Little Seb did very interesting interview with Marca. Here are the best bits or the thing which are the most interesting for me - his relationship with Citroen and Seb Loeb:
Do you miss Citroen?
“No, that’s fine. The only thing I miss is not being able to fight for the championship. When you’re a competitor that’s one thing you miss the most. But I have no regrets – it’s only a matter of one year and it’s aimed at other goals.”
What do you feel when you see Loeb?
“Nothing. Honestly, all the tension in the past between us is over. I have fond memories of Citroën. Now, when I see Sébastien talk to him normally, no problem.”
Do you think about next year as about a vengeance?
“No, no vengeance. I want to compete for the championship and fight for victory.”
How do you deal with fans in France after fighting his idol in rallying?
”At first I think fans did not really like me, but gradually I think I am gaining popularity. Loeb won so many races and titles and I think people saw me as a bit arrogant, perhaps because many times I was not being politically correct.”
It’s nice to see him speaking in let’s say mature way. I was half expected him to strart throwing as much dirt to Citroen and Loeb after he left like a stupid little kid and I am glad he didn’t do so. PS: I really hope he can challenge for the title next year and we will see a huge battle between him and Loeb.
- Current Mood: calm
I was half invited by myself, half invited by my Austrian friend to Copenhagen where he is studying right now and since I have time to go there during the week in which Rally Sweden was held we also decided to go "a few“ kilometres north and have a look at least for two days.
On Wednesday morning we left Copenhagen to Malmo where we had our rental car booked. The car itself was very pretty, some white Audi and I grew so fond of it that I wanted to take it home with me on my way back. Maybe the rental company wouldn’t notice it, right?
So.. we departed Malmo and after quite nice more than six hour long drive during which we have listened to my Britney Spears songs selection* we arrived to Karlstad. There we met with our couchsurfing contact (we decided to try couchsurfing during our Sweden trip) and he seemed to be a nice guy so I have to say that my first contact with this couchsurfing thingy went really nicely. Karstad guy cooked us really great meal, showed us around Karlstad city and then took us to rather lovely Swedish student’s pub where he introduced us to his three also very nice friends. The only thing I didn’t get was why he insisted on saying that home-made alcohol I bought was smelling like nail polish remover. It wasn’t! :-P
We went to see Karlstad once again in the morning, this time in daylight. Everything was already prepared for ceremonial start in the city centre and there was also Volkswagen Polo R WRC exposed, of course I needed to have a picture with also little Seb’s future car! But then we left Karlstad and headed around 90+ kilometres north to Hagfors. During our way we were quite unsure about the whole "snow rally“ thing because there was almost no snow on the nearby fields etc but it eventually got somehow better. I Hagfors we bought our rally passes and then we went to search for a service park. I tried my method which was successfully tried in Germany two years ago when we arrived to Trier and just drove and drove and drove and.. the service park eventually found us but this wasn’t the case in Hagfors..
In case you want to know (and yes, you want to know), the whole Rally Sweden is one big confusion. Firstly you read that the rally is based in Karlstad so you are like yeah, let’s go to Karlstad. Then you realize that rally base might be in Karlstad but everything else including such trivialities as service park and stages are based in Hagfors. Then you are trying to find a service park which should be based in Hagfors airport which is not in Hagfors but on the edge of nearby Udenholm. And wait, there’s more – first day of Rally Sweden is actually held in Norway. So now, you know.
Eventually we found the service park (GPS, I love you!) and the first car I saw there was Thierry Neuville’s Citroen DS3 WRC. It’s fate, you know? There was also Yazeed Al-Rajhi’s Ford Fiesta RRC and Nasser Al-Attiyah’s DS3 WRC and in fact all the DS3 WRC’s being prepared for the transport to Karlstad ceremonial start and opening superspecial stage which unfortunately wasn’t in our plan. Not that I am complaining, we had better things to do! ;-) (Btw, the Volkswagen place in the service park was obviously well hidden because we couldn’t find it. Phew!)
Those better things to do consisted of finding a place where our couchsurfing guy number two lives and we managed to do so. He was originally from Great Britain and also a great, friendly guy with great stories to tell and also his Russian girlfriend was very nice (of course she was, she made an elk omelette for us! How many times did you try an elk omelette?) even though she didn’t speak English so well. Then we had drunk way too much of slivovitz, "nail polish remover“ and vodka and well.. the moral of the story is: never drink so much with your rally map on the table. Poor map. It was destroyed even before the actual rally started for us.
Terrible thing happened (albeit not so unpredictable), we woke up too late (but luckily with no hangover). After a little plans-adjusting, we went to Norway for SS5 Finnskogen 1. Unfortunately we missed first few cars (and I love new qualification system since then) because of parking problems. There was one tiny little parking place for about 60 cars, did the organisers really think it will be enough? Okay, I can understand that there are not so many parking opportunities near small Norwegian roads and also in winter but still, it was a mess and there were no organisers to sort it out. Also allowing two or three buses to go there and block the whole road wasn’t very wise. The stage itself was very nice and also I wasn’t even cold. Obviously, my "onion effect“ which consisted of putting as many layers of clothes on myself as possible did its job.
After this stage we decided to ditch one stage in favour to try driving a car on a frozen lake which is something to which we were invited by our couchusrfing host and I cannot thank him enough for it. I absolutely loved it, it was awesome and let’s be honest – how many people can say something like: „Yes, Sweden. I drove a car on a fucking frozen lake there!“. After having fun on that lake we all went for SS9 Torsby and guess what – we came there late for a change. Again, I love you, new qualification system. Marry me? (Btw, I maybe could make some joke like „Englishman, Russian, Austrian and Slovak are going to see some rallying in Sweden...“ but I don't know how to finish it. So, no joke.)
We woke up okay-ish but once again found out we won't make it to that stage with Colin's crest in time because we were slightly too optimistic when planning. We decided to go for SS14 Fredriksberg 1 instead and we actually managed to get there in time (finally!) so we have time to look around and find very nice spectator's place so no regrets about Colin's crest. There was a nice atmosphere at this stage, many fires, people with chainsaws and other things which were making noise and as a bonus even sun went out for a few whiles. Then we took a shortcut to our car which went through a frozen lake (I can now say that I was not only driving but also walking on the water, your move, Jesus). Then when we were leaving this stage we somehow got stuck in a ditch (and no, I was NOT driving) and managed to block everybody from leaving that stage too. Thank to the lovely Swedes (who had to be lovely because we were blocking the road and they would never got out without getting us out first :-)) we managed to get out of there but once again – we had to adjust our plans and instead of trying to go for the 2nd pass of that stage with Colin's crest (we are just not made for each other :-() and/or visiting the service park and stalking the shit out of little Seb we just headed straight to SS16 Sagen 2, the favourite stage of the great (and I am not talking only about his driving skills there) Marcus Gronholm. Because we had plenty of time, we went for some food and then did a bit of hiking to the stage which was really difficult in that terrible powdery version of snow in which you got stuck even easier as if you were walking on the sand. We eventually found a nice place and after few minutes we found out why nobody was standing on that spot. There was a huge fire nearby and apart from the other fires of the spectator, this one was making a really really terrible smelly smoke. Of course all my clothes and everything what I had with me smelled the same after few minutes. You cannot imagine that joy of travelling in THAT smelly winter jacket etc for next two days – because you cannot just change winter jacket because you usually don't take 10 of them with you somewhere. We were more than one hour early at this stage so we had plenty of time to get our clothes as smelly as possible from that fucking smoke and we also had a nice conversation with quite drunk but still somehow lovely Swedish supporter of Mikko Hirvonen who was pronouncing „Hirvonen“ so lovingly that I had to laugh. He than brought his friends and family to us too so we were talking and spectating together which was good because all of them were nice people. At the end, I even received a Finnish scarf as a gift because I am the big Hirvonen supporter which is something that Swede was trying to persuade me I am for about one hour! :-)
Our original plan was to do SS16 Sagen 2 and than SS18 Hagfors Sprint 2 but during our way back to Hagfors our rental car started to behave a bit weirdly so we decided not to risk anything and rather drive slowlier to Malmo. So yes, another change of plan, I don't even know why we bothered to plan everything when it always ended up totally differently. :-) Anyway, we still went to the service park for a while because I NEEDED to buy a replica of little Seb's Citroen C4 WRC which was there in discount. I also wanted to buy a replica of Jari-Matti Latvala's Ford Focus WRC but they didn't have him ANYWHERE! Obviously, we are just not made for each other. :-( I just don't get the whole thing with those little replicas/models - they have Latvala's Ford Fiesta RS WRC which I didn't want because I don't like the livery. Then they had Hirvonen's Ford Focus RS WRC but there was just no Latvala's Focus and/or Hirvonen's Fiesta. WTF? And I am not even talking about the fact that there was no little replica of Citroen DS3 WRC anywhere so I left quite disappointed (thank god at least for that little Seb). Oh and I also get another photo with Sébastien Ogier's Volkswagen Polo R WRC and then even managed to find the place where VW Motorsport cars should be serviced but they decided to hide everything to big closed tents so nobody could see anything. I know it is cold outside etc but other teams at least put on some of those transparent „curtains“ so people could at least see anything.
Then was only more than seven hours long journey to Malmo remaining and luckily the car got better and after some time, those problems completely disappeared so I guess there was only something frozen in to the car or something. Some time around 7AM in the morning we finally absolutely exhausted arrived to my friend's place to Copenhagen and slept.
If I had to rate the performance of drivers on snow I have to say that probably the most spectacular was one of my top favourite drivers Thierry Neuville. He was always sideways which had to cost him some time but he was great to watch on the stages. Also scary looking Ott Tänak was sometimes quite sideways but in comparison to Thierry Neuville he also looked much more quicker. Then there was Petter Solberg who sometimes looked quick but sometimes also quite unsure and all over the place as in that corner where we were standing at SS5. Maybe it was just some mistake he did only there, who knows. Jari-Matti Latvala seemed to be (and because he won the rally he also was) the quickest one, also very nice to look at. Mikko Hirvonen also was fast and neat, the same can be said also about Sébastien Loeb and also about little Seb in his little Škoda Fabia S2000 (I am still a bit sad that I didn't manage to stalk him at least a tiny little bit btw). Also I didn't like the livery of factory Ford drivers so much because it made weird things to my photos when I was trying to edit them. I guess I liked Evgeny, Evgeny, Evgeny's livery the most, his car is so pretty. Also factory Citroen's are quite nice as usual. And also Protons, I like those pretty yellow cars and I am really glad they finally seem to be sorted out and ready not only to finish the rallies but to also win them. Congratulations to PG Andersson and the whole Proton team!
I have to admit I was quite surprised by the temperatures during this rally. There was only about -6 or -7 degrees which is not so bad considering you are in Sweden and in winter and that in the last year there was almost -30 degrees. When I said to anybody that I am going to Rally Sweden everybody was like: „You? You are cold when it is +10 outside?!“ which is, let's face it, truth. That's why I packed every single warm thing I found at home and hoped that onion effect which consisted of putting as many layers as possible on myself will help. I have to say that I was quite successful in it because it really helped and I was warm during the whole rally, once I even admitted that it is fucking hot. But when I am thinking about it now – I would probably die in a car already i fit was around -30 degrees like in the last year so I was pretty lucky. But I have to admit that I looked like that Michelin man and sometimes it was quite hard to move with so many layers on. Also, it's quite funny when you are on the toilet because with so many layers you are there quite long. :-)
Finally I would like to compare Rally Sweden to ADAC Rallye Deutschland which is the only other WRC event I visited before and I did it in 2010 and 2011. I guess Sweden is more special, at least for me because in Slovakia or Czech republic there are no snow rallies and plenty of tarmac ones. It's something really unique, something you don't see very often and also the scenery is beautiful because of the snow. On the other hand, ADAC Rallye Deutschland is unique too, those vineyards (and climbing in them :-)) have their atmosphere plus there is also nice weather and not a big chance you can freeze so if I had to decide which one of those two rallies I would like to visit more I would probably say both. :-P
* it's sort of a custom for me to listen Britney Spears during rally events. It all started at ADAC Rallye Deutschland 2010 where I went with my friend who borrowed a car from his father. His father only listens to radio while driving so he didn't have any need to “upgrade” his car radio to something which can plays CDs or songs from usb stick. And since it could only play tapes I just decided to bring all the tapes I had at home. Of course I had only tapes of Britney Spears and such “artist” there because I stopped buying tapes when I was like 10 years old. But no bad words about Britney, it's a tradition now!
- Current Location:Brno
- Current Mood: cheerful
- Current Music:Billy Idol - Rebel Yell
Rallye Monte Carlo is finished and it was a really great event as expected. I am still sad that I wasn’t able to go there because of my exams. Hoping for the next year though!
The winner is noone else than Sébastien Loeb who eventually won with almost 3 minutes lead. Really, if he will continue to be flawless like this they can give him his trophy for his 9th title already now. Second place went to Dani Sordo who is continuing to impress with his Mini. I know how good he is on tarmac so I expected him to be quite up in the rankings, possibly even on the podium - but to do it in such a fasion.. Congratulations Dani, now you just need Loeb to crash out once so you can claim your first WRC victory. ;-) Speaking about Dani and Mini, the unofficial Most Stupid Quote of the Rally Award goes to David Richards who were speaking about “how important it is for him to keep his drivers happy”. Drivers! Yes, he said drivers as in plural. I am willing to bet that Kris Meeke threw an Ogier-sque tantrum at home when he heard that.
Third place goes to Petter Solberg but noone cares about it because of his ugly BEARD. Really Petter, shave that thing off, everybody knows it its fault that your teammate Jari-Matti Latvala has crashed. It also injured poor Julien Ingrassia! Speaking about Petter, 3rd place is certainly a pretty good result for him but I am surprised he wasn’t able to keep Sordo’s pace during the rally. Okay, I know that in the 4th day he was the fastest one but I doubt Dani was really pushing. He was probably just driving fast enough to maintain some kind of a gap. And speaking about Petter - another problem with speeding? Really? It’s really getting ridiculous, I bet that if he got some kind of serious ban for it he would blame it on “bad luck” as usual. Everything is just a “bad luck” for him. Don’t get me wrong, I like him (when he doesn’t have that frightening THING on his face) but sometimes he is just not able to admit that things can be his fault. Let’s get back to Jari-Matti Latvala. Rallye Monte Carlo is probably the most important event to finish because there is no superrally and what does he do? He bins it! D’oh, Jari-Matti, how can you fight for the title like that?
Fourth place goes to Mikko Hirvonen who was quite boring even though he showed he can be fast during the 3rd day. I hope he got used to the car, I doubt he will get bigger chance to win than in the next rally in Sweden. Surprisingly, Evgeny Evgeny Evgeny Novikov didn’t crash out in this rally and also surprisingly - he finished 5th what is his best result ever! Congratulations, I am pretty impressed by him and I bet poor Denis Giraudet was for from being usually desperate this time! The legend that is Francois Delecour finished on impressive 6th place and showed that despite being a bit older he still have it and has no problems to beat majority of today’s drivers. Also hat off to him for letting his co-driver Dominique Savignoni for who this was the last rally to drive during the power stage. What a gesture from a great, great man.
7th place goes to Pierre Campana who did very well according to me. I know some people were angry at him as he is somehow indirectly the reason why Kris Meeke wasn’t driving at Monte but let’s face it - he can be a pay driver but he is a damn good pay driver in my opinion! I firstly noticed him few years back in IRC where he did some pretty good results so he definitely has a talent. Also the fact that he has beaten hugely talented Ott Tänak (
and his deathly stare) proves it. For me Ott was quite a disappointment (I hope he won’t be reading this because he will probably kill me by his stare) but on the other hand, he was ordered just to go safely to finish so he couldn’t show the real speed he is capable of.
Another surprising result is Kevin Abbring being the fastest guy with S2000 car. Okay, I know little Seb crashed out and PG Andersson with Proton has a biggest misfortune ever when his car caught fire just two stages to go and he and Proton were stripped off the biggest success ever for them which were they just about to reach. But still, I expected at least Craig Breen to be quicker than him and speaking about Breen, I know he has won the SWRC class (let’s rather not talk about that embarassing number of SWRC crews in this rally and in the whole championship) but I expected him to be faster.
Then there is ‘Go Fast’ team which did everything else but went fast. I mean, nobody really expected Matthew Wilson and Henning Solberg to be very fast or to be fast at all but this was just embarrassing. I also have to mention Paulo Nobre comparing to who Matt Wilson looks as fast as Loeb. He is just awesome and I don’t really care about him being slow because when you hear his interviews with World Rally Radio you can feel so much passion about rallying from him than you just have to love him and cheer him on!
I also cannot forget to mention Bryan Bouffier who had a nightmare day first day but then he was incredibly quick in his little Peugeot 207 S2000! Really shame about that first day, otherwise I can imagine him finishing definitely somewhere at the end of top 10! Last mention goes to my two favourite drivers who both crashed out during the first day of Rallye Monte Carlo. Yes, I am speaking about Sébastien Ogier and Thierry Neuville. I have to say I expected little Seb to crash at some point because he was just too fast with his little Škoda Fabia S2000. And it is only natural he crashed into a tree, he obviously loves crashing into them. I also feel sad for poor Julien being injured but thankfully it is nothing serious and he will be okay soon. He was even making fun of the whole thing on his official facebook fanpage, gotta love him! And Thierry! He was so unlucky! I mean - he had a slowest crash ever and he hit that wall on the little bridge so unluckily that he knocked his wheel off.
o that’s all. My first intention was to make this little review really little. But then I started wrtting and couldn’t stop myslelf. Congratulations if you made it till here - if not, I cannot blame you.
- Current Location:Home
- Current Mood: calm
- Current Music:Beck - Loser
"Ever wondered what it would be like to have a girl you loved tell you shes leaving you to go work as a prostitute? #MotorsportCanBeDangerous" - Kris Meeke
It has been announced that Kris Meeke won’t be doing Rallye Monte Carlo and highly probably quite a few other events in order to get Dani Sordo to drive in (at least?) 10 rallies. Meeke’s seat will be probably usually used by some pay-drivers, it will be Pierre Campana at Monte.
I have to sad I am sad, confused and disgusted. In this case probably by BMW because without their money Prodrive can do probably nothing since they have no main sponsor. Why did they enter WRC in the first place? I heard opinion that it was because they wanted to raise Countryman profile which sounds okay but it just still doesn’t make sense to me. I mean - why to spend loads of money to develop the car, start in the 2011 season and also to build a client programme when you want to back off it after about one year? I don’t know but aren’t the new manufacters supposed to enter something like WRC with some kind of long term plan/vision? Mini/BMW obviously didn’t and now when they achieved such great results it can almost be said they are victims of their own success. I guess this move would be more understandable if they sucked in 2011 season.
Another thing is this half-ditching (I probably invented a new word here) of Kris Meeke. Do contracts really means nothing in these times? (Don’t answer, it was a rhetorical question to which we all know the answer anyway.)
Then there is WRC itself with its for me quite confusing situation to which I don’t know if I fully understand (who does?). Yes, I am talking about that imprisoned guy and his company which owns North One Sport if I understand it correctly. North One Sport made one short announcement about the whole thing and then nothing which didn’t sound very convincing to me. The whole thing is very dubious and in fact nobody can blaim Mini/BMW for not being so keen to stay. Same goes for other teams, with Ford it also took quite long. Also, don’t get me to start about lack of promoting which North One Sport did during the last years and also about a fact that there are like 3 teams registered for 2012 so far and also only few people in SWRC and PWRC too. Maybe there will be also a big rant about these topics later, who knows how mad I will start to be about the whole thing.
Let’s go back to Kris Meeke. Prodrive has already said that he wasn’t ditched and he will still (probably) does some rallies and will be involved in testing, is part of the team and stuff. As I understand it - he will test and develop the car and everything for people who can money so they will race on rallies instead of him, fucking disgusting if you ask me (nothing against Pierre Campana and other drivers, it’s not their fault that they have money but it doesn’t make the whole thing any better). No wonder Meeke said that thing which is in the title of this article on his official twitter.
Dear Mini/BMW and WRC, please, sort yourself out and preferably quickly.
Disgusted rally fan.
- Current Location:Home
- Current Mood: angry
- Current Music:Nine Inch Nails - Closer
Sometimes I really want to be French. Not only that I would be able to understand all those lovely interviews with Sebs, Julien, Thierry Neuville, Jerome d’Ambrosio and countless other awesome drivers/sportsmen but I would also be able to speak French and have nice accent and also be able to visit local rally events with entry lists like this one at Rallye du Var:
- Jari-Matti Latvala, the most cute and lovable Finn ever.
- Ott Tänak, future world champion with totally murderous stare.
- Quite worthless Julien Maurin and his cute little Fiesta S2000. His name is Julien. Julien.
- Bryan Bouffier who has a nice accent and beautiful Peugeot 207 S2000.
- Stéphane Sarrazin. Stéphane fucking Sarrazin who has driven in probably every motorsport serie which has ever existed.
- Two sexy Citroen C4 WRC cars driven by somebody called Frederic Compte who I don’t know and Dany Snobeck who I may heard about.
- Jeremi Ancian who I started to support for some unknown reason (no I really don’t know why but I guess he was starting somewhere on international level).
- Jean-Sébastien Vigion who is the driver I know nothing about but I noticed him months ago because of his name. Jean-Sébastien, Jean-Sébastien! It’s like an upgraded Sébastien, I cannot think of more sexy name! (Btw, I refuse to google him in case he is old an ugly which he probably is.)
- Mathieu Arzeno who accepted my friend request on facebook which I sent to him for some strange reason I don’t remember.
- Pierre Campana who has a strange head, is a future of French rallying and I love him because of his impossibly long and boring press releases because I experience some perverse kind of joy every time I am translating them.
- ..and many other drivers with high probability of having a cute and sexy accent.
So.. this. Sometimes I scare myself with my love for French drivers, especially those I have never seen and know nothing about. Oh and I have a feeling I am starting to understand French websites about rallying which are surprisingly in French language. Go, me!
- Current Location:Brno
- Current Mood: happy
- Current Music:Slipknot - Before I Forget
I guess everybody already read those Citroen press conference news which broke my heart because.. you know. I love Citroen, I love little Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia and also Julien’s and Daniel’s not so secret bromance as I already wrote in this “Ogier to Ford?” article. Now I just want to raise some points in this whole already official thing:
- Firstly as much as it pains me to say - the whole thing is probably good for WRC - finally something moved in it, it was the same teams with the same drivers for far too long so line-ups has become boring.
- Mikko cannot be more happy with how things went. He didn’t have any contract and suddenly he has a best car and deal for two years. For sure (as would Sébastien Loeb say) it might put some pressure on him but on the other hand I doubt Citroen would be too disappointed if he wouldn’t be able to get as good results as Loeb.
- This leads to second thing - look how Citroen was behaving towards Sébastien Ogier who was in fact raised by them during his whole career. Do you think Mikko Hirvonen might get a better treatment? Because I don’t think so and I think he will be a perfect
Dani Sordonumber two driver to them. Fast but not too fast and consistent driver - they can be pretty happy with having him in the team.
- I think Mikko will not get any chance to fight for the title for next two years but maybe he might get his chance after Loeb retires. But what then? I think he might be able to fight for the title then, I doubt Citroen would be able to raise a new talented
Frenchdriver in just two years and I also doubt they would re-sign Ogier after Loeb’s retirement. Cannot see Ogier doing it - he is just too proud.
- Speaking about Ogier - as much as I love him I also think he is pretty stupid. He was having an equal treatment in the team and Loeb has become number 1 driver in the last part of the season when they just had to prefer one of them because there was a huge danger of Ford snatching the title off them. Also he cannot blame anyone else but himself for being number 2 driver - he has made many mistakes in this season, more than Loeb.
- Also I think he should just wait those two years till Loeb retires. It wouldn’t kill him, maybe he would also gain a consistency during that time and if he would be able to outperform his teammate I very much doubt Citroen would favour Loeb even if he had less points than him. It would be stupid and Citroen team is anything but stupid.
- Another thing - yes, Ogier is not being number two driver to Sébastien Loeb now. Now he is in fact driver without any seat for the next year. Well done, little Seb, well done. I know there is always a Volkswagen option but I doubt he wants to be out of spotlight for the whole season, I think he wants to win a beat Loeb and Citroen to prove himself. In that case - he needs Ford to sign him. Unfortunately Ford still doesn’t know anything about their continuation in WRC in the next year - really unfortunate situation for little Seb.
- Also if Ford would continue and would sign with him. What would happen if Jari-Matti Latvala would be as strong as him and would have a few points more in the last part of the season and Ford would thus favour him to Ogier. Another huge tantrum? Another team-leaving?
- (And also - does he really think he can beat Loeb if he will be a clear number one driver in the team?)
- And speaking about Jari-Matti Latvala - poor him, finally he doesn’t have Mikko Hirvonen as a teammate so he can become a number one driver in a team and don’t live in his shadow and now he would get Ogier as a teammate? I cannot imagine a bigger nightmare for poor him.
So in the conclusion - this move is a really good thing for Mikko who in his current form would do a number two driver also in Ford so why not to do it in a team with a better car and with their number one driver being close to retirement? Ogier on the other hand can blame only himself if the next season(s) won’t go according to his plan and I really doubt they will.
- Current Location:Brno
I admit I was pretty surprised when I was reading that Peugeot is sending only Thierry Neuville (their best placed driver) to fight for the title in Cyprus. Yes, Peugeot was argumenting by the fact that if Bryan Bouffier wanted to win a title he would need a favour from Neuville what makes sense but still..
..Wouldn’t it be better for Neuville to have a support there so he won’t be the only one driver in the fight against Škoda’s army? I admit that it’s just too much counting and mathematics if I want to find out on which place who has to finish under this and this circumstances but I bet that in one of those circumstances he may probably need his teammate to finish right behind him to steal some points from Škoda drivers fighting for the title. Plus there is another little thing - what if Neuville fails? Anything can happen, he can be not fast enough, he can crash out, he can have a mechanical problem with the car etc. If something like this happen it’s game over for Peugeot and also for poor Bryan Bouffier.
I don’t know, if I was a Peugeot team boss I would enter every single driver I have to steal the points from Škoda and to help my number one driver to win the title. As far as I know Olivier Quesnel is the boss of Peugeot (he seems to be the boss of everything) and his tactical decisions in Citroen are always very much understandable for me. This just look like if he/they didn’t care or even didn’t want to win the title.
Then there is Škoda and their in a way funny desperate way in which they are trying to ensure Jan Kopecký will win the title. No disrespect to him, for me he is something like Mikko Hirvonen in WRC. Talented? Yes. Worthy/good enough to win the title? No. They didn’t enter Juho Hänninen to two rallies already to get Kopecký the chance and they were thinking about the same thing also in Cyprus. Luckily they didn’t do it in the end but still - the whole thing stinks. This is also why I really want Thierry Neuville to win the title, I don’t like how Škoda is desperately trying to hand the title to their slower/worse driver; it would be nice satisfaction for me to see them without any. :-P (Btw, I bet they entered Hänninen in the end only because they were fearing Kopecký might not be able to win and the title win end in Peugeot’s hands!)
Then there are Andreas Mikkelsen and Freddy Loix who also have a mathematical chance to win the title. But seeing Škoda policy with Kopecký and Hänninen I really doubt their chance is real (in case Kopecký and Hänninen won’t be out of a rally). I guess that if they want to drive Škoda car also in the next year, there will be no trying to steal the title from the factory team for them..
Anyway, the final round of IRC will be very, very interesting and I cannot wait for it to start. As I said before, I want Thierry Neuville to win but in the end - if anyone but Kopecký wins I guess I can live with it. (And I am really wondering in somebody managed to get through the whole article there. Guess not. But who cares, I just had to get it out of myself.)
PS: Dear Thierry Neuville, if you really win this title I will put you to my imaginary list of future husbands and I will love you forever. And that’s something worth of fighting for! :-P
- Current Location:Brno
- Current Mood:accomplished
- Current Music:Pink Floyd - Hey You
I read that little Seb won’t be allowed to fight for the title in Spain even though he is only 3 points behind Sébastien Loeb and Mikko Hirvonen. As his big fan I am sad about it because he is very close and I think he has a chance to win the title but on the other hand I can understand Citroen’s decision.
They might have two drivers in the title fight who are both better than Mikko Hirvonen who probably doesn’t know himself how he has got into that position but they have to play it safe. They are Citroen. They always have the most perfect strategy for the team. They cannot allow happening something like their drivers will be fighting each other and thus stealing points from each other which could mean that Mikko Hirvonen would somehow managed to win (however unprobable it sounds considering his current form or even better said - lack of it) - it would be so.. Ford-like, they are expects in losing the championship this way.
Remember 2009 and Mikko losing the title by one point because they let Jari-Matti Latvala to win in Sardinia and not him? I cannot imagine Citroen wouldn’t learn from their mistake. It would be dumb. And Olivier Quesnel and the whole Citroen team might be anything but dumb.
I also think that Ogier’s behavior in Spain will answer all the questions about his future and possible leaving from Citroen. If he will do ask he was ordered and won’t throw any of his infamous tantrums about the whole thing than it’s clear - he is staying. If not, he is probably leaving. I don’t know which one of those two possibilities I want to see more but let’s face it - we love his tantrums (and his accent too of course) and the first option would be so much more fun.
- Current Location:Brno
- Current Mood: angry
Ford just obviously came with some kind of tactics which aim is to get Citroen so confused that they will be even asking if they are counting the championship points right and if their drivers rally have that amount of points they have. Otherwise I just cannot explain the fact that Mikko Hirvonen (you know - that Ford guy who has the same amount of points as Loeb and is fighting for a title and is known for not being very good on tarmac) is NOT having any test before Spain. But it doesn’t matter! Do you know why? Because Ford’s Matthew Wilson is having a two day test before this rally! I bet this is some kind of so super-smart move by Ford that unfortunately nobody (including me, you, and probably the whole Ford team) is able to understand it’s brilliance.
Okay, I know that Matt Wilson’s test probably has nothing to do with Ford’s lack of testing before this event but it just adds to the ridiculousness of the whole thing. It almost looks like Ford doesn’t want to win this title at all..
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- Current Mood: bitchy
Thierry Neuville is the proof that I am not
so superficial and I do not pick drivers I am cheering for only by their looks. (Also Sébastien Buemi and Ott Tänak - MAINLY Ott Tänak are the other proofs.) So why am I his big fan?
- He is Belgian which means he speaks French and has the French accent. (Okay, he comes from that tiny little German part of Belgium but still.)
- His dream is to become a world champion and he would like to beat Sébastien Ogier while achieving this dream. Seems that he is as humble as certain Mr Ogier what is always entertaining.
His hero when he was a child was Michael Schumacher.(Okay, this is a big minus but I had a sudden urge to put it to this list.)
- He and Mr Gorgeous Eyes Jerome d’Ambrosio and the fastest baguette in the world Bertrand Baguette are friends.
- He replied “my girlfriend” to the “what excites you” question. Yay!
- He drivers a lovely yellow Peugeot 207 S2000 and is the only driver who can steal the title from Škoda. And I don’t like Škoda.
- Last but not least - he is superfast and if he doesn’t become a world champion in a future he will at least be one of the main contenders.
- Current Location:Home
- Current Mood: cheerful
- Current Music:Noir Désir - Le vent nous portera