Exciting pictures, exciting final

Exciting pictures, exciting finalFrom Chris Biewer [ 25/10/2014 ].
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This time I have to explain the order of photos in the gallery. But even more so, I can't help but feeling extremely excited about the Rallye du Valais finale today/Saturday. Everything can still happen on the very last stage - a scenario that the WRC never achieved and for the WRC is subject to the weirdest, brutal ideas. But even the WRC's most daring ideas leave me looking for me comfy pillow, while on ERC events I am repeatedly sliding off the edge of my seat after having chewed my fingernails down to the skin. So why is that?

Note the photo link and gallery comments below. Because (other than stubborn, boring WRC) we changed service park over night, today/Saturday we are in a different area. Because of that:

a) SS15/19 will be the longest stage of the rally (albeit SS19 with a different/shorter finish to its previous version as SS15),

b) despite this being an asphalt rally SS15/19 will contain about 12km of gravel each

c) winter has come early and SS15/19 goes up to nearly 1800metres above sea level!

= that means this ERC round has 19 stages and will actually end with a really long stage containing gravel as well as snow - with the cars being in asphalt set up!

Now please run past me again why the WRC World Championship keeps discussing power stages as a final shoot out stage with previous overall times artificially decimated by 10 and the top3 or so shooting it out irrespectable of position to create a last stage drama for TV? (so i.e. never mind 3rd and 4th were fighting for days, 3rd can easily win and 4th can do nothing...) It's making a complete nonsense of every single stage but the last one, nobody understands it and it is artificially fiddling with results and the whole spirit of the sport!

At the same time the Eurosport Events run European Championship ERC keeps having one exciting and tight finale after the other without doing all that over-complicated artificial nonsense.

And here in Valais you see why: Change areas, longest, trickiest stage with different character, three types of surfaces, as the last stage of the lot! Last year Craig Breen described this very "Les Cols/Planches" stage as "Most unbelievable stage of my life, I just drove from Switzerland via Portugal into the vine yards of Germany!" - And exactly that is what rallying is all about!

AND FUNNY ENOUGH EXACTLY THAT IS THE FASCINATION YOU CAN SELL, WHY WOULD ANY TV STATION PAY MONEY TO THE PROMOTORS TO END UP EXPLAINING TO THEIR AUDIENCE A DECIMATED BY 10 SHOOT OUT POWER STAGE?

So please tune in again tomorrow for the Rallye du Valais grand (yes, grand, nothing decimated, nothing artificial) finale (never mind there is a WRC Catalunya Rally running, my grandmother will have never heard of Catalunya Rally with a 2 stages early morning Sunday, but she understands very well the fascination of Col du Turini and the challenge of Safari)

Now pictures: Please check the fantastic Rallye du Valais gallery. This must be one of the most picturesque rallies!

When going through the gallery, please note:

1) Newest photos are shown first. Sounds logical but has a hick up: I update during the event. I.e. Thursday photos were online Thursday, by which time I couldn't have any Friday photos. Hence to go in order of event please start at the back and press the "previous" photo and you will indeed find an order!

2) Regular visitors know the above, but this time photos seem in a strange order. Aka, not in driver order and showing different places. Indeed the 2 different places are about 500 yrads apart, while the photos show the same spot in SS5 and in SS9, so indeed the photos are in the right order!

3) Enjoy!

http://www.rallye-info.com/gallery.asp?sid=0&rallyid=39&year=2014&page=1