Neuville could break some WRC records

Neuville could break some WRC recordsFrom Chris Biewer [ 08/09/2018 ].
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Today we have a story on WRC records, but especially records to excite Thierry Neuville fans. Neuville seems to be in an interesting field where he can break records far ahead of other drivers with a similar career. If you see that i.e. Andreas Mikkelsen and Kris Meeke joined the WRC at about the same time, as well coming from the IRC, Neuville's results seem well outstanding. Even looking at other drivers of his generation, Hayden Paddon, even Ott Tänak, Tänak is well on form now, but still has roughly half the number of wins and points that Thierry Neuville has. All this brings Thierry to the edge now of becoming one of the biggest names in WRC history.

Let's start with WRC event victories. Theirry Neuville's next WRC win will be his win #10! With that he will move level with Richard Burns and Ari Vatanen! That is very good company! That said, there are already 20 drivers who have achieved 2-digit numbers of victories.

In addition, Thierry already has 93 WRC starts to his name. This means round3 in 2019 (whichever rally that will be, probably Mexico) will be 100th WRC start. Here we have already 27 drivers in the club of 100 starts. Incidentally Latvala is likely to be the first WRC driver ever to celebrate 200 starts. Currently Latvala sits at 191 WRC starts. Only Sainz has more at 196 starts, though he does no longer participate.

This probably makes WRC career points the most significant milestone of the near future for Thierry Neuville:

It is quite possible that Thierry will gain his 1000th WRC point still this year! At the moment Neuville is 46points down from this milestone. With 4 events left and seeing his current form 1000 WRC points landmark should be achievable for Thierry even this year.

Unfortunately, this record is somewhat problematic for the WRC points system changed severely on multiple occasions over the years. So it is for example interesting to note that in WRC career points Ogier is ahead of Loeb, although Loeb won nearly twice as many WRC rallies!

In general, the comparison of the Sebs is surprising: Ogier is not - dare I say - as good as Loeb! Loeb has 171 WRC starts and 78 wins, that makes a mind blowing win-ratio of 45.6% (almost every 2nd start a victory). Ogier currently has 132 starts and 43 wins, which is "only" a winning-ratio 32.6%, with the tendency rather falling at this moment. But Ogier seems to be more reliable, finishing 88.6% of the events he started, compared to Loeb's 87.7%. Though, is this a reliable record? Maybe it should be the other way round as Ogier benefited far more from the SupeRally (Rally2) system, which let's drivers re-start if they retire before the last day. With Loeb's 87.7% finishing-ratio we talk for most part of his career of "real" finishes, which is a gigantic achievement!

Back to Thierry Neuville: The 1000 WRC career points could still be the most outstanding milestone for him, as indeed so far only 7 drivers achieved this record: Ogier, Loeb, Latvala, Sainz, Hirvonen, Kankkunen & Sordo - and Neuville is likely to overtake Sordo soon afterwards as Sordo currently has 1017 WRC points to his name. And despite more points per rally today, it will remain a very exclusive club for a long time. The next drivers under 1000 points are 849 = Petter Solberg and 840 = Markku Alen, both of which are no longer active. The next active driver is Mads Ostberg at exactly 777 career points.

Finally there could be some interesting movements in the manufacturer records:

Toyota has scored their WRC rally win #48 at Rallye Deutschland. This moves them level with Peugeot. And at the current form one may wonder whether PSA can hold the top for a long time still? Because this season Citroen was expected to become the first manufacturer in WRC history to celebrate its 100th WRC win! Citroen started into the 2018 season with 98 WRC victories to their name. Even though the Citroen C3 WRC seems to be absolutely competitive in the right hands, current affairs in the Citroen camp, the sacking of Kris Meeke not helping, leaves one wonder if M-Sport can win 10 rallies before Citroen wins 2? The 100 victories record will however belong to one of them, Citroen or Ford. Currently by victories Citroen is the most successful manufacturer in the WRC with 98 wins, followed by Ford 90, Lancia 73 and Peugeot and Toyota tied 4th at 48 wins each.