It’s time to write down some of my thoughts after Rallye de France Alsace and I hope this post will make sense and I won’t start to jump from one topic to another as is my habit.
Firstly I have to start with Sébastien Loeb and his retirement after SS3. I read that Citroen admitted they made a mistake when they were putting the new engine to his car for this rally and that it’s a first time something like this happened to them. I have a strong suspision that one of the mechanics was certain Sébastien Ogier. :-P
Speaking about Loeb - I was quite surprised he actually didn’t went home to sulk but he went to the stages as a spectator because of the fans. Yeah, he probably wouldn’t do that on any other rally but still - it was very nice of him.
Loeb's retirement meant that this rally was won by someone else than him and it was Sébastien Ogier. I just know he had a boner (at least a small almost invisible one) whne he was jumping on the roof of his car in Loeb's hometown Haguenau, I just know he had. (Loeb probably didn’t.)
Then there was Kimi Raikkonen who had one of the most awesome offs I have ever heard about. No surprise that Henning Solberg was somehow involved in it, only really surprising things usually happen to him. I was really unpleasantly surprised when decided to not continue in that rally because he couldn’t achieve a good position any more. I am really disappointed - as someone here on tumblr already pointed out - where is that Kimi who was shoveling his car out of the snowbank in Sweden 2010? I really liked him in that time, he was so commited, willing to do anything to get more experience and be a better rally driver. And before somebody starts to critisize me AGAIN because I dared to speak about Kimi in negative way I want to point out that he may be not my favourite driver but I am no hater or similar. I am just saying what I think without offending him or his fans. At least I think so. Btw: Sometimes I really wonder what his co-driver thinks about the whole thing.
Then there is another guy from Citroen - Petter Solberg. He did a great job this weekend but I hope he won’t say his puncture and exclusion from the rally is a bad luck. He always have some puncture and I think he is just trying too hard which means sometimes he is more sideways and the puncture is here. About the exclusion - yes, I am sad for him but again - he has himself or his team to blame, not a bad luck.
Let’s get to Ford. Yes they had a sexy design of their Fiesta, it was probably the first time I was considering putting a car to my mental list of future possible husbands. (No, second time, firstly it was with C4 WRC.) But that just all from them. Mikko Hirvonen showed how to NOT fight for the title and I think he is the luckiest person ever right now. To get a podium after such a performance (or lack of it), it requires a serious bit of luck. I was at least expecting him to push in Power Stage but no, nothing. I doubt Ford would want to keep Mikko in the next season. Yes, he is a nice guy and everything but being nice won’t win you a title.
This leads me to Jari-Matti Latvala. Poor him, slowing down all the time for seriously slow teammate who is ironically fighting for a title. At least Ford didn’t fuck the Power Stage team tactics right now. Speaking about tactics I am wondering if Jari-Matti is really so okay with it as he appears to be or if he is angry inside. Because I would be, especially if I saw how incapable my teammate is.
I also wanted to speak about Mads Ostberg who reminds me Petter Solberg a bit and not only because he is Norwegian. I think he is just trying too hard and nothing comes from it (if I don’t count numerous punctures which obviously don’t help, of course). Where is that Mads Ostberg from Sweden? All I can see today is someone who is trying too hard and then moaning if something happens.
Then we have the funny crew of Evgeny Novikov and his poor co-driver Denis Giraudet who is more and more desperate after every crash they have. In Australia he was firsty okay, then angry and then disappointed. Now he looked like he is crying. Really find those videos on youtube - if you are not Denis Giraudet, you would find them awesome.
Then there is Dennis Kuipers who finished on awesome 5th. I never liked a millionare drivers who have money but not skills but maybe I will change my mind because this was is definitely progressing and is impressing me this season. (No, I won’t change my mind on you, Matthew Wilson!) Then there is an
uncute Frenchman Pierre Campana who have a strange-shaped head and finished on the points which is probably more important (at least for him). Congratulations.
Let’s go to Mini! I am really impressed and I really wished Dani Sordo to win even though it would mean he would beat Sébastien Ogier (yes, I cannot believe I am saying this either). Now Ford don’t have to worry about Citroen being better. They more have to worry about even rookie team Mini beating them!
I am already looking for the title fight! Loeb and Hirvonen having 196 points both, Ogier 193. Firstly I wonder if Citroen will allow Ogier to fight, I would be really disappointed if not. Now he is really close, it’s not like he is 20 points behind. Also I don’t think that Hirvonen (at least in current form) will be treat to any of the Sebs so why not?
At the end – SWRC. My little murderous-faced baby Ott Tänak was absolutely owning France and finished more than 2 and half minutes in front of second Eyvind Brynildsen. Tänak is now only 3 points in front of leader Juho Hänninen and I so hope he will beat him in a title fight. Nothing against Hänninen but Škoda would deserve it after their "we want Jan Kopecký to win a title in IRC so badly that we won’t let Juho Hänninen to strart at rallies“ politics. Of course, I hope Škoda will be beaten also in IRC and they will leave with nothing but a shame.
That’s probably all from me. This article is just too long, ist’t it?
tagged: wrc, sébastien loeb, sébastien ogier, mikko hirvonen, jari-matti latvala, dani sordo, petter solberg, kimi raikkonen, kaj lindstrom, ott tänak, juho hänninen, evgeny novikov, denis giraudet, dennis kuipers, matthew wilson, pierre campana, mads ostberg, mini, ford, rallye de france alsace 2011, tactics, report, my opinions