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 Re: WRC Teams and Drivers 2009 by Chris B

20-Apr-09 12:14 AM 

In line with this thread and i.e. on page 2 Elliott asking about Clover Leaf, here is the long promised article. I believe you will be as surprised as I was myself what compact and interesting itinerary you can manage if we droop clover leaf!

 Re: WRC Teams and Drivers 2009 by AndyRAC

20-Apr-09 01:56 PM 

Chris, I completely agree with you - and I think most fans would. However, the teams would never agree to it - even if the FiA got rid of 'cloverleaf 'format' - they would just leave the sport - I'm sure of it.

 Re: WRC Teams and Drivers 2009 by bringbackrealrallying

20-Apr-09 03:30 PM 

I obviously agree with your points. I would say though, why does "Rally GB" have to visit South Wales at all? It might have a lot of forests but they are so far from everywhere else it almost means that they have to be in to the cost of all others. It could easily be based in Manchester or Liverpool and have stages in North Wales, Cumbria/South Scotland/Northumbria and Yorkshire. I agree that we dont need to go right back to the old times with 80 odd stage RAC's and 1200km Corsica's but surely a late 80's early 90's middle ground of 5-600km, 30-40 stage rallies is not unaitanable. The only rally that should still be mega long is the Safari, 4000km min!

My only concern is that when we discuss these things there only ever seems to be me, Chris B, AndyRAC and M4D Mike who have a good old whinge. Does that mean that evryone else really likes what is currently on offer?!

 Re: WRC Teams and Drivers 2009 by Chris B

20-Apr-09 04:58 PM 

"However, the teams would never agree to it - even if the FiA got rid of 'cloverleaf 'format' - they would just leave the sport - I'm sure of it."

This is the bit wheere I actually do agree with Max Mosley's Portuguese press conference words, if that is what he meant with WRC for amateurs. Just do it, and if the manufacturers don't like it, tough!

If you look at IRC, the events are still too short, but they go this way without clover leaf, as we have seen on Monte and Safari. I believe Peugeot, Abarth and Skoda find the IRC attractive exactly because of this! And the same way I believe that in WRC Citroen and Ford would at first whinge, but then go with it and eventually be grateful! We certainly have less manufacturers now than we had at any point before clover leaf. The manufacturers today, or maybe their sport directors, are spoiled brats, but eventually they will see this does not cost more, but gives a lot more marketing return.

Bringbackrealrallying, We agree here. And about the location, my re-calculated itinerary was based on the 2008 event. This way I could make sure I come out with a relatively current and realistic example. My itinerary starts actually exactly like GB 2008 leg2 and the gaps between all other stages are also same as 2008. In the end - admittedly only half way through writing - I also came across the thought that Cardiff or Swansea are not such brilliant host towns at all. See my example with Chester. With Chester we are what, 120km South of Lake District and Kielder.? Chester is no further away from Sweet Lamb as Cardiff is and I don't think anyone would object running Clocaenog, Dovey and Dyfi instead of the same old non classic South Welsh ones.

Your last sentence is a very good question. I see page views are rocketing, if so many people like to read the article, do they actually agree to it.?

 Re: WRC Teams and Drivers 2009 by Chris B

20-Apr-09 05:20 PM 

""However, the teams would never agree to it - even if the FiA got rid of 'cloverleaf 'format' - they would just leave the sport - I'm sure of it."

This is the bit wheere I actually do agree with Max Mosley's Portuguese press conference words, if that is what he meant with WRC for amateurs. Just do it, and if the manufacturers don't like it, tough!"

Maybe add on - I deliver one argument in the article itself. While I could just see current Citroen and Ford WRC teams complaining and threatening to leave if we returned to such schedules, why is it again that Volkswagen is prepared to pay 50 Million Euros for one event alone, Dakar? Dakar is not clover leaf, yet Volkswagen sees massive marketing potential in it. Shame Mitsubishi quit. But then again, "my" events don't cost 50 Million!

 Re: WRC Teams and Drivers 2009 by m4d-mike

20-Apr-09 06:15 PM 

why is there such arguement about stages. why should they be the same few every year.
galay summer rally 3 stages ed a possible 15 always different every year. the teams should be forced to move service every day at least. this would cut costd dramatically.
no more 25 million euro service parks all equipment would need to be por so therefore would be cut back as much as possible and the cars would need to be tougher so as to not need such comprehensive service crews. it should be one truck to carry the cars and hq gear. and one service truck. like in f1 limit the number of people who work on the cars.petter is doing well with an 11 person team.

 Re: WRC Teams and Drivers 2009 by Chris B

20-Apr-09 07:52 PM 

Hmm, I never thought of this aspect, m4d-mike. But it reminds me of good ole Des ODell, team boss of Talbot turn Peugeot UK. A fantastic character with the perfect spirit. OK, maybe he could be odd and maybe we have to forgive him as he is the team boss and team engineer who won the original London-Sydney. Des told me - I suppose not only me, would have been one of his fav stories - that a good enginner was not about developing a high tech car. If you were in the middle of nowheere, equipped with nothing but a hammer and a screwdriver, your driver crashed your car flat out a tree and you could keep this car running with that hammer and the screwdriver, then you were a good engineer! His example to prove it, for the London-Sydneys 25th anniversary running in 1993 they took out the 25 years old 1968 winning Hillman Hunter again and drove the car a 2nd time London to Sydney! Driver was Andrew Cowan, who right at that time was boss of the Mitsubishi WRC team! The only problem along the route was when the car started overheating in Turkey. Andrew Cowan was devastated, all up in arms, trying to figure out in what time they could open and repair the engine, in his mind he was all ready to retire. Des ODell told the high tech WRC team boss he was crazy and had no idea about engineering. Des showed very little sympathy and understanding for Andrew. Next thing, Des relocated the wiper wash tubes and pointed them onto the radiator, doesnt cost a penny, doesnt cost a minute and next high tech WRC team boss Cowan was in disbelieve getting explained that it was the most normal thing in the world that next time the engine overheats you just operate the wipers! I dont need to mention that Des car reached Sydney for the 2nd time, of course!

Well, those things can quite deliver stories, involve clever thinking, and even if it seems odd in modern days, why not! Make cars that are reliable, limit service, man power and tools and live with it!

I dont think we need these posh service parks. And I have done jobs for teams too. And if we had to carry VIPs or sponsors around, my experience was that they actually loved travelling through the country! On one occasion I whitnessed the marketing boss of Shell starting to make holiday arrangements in mid Welsh to take his family round the beautiful rally route! Today the VIPs dont even have a clue about this aspect of rallying. But once the initial shock of removed luxury is survived, I cant see why even the VIPs wouldnt love it again, as they in fact did in the past!

Once again see Dakar, I hate this event, but having to travel 100s of kms to different night locations every day does not seem to stop TV, sponsors and VIPs being fascinated by it! We do however see that TV, sponsors and VIPs seem not too fuzzed about being stuck in Cardiff all day for Rally GB!

 Re: WRC Teams and Drivers 2009 by m4d-mike

20-Apr-09 07:53 PM 

yes and a new pionts system
because of the lack of point scorers how about 4 points for 1st 2 points for 2nd and 1 point for 3rd. give em some reason to fight for a win

 Re: WRC Teams and Drivers 2009 by Chris B

20-Apr-09 08:11 PM 

Your idea actually fascinates my mind.

The VIPs and sponsors I just said with the Shell boss and Dakar examples. If old RAC and modern Dakar work better for VIPs and sponsors than modern WRC events, we certainly do have no reason here to stick to the current format.

What concerns service, the rule could be very simple. We already have rules like 20min service and only so many people working, and as you say Petter can do it with 11 staff. Thinking about it, each team has God knows how many articulated lorries and a huge VIP and media tent in a huge, posh service park. This costs a fortune and at least Dakar 2009 has proven for sponsor, VIP and media interest this is not even essential!

Further, what the whole article is about, it seems crazy to me that we have rally cars travelling 100s of kms road sections while team members and VIPs sit back at service and are bored to tears. For environment and safety it does not give an adventage either, because what is the difference if a Transit van or a battered rally car travels the 300km road section from Cardiff to Builth Wells and back again - only if the vans do it, we don't need to wait 4 hours before we see the rally cars in action again.

So easy service rule: you have 20 minutes and 5 staff, as basically already, and anything you can fit in a Transit or Boxer van you can use. If that is not enough, you are out!

And while at it - superally to my rules means last Transit van back in Cardiff pays the beers!

 Re: WRC Teams and Drivers 2009 by Chris B

22-Apr-09 05:14 AM 

Apparently in the Finnish rally magazin Vauhdin Maailma 4 times World Champion Juha Kankkunen said:

"Most notable he was sure that even six rounds would be enough or six to eight rounds. That could mean (if the budgets are kept on the level they are now) that teams could run two or three times as many cars as they do now. More seats means more chances for up and coming talents. Smaller calendar could also interest more manufactures, perhaps."

This is exactly what I am praying since years, even more extreme! And a 4 times WRChamp should know his stuff!

I said somewheere in my article that I don't look forward to single events any more, so what chances has the promoter got to get Joe Public interested. My big question, what good is it to have 16 rounds which are mini rallies in mini areas with mini entries. You can make it all cost efficient, do one day events with 3 stages and 4 cars and do 52 of them every year and still nobody will watch it!

Maybe 6 events is a little extreme, but whatever the number of events - obviously it wouldn't work if the calendar is too crowded - if we had rallies 3 times as long with 3 times as many drivers then each event in itself is such a season highlight that people will watch and talk about it!

 Re: WRC Teams and Drivers 2009 by Gregor

22-Apr-09 10:40 AM 

Cars should be eligible for more events than the WRC could ever offer. I'd be happier to see WRC cars - no matter what spec is chosen - allowed in local and regional series. That would result in more competition cars prepared and sold, more chances to find strengths and weaknesses of the car, more exposure of the car to the public, more local competition at WRC events, and more opportunities for a driver or team to prove their worth before entering the WRC.

Reducing events for the WRC can lower some specific costs for teams, but who would care about a Focus that wins a series where the car only runs six times? Save that specialization for things like the Race of Champions buggies.

 Re: WRC Teams and Drivers 2009 by Chris B

25-Apr-09 02:46 PM 

Absolutely agree and mentioned my points as well. It would rescue some team budget as they can sell their cars and the BRC would be much better with guest drivers and with their own stars having a chance to show their worth. Colin and Richard are from that time. I don't think it is a coincidence that in the last years France mass produces internationally successful rally drivers and Britain struggles.

On the other subject, article:

Rally Argentina today (leg2) delivered yet another perfect example. They are today in a different area. There is a 140km, over 2hrs road section to the first stage of the loop. Sending a couple of Boxer or Transit vans could have meant we can include a few more stages on the way up there, while we get rid of the 4hrs(!) for the sake of only a 20min service mid day break as well!

 Re: WRC Teams and Drivers 2009 by AndyRAC

25-Apr-09 03:12 PM 

That's what I can't understand about the clover-leaf format - all that time driving on the road for a 20 min service, then hanging around waiting to book out, and another drive to repeat the stages. Just madness, instead, they could have a service out of a Transit van an do other stages nearby.

 Re: WRC Teams and Drivers 2009 by Chris B

26-Apr-09 09:27 PM 

Slightly off subject but fitting the WRC complaint...

Points to the Rally Argentina result.

- The Ford works team collects only 3 points for being beaten by 3 Fords! – the gap Citroen-Ford is 82-43pts, in the IRC scheme it would be 82-60 with droop scores still to come! With the little reward for victories in WRC the titles are basically decided already.

- In PWRC meanwhile Argentina was granted 2 + 4 wild cards. Cars N° 159 Pozzo and 160 Ligato were, as practiced in all rounds since 2007, local drivers qualifying for PWRC points. However cars N° 152 Cancio, 153 Menzi, 154 Madero and 155 Marchetto had PWRC identifying entry numbers but did not qualify for PWRC points, this was solely done so PWRC starting order and PWRC souprally penalties were applied for them too, so they could compare to Ligato and the rest. i.e. local Raul Martinez, 6th in IRC Brazil, 13th overall here despite fighting WRCars and actually having retired, did not have this luxory at N° 66. In the leg1 start list however more confusion was called when the JWRC drivers started somewheere between the PWRC starters, so i.e. N° 66 Martinez starting only 2 cars behind N° 154 Madero, but 154 Madero himself started 13 cars behind 159 Pozzo, even though both had no previous PWRC 09 starts.

- This led to a situation that –before Ogier rectification- PWRC starter Marchetto collected a WRC overall point but no PWRC points.

- We also had a situation of the JWRC winner not actually completing the rally.

- The Citroen Junior Team vice versa to the PWRC identified drivers. Citroen Junior collects 2 makes points for the car with the non-nominated N° 12, like Petter with N° 11 – With Ogier nominated for the first time, someone simply forgot to change his entry N° from 12 to 7!

Sorry, if I was the TV guy having to explain this to my audience, I don’t know what I would tell the WRC promoters, but it won’t be polite!!!!

back to clover leaf....

 Re: WRC Teams and Drivers 2009 by Chris B

26-Apr-09 09:27 PM 

Just checking the next event. First thing to spot, Sardinia leg1:

So do I see this right. 3 stages run twice, which excuse me, but I think is a bit slim for a day’s rallying in the series identifying the best driver and the best car in the WORLD. Between the 2 loops, after only 3 stages, we have a 4hours lunch break!

Now watch this, there is actually a remote refuel point near the stages! After SS3 refuel, then a 65km road section back to service, then a 65km road section back to the very same refuel point!

130km of road driving and we even have to fill up the cars extra to last this sightseeing tour! And 65km each way is not that much compared to other events.

Sorry, even if some think some of us are too much stuck to the old times, I don’t think I have gone completely gaga complaining about just this in my article.

If service staff goes there for 2! Refuels anyway, you can’t tell me we can’t avoid a 3hours road drive for the sake of a 20min service and fill the 3hrs gap with action instead!

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