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Old 12-20-2011, 10:34 AM   #11
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With Petter driving for Ford, this is sure to get interesting for the drivers championship.
- Is Mikko going to be happy in a support role to Loeb?
- Will Latvala be consistant and not make errors like he is prone too?
- Petter as a number two driver, we'll see what happens there...
- Ogier as a number one driver?

Looks like a good season in the making, and we won't see it on broadcast tv in the US.
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Old 12-20-2011, 10:02 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wrc_fan View Post
- Ogier as a number one driver?

Looks like a good season in the making, and we won't see it on broadcast tv in the US.
Ogier likely won't be much of a threat this year, as he will be doing most of the events in a Skoda Fabia S2000 and only a handful in the VW Polo R (probably 6 events or fewer). For the events he is in the Polo R, he could potentially mess up others' chances to score points, but other than that he isn't likely a contender in the championship in any real way this year.

As far as seeing it on TV in the US, you can watch the preview, daily review, rally review, and power stages on TV here on the Velocity network (owned by Discovery networks), but it will not be until 2 weeks after each event ends. You can also get many of them on Streetfire.net a day or two after the event (sometimes the day of the event).

So not totally ideal, but at least its cool to see the event highlights at some point rather than not at all.
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Old 12-21-2011, 11:00 AM   #13
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^^ Ah, I didn't see VW was only running a limited number of events. Still, Ogier can definitely be a spoiler.
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Old 12-24-2011, 03:06 AM   #14
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Great to see Petter behind the wheel of a Ford
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Old 01-22-2012, 03:41 PM   #15
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A bitter-sweet beginning for Ford WRC team:

Latvala leads on day 1 and then he crashed : (

The podium :

1. Loeb (Citroen)
2. Sordo (Mini)
3. Peter Solberg (Ford)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O-IcJxxebZQ
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Old 01-22-2012, 06:13 PM   #16
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Latvala was flying during day 1, and truly is the fastest driver in the WRC, though that doesn't mean a thing if he can't finish the rally. His consistency is getting better than it has been in the past, but is still not at a level where he can truly compete with Loeb. The best thing Latvala can do (as he himself said last year) is "to pressurize Loeb" into making mistakes on his own--the consistency issue matched with speed is where Loeb wins championships. He knows when to fight for the lead and when to take points.

Petter Solberg on the other hand was phenomenal for it being his first real test in a Fiesta. Once he started getting the feeling for the car he was doing very well, though to be honest Loeb wasn't pushing at that point anymore. If Petter can continue setting fastest stage times and can help JM keep leads, it will be a very strong season. Though in his area he needs to stop getting caught speeding on road sections. If he gets 1 more speeding infraction on any event in the next 6 months, he will lose any and all points from Rally Sweden. That could be a very painful lesson to learn, and may greatly impact the season months after the event ends.

If Latvala can increase his consistency, Ford will have a great chance to win the manufacturer's title this year (and if Latvala and Solberg can be equally as consistent, they may even have a world champion driver this year-though it is hard to say if it would be JM or PS).

Seeing all those Fiestas out there was pretty cool too. Ott Tanak looked great out there (especially in that black livery), as did Novikov and Breen. I expected a better showing out of Henning Solberg and Matthew Wilson though.
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Old 01-22-2012, 08:56 PM   #17
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I completely agree. The next appointment is in Sweden, let's see if Latvala finished the rally this time!
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Old 01-22-2012, 09:24 PM   #18
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I think the addition of Solberg is genius, a very experienced driver to help propel JM's raw talent to the top of the leader board. Just look at the tire choices of day 1 monte-carlo. I'm not sold on the "cross over" that citroen used but the super softs on the fords were the best call.
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Old 01-22-2012, 09:30 PM   #19
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I'm not sold on the "cross over" that citroen used but the super softs on the fords were the best call.
True. It's just unfortunate that Solberg didn't have the same tires as JM, as that would likely have left Solberg in first after JM exited, or JM in 1st and PS in 2nd if JM had not crashed out. Since Solberg used up all his slicks early on he was forced to use 3 old slicks and a winter tire for today's power stage. He ended up dropping time to Sordo and getting 0 power stage points as a result.

My guess is that Ford WRT was trying to hedge their bets and was hoping at least one of their drivers would have the right choice by sending them out with 2 different sets; as far as they were concerned, it could have been either driver in the lead at the end of that.

It really is great to see Solberg enjoying himself so much in a works drive though; you can clearly see a weight is lifted off his shoulders not being a privateer and he is driving truly flat out again. This really will be an exciting season. When VW starts to put the Polo R WRC into testing this year the rally world will start to see one hell of a competition!
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Old 02-13-2012, 12:09 PM   #20
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Jari Matti Latvala (Ford) wins Rally Sweden!

http://media.ford.com/article_displa...ticle_id=35984
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