial.  When I first bought my Datsun roadster, I was a member of the HRA, and seriously considered rallying it, but soon realised that it's a tarmac car, and now limit it to track and hillclimbs.

 

You're right about the almost boring dominance of the French drivers, and I have a fairly straightforward theory about why and how this has come about.  Back in the day, even in the 90's, rally driving was all about maintaining speed - even if that meant putting the vehicle into a slide to do that.  On dirt, you've always got *some* grip, whereas on tarmac, it's kind of all or nothing.  So being fast meant a very aggressive attitude, and controlling a car sideways.  The Finns all grew up on lots of roads that encouraged that style - particularly fast and flowing, but with controlled sideways drifting (there's a reason that deliberately upsetting the car's grip is called a "Scandinavian flick").  Nowadays, though, with suspension technology and (especially) tyre technology being what it is, WRC cars have as much grip (or more) on dirt than most cars have on dry tarmac.  In other words, a smooth, circuit style of driving, where you're not wasting horsepower with drifts and slides, is quickest.  The French rally championship is entirely made up of tarmac events, and that smooth style is now what's winning races.  See how fast Latvala is, now, on tarmac, and you'll see it coincides with him getting faster and faster on all surfaces.

 

Here's a historical analogy - Jack Brabham raced F1 cars with no aero package.  Where did he start out racing?  Oval speedway, going sideways.  That style wouldn't cut it in modern F1, and it no longer cuts it in top class rallying.  This is why we don't see sensational drivers in the style of McRae, Blomqvist and Vatenen leading the pack anymore.  

 

 

That's a fascinating insight. I have never thought of it like that and it makes perfect sense. Jari Matti's competitiveness really took off when he lifted his tarmac game.

 

My main complaint with Loeb wasn't that he was French (though, that was obviously a problem  :P) but that he was actually an extremely boring driver. He always had such amazing car control, he always knew exactly where it was going and how he was going to get it there, that I just had no interest in watching him. That's not what I watch rally for. What I love about JML is that when he's at maximum attack, you can see it in his style. He takes every corner just at the ragged edge of control Same with most of the drivers. Loeb at full attack was his usual controlled self, just faster.

 

I actually don't mind Sebastian Ogier. He started out as a hot-headed kid and the way he has matured has been amazing. He still battles for every victory in a way I find really compelling. The difference I see between Ogier and Latvala, though is that Ogier's passion is for winning and Latvala's is for being the best driver he can be. They're both worthy pursuits but it makes them react differently to setbacks and losses. JML is heartbroken when he crashes out or bad luck takes him out of a race, whereas Seb reacts with something closer to petulance or the sense that he was robbed of something to which he was entitled. Both are understandable reactions, but different.

 

I also find Dani Sordo's history amazing. He is without a doubt the most successful team player of the modern era, spending his best years helping Loeb and Citroen to their respective victories time and again. He's had 38 podiums but only 1 win! talk about always the bridesmaid. I think he still has a place in the competition but it's obvious his best drives were wasted following team orders to boost Loeb's points.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do go on...  :)

 

I like driving way too fast on dirt roads. Not much more to say really.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I never found Loeb boring.  Sometimes the championship has been, due to his dominance, but his driving?  Nah, I could watch him over and over again.  I also loved watching his in car footage, and waiting for him to blink!  I don't think he ever does when he's on a competitive stage.  Even acknowledging the financial advantages that he's enjoyed with the Citroen team compared to the other teams, to me he's simply the greatest driver ever.  Even more impressive than Walter Rohrl.  

Ogier, OTOH, lost my respect when he came out with that "justice in rallying" comment when his team mate got a puncture.  What an arrogant, entitled child he is.  

 

Locally, it's good to see Simon Evans back in competition.  I was privileged to get a ride with him at Rally of Melbourne back in his privateer days, and it was definitely the most fun I've had in a car with my pants still on!

 

@ Ken, oh, come on, there isn't a rally competitor with some funny stories.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


@ Ken, oh, come on, there isn't a rally competitor with some funny stories.  

 

Okay @@st3ph3nm a funny, well I've always thought of it as funny, sort of rally related story.

 

I was living in Black Rock and working night shift in St Kilda so for scrutineering on Wednesday or Thursday night I would drive the car to scrutineering and then go to work and then obviously I had to drive home in the early hours of the morning.

 

In a fully kitted out rally car with no navigator and not much fuel in it.

 

Umm, faster.

 

At the top of the Red Bluff in Black Rock there was/is a wonderful crescent shaped gravel car park about 250 metres from entrance to exit.

 

So I got into a regular pre rally routine.

 

The drive around Beach Road was a nice warm up and when I got to the car park, a hard turn right, through the entrance sideways, flicked on the few hundred watts of lights and lets see how quick we can get to the other end of the car park before exiting and continuing home at the rather more sedate speed limit.

 

Just something to blow the cobwebs out of both me and the car.

 

A rally car does accelerate rather quickly and having gone through the entrance at 80kmhr+, so halfway through the car park in a nice power drift going pretty bloody quickly and all those lights bringing daylight to the inside crescent and nicely hidden from view part of the car park.

 

One night a divvy van parked there with a couple of the boys in blue having a quiet nap.

 

The shock as they woke up and sat bolt upright and the look on their faces all lit up in all those lights as I slid past at speed.

 

Priceless.

 

PS. I'd probably be called a hoon these days. Oh dear, naughty me ;-)

 

PPS. Loeb is a God.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A definite fan yes but lost interest in recent years. Owned Australias only (nearly) contender in the heady Group B days for a couple of years:

 

IMG_9293Large.jpg

 

and just 2 weeks ago I took delivery of my WRC hero:

 

IMG_2100_zpsfecfuog0.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So I've just been catching up with the WRC this year, and just finished watching Argentina.  What a drive from Paddon!  And what an off from Latvala.  I just want to give that guy a hug when things go pear shaped - he wears his heart on his sleeve, doesn't he?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...