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Old 10-24-2005, 08:13 PM   #1
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Rally of France

Well, Loeb dominated, but I truly expected him to do so. However, I didn't expect him to snatch every stage win. I can't help but wonder if it's the car, him, the combination, or if anyone is even on his level. I just don't know anymore.

I think Duval has a lot to learn. It seems every time he is in a good points/podium position, he crashes out of the rally. I know he has some good talent under him, but he has to learn his limits and try to stay within them.

I was surprised to see Petter hang so close to some of the other drivers on this tarmac rally. Usually Petter can't even stay within the top six when it comes to tarmac events. I think if Petter practiced more on tarmac, he'd definitely be an awesome all-around driver. It seems like Loeb and Gronholm are the only real good all-around drivers, but Gronholm's car is seriously holding him back.

So is Peugeot officially dropping out of the WRC next year, and is Citreon really going to follow as well? It'd seem with the dominant driver and the number one rated team that you'd want to stick out another season, you know? There has to be money for the company in that regard. Anyone know?


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Old 10-24-2005, 08:15 PM   #2
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I also have to add Gronholm is a character. It was hysterical when he went and got a beer right after his car's transmission locked/failed.
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Old 10-24-2005, 08:17 PM   #3
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Peugeot and Citreon out of it? Thats new news to me. I dont know looks like the company would want to stay in it.
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Old 10-24-2005, 08:25 PM   #4
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Yes, earlier in the season, Nicky mentioned that the French manufacturers were looking to pull out of the WRC, but I honestly do not remember the reason (which is typical for forum posting, isn't it?). I don't remember if it's at the end of this season of the 2006 season, but I know they were going to pull out.
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Old 10-24-2005, 08:46 PM   #5
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Thats because Gronholm will be driving a Focus. They are scared and are tyring to get out while they are on top.

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Old 10-25-2005, 08:55 AM   #6
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Quote:
I can't help but wonder if it's the car, him, the combination, or if anyone is even on his level. I just don't know anymore.
Each sport must at some point be dominated by one individual and his team, it's nature! We all saw what Schumacher did for those 7 seasons and everybody talking about him being unbeatable, which was not the case this year. Give it sometime I think other drivers will soon be stepping up to match Loeb's performances in the next few years.

Here's an article you guys might be interested in:

http://www.wrc.com/page/WRCAnalysis/...709169,00.html
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Old 10-25-2005, 09:06 AM   #7
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You have to remember that Loeb was a road racer before he was a rally driver. Teams brought him in as a part time driver to drive only in tarmac rallies at first. He did it very well and beat the top rally drivers on a consistent basis at these events. He was smart and expanded his skills to gravel. He's good enough now that hew can place in the top five in gravel rallies and sometimes outright wins after the other big boys crash out. He then dominates all the tarmac rallies and walks away with world championships. Its kinda like when nascar teams brought or brings in Boris Said, Ron Fellows, and Scott Sharp to drive Winston Cup and Nextel cars at road circuits to guarantee some manufacturers points.
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Old 10-25-2005, 09:15 AM   #8
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But didn't the FIA revamp their entire rule system and requirements for the cars for Formula 1 which kind of put Ferrari back on the same engineering level as everyone else? It looks like the FIA is going to be changing a lot for the WRC come next year anyway. And it's not that I don't think anyone else isn't as capable as Loeb or even a team as capable as Citroen, but you're talking about two different entities that hadn't been in rally (as least not for a while) that come into the picture and start dominating. I've never seen someone perform as well consistently as Loeb and Citroen. It's just impressive.
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Old 10-25-2005, 02:03 PM   #9
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Ferrari was the only team to design a "complete" new car to meet the 05 rules. All the other teams just retrofitted existing designs. Ferrari is having teething problems with the car. I'll bet they won't be having those problems next year. Ferrari is the kind of team that will completely withdraw from racing (temporarily) if things are not going their way. They did this when the Williams cars were kicking their butts ten or so years ago. Not saying they will do this but they emerge with well sorted cars. They are very poor losers. Some good reading are the stories on how Carrol Shelby totally pissed off Enzo by using technically inferior cars (Cobra 289's, then 427's, then the Daytona Coupe and utimately the GT40). Basically big block, single cams, connected to bullet proof 4 speeds that had no syncros. Enzo withdrew from LeMans rather than get beat again. During those years each time he did come back Carrol was also there with a new (technically inferior car) to beat him again.

And yes WRC is changing the rules along the same lines that the FIA did. Its not cost effective to be wadding up million dollar rally cars all the time. The big changes will be to the traction control systems (no more computer controlled diffs, transfer cases or transmissions) more or less like FIA did to control cost and to a degree to slow the damn things down a little. Less computer control will theoretically put more reliance on the skills of the driver. Mitsubishi has been testing new EVO's at several of this years WRC events that comply with the new rules. Looks like they'll be back in strength next year. From what I have read it appears that Citeron and Peugot spent a fortune to run the last five years. It hurt the company financially and did not get the reward it thought would happen. They didn't want to allocate the funding to redesign the cars and remain competitive. On the other hand they did not use their rallying program in promoting their products like Subaru does. Seems very dumb after several years of outstanding success.
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Old 10-25-2005, 02:14 PM   #10
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One of your statements above reminded me of something a rally car driver said in a magazine. The Group B cars were the most powerful rally cars of their time, but he said they weren't the fastest. Today's rally cars can maintain corner grip levels well beyond those of the late 70's and 80's, and while straight line speeds have decreased, corner speeds have increased. Even though removing the computer-aided systems will lower the cost, to me it sounds like it will also increase the danger. No doubt driver skill is always needed and will up the ante, but this sport is dangerous enough.

Do you think any outside manufacturers will step back into or finally join the WRC? That is ideally what the FIA is looking at and to allow privateers to run competitively (or at least in their subclass).
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