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Thread: wrc drivers future. Go to Top of This Forum

 Re: wrc drivers future. by blatant

21-Feb-09 06:48 PM 

What I also find incredibly weak is how quick the WRC is to cancel stages these days. And not for spectator safety, which is undertandable, but because the conditions are too difficult!! I say, if the best drivers in the world can't adapt their driving to fit the conditions then what the heck are we even doing folowing this series.
And y'know, Seb Loeb is one of the worst for complaining about how difficult stages are. Gets a bit slippery and he;s always saying, "Not nice, not nice."
I think in Cyprus, if they have to rally tarmac stages on gravel tyres deal with it! Everyone will be in the same boat, and the man that comes out on top will have really proved his driving skills. Drivers from the seventies, eighties and even ninties must laugh when they hear drivers of today bleating about slippery roads!

 Re: wrc drivers future. by Sean t

21-Feb-09 07:56 PM 

I fully agree with you, i was really disapointed when they shortend the 2008 wales rally gb, at the time i was thinkin to myself, i thought that was what rallying's about the challenge, i'am not liking what i'm seeing in the modern wrc

 Re: wrc drivers future. by Radiv

22-Feb-09 02:29 AM 

They need to provide the national organizers of WRC more freedom, incl length of the rally.
The A4 concept, where all need to be very similar is no good !

 Re: wrc drivers future. by bringbackrealrallying

22-Feb-09 06:08 AM 

If any drivers/teams don't like the diversity of rallying and would prefer to go round the same tracks over and over, against the same teams and drivers every event on similar tracks and avoid any suprises then there is always Formula 1!

 Re: wrc drivers future. by AndyRAC

22-Feb-09 09:41 AM 

Radiv - while I fully agree with what you say - look what happened last year when the Monte was held over 4 days - the teams went mad!
They'll never accept a Rally that goes all over the country again. If they had their way, it would be 3,4 stages repeated 4,5 times.

 Re: wrc drivers future. by Chris B

22-Feb-09 05:42 PM 

Then that is tough for the teams! I think however it would be a minority of teams complaining about this. The IRC Monte was exactly a success because of its different format, just in IRC the mileage could be longer too.

About Loeb always complaining, yes it seems so, but he seems to base his complains on a wider picture. I have followed the same blame towards Loeb being a dummy spitter on other forums. But there is some detail that seems to not have made it to the public. Citroen actually had a test session with Sordo using the control gravel tyres on asphalt and after 30km these tyres were ruined with the steel cord hanging out! The first loop of stages in Cyprus will be 67km. So what is going to happen? Turn this rally in a complete lottery or cancel most of the leg1 stages?

In a way Loeb warns exactly agains the situation we already have. When control tyres were introduced, I saw some great merit in it, as this would steer the battle more to comparing cars and drivers. But now look the last 4 rallies except Norway. In Japan and GB 08 we cancelled half days for there was snow with no adequate tyres. In Ireland the snow tyres were better than the asphalt ones, but we cancelled half of day1 because of water. Now there is danger we cancel Cyprus half day because of too much asphalt. Why can't we simply use adequate tyres. I bet the Mikkolas and Röhrls and Salonens, Vatanens, Waldegaards never complained that much, but if you found them with a gravel tyre on asphalt, maybe RAC park stage or Monte, and it turned out to be wrong, it was their own mistake, they were never forced to use the wrong tyres!

 Re: wrc drivers future. by levingt

22-Feb-09 10:34 PM 

I agree with most or all of this thread, WRC needs to embrace what differentiates other sports. It really needs to do away with or minimise repeat stages, increase minimum competitive length of rallies to around 450ks with a number of rallies per season that are purely endurance based at 600ks+ and that actually go some. Do away with linking rules and do away with super rally rules. I think seeing a crew with fire and determination in their eyes to keep a car in a rally when faced with adversity is most of the money is. Can you not feel Carloss determination, Perins pain and their combined disappointment.

WRC is just, oh well weve gone off and broken something, no point in getting our hands dirty well get towed out, take a time penalty and rejoin.

Anyhow if there is a petition to sign Im in

 Re: wrc drivers future. by Chris B

4-Mar-09 05:25 AM 

How loved events as Cyprus are is proven by a glance over the entry list. Well, I announce now I won't follow this rally and I won't post stage results as just ins here. I am a die hard rally fan since decades, but I have better things to do with my time than Cyprus at current rules!

Let alone the JWRC competition. Only 3 cars entered. Teams will not rally but cruise! Just to finish guarantees you 6 points in the bag! How silly is that?

PWRC has more entries but no quality. Only point of interest I could see here is Nasser Al Attiyah's new co-driver.

Main field not that brilliant either, and still on a rally you are best advised to cruise. I note that Urma Aava's season seems already finished.

 Re: wrc drivers future. by Chris B

4-Mar-09 05:26 AM 

As well I note that despite JWRC and PWRC Cyprus has actually less entries even than fly away IRC Rally Curitiba!

 Re: wrc drivers future. by teamanager

4-Mar-09 08:45 PM 

Chris and I have crossed swords on this one before.......I actually LIKE the Cyprus Rally, as its really an endurance event, which is rare in these days of Sprint races.

Let me make myself clear. Cyprus is usually run with the lowest average stage speed of any rally in the WRC, because the roads are extremely tight, twisty and rough. Getting a modern "rally racer" excuse the North American terminology through to the end requires a different type of skill to almost any other rally in the year.

It is a test of the cars toughness, and a test of the drivers ability to get the best performance out of the car without breaking it. It is one of those rallies that can throw up a surprise winner, and certainly offers teams who would not normally appear on the podium a chance to shine, however briefly.

With regard to the tarmac stages being run on gravel tires the same factor applies. It is a chance for a driver who can conserve his tires longer than another to show his ability and gain an advantage he could not have had otherwise.

We spend a lot of time on these forums complaining that all the ralies are the same, that they are no longer a test of endurance, and that they are all carbon copies of each other.

Now here we are with a rally that is trying to be different.......and were all moaning about it. Sorry, it IS possible to do those 67 kms on gravel tires, just not at the speed the drivers might otherwise be doing. It might look a little less spectacular, but it will be a challenge, and it may throw up a few surprises.

If ALL the rallies were like this, then that would be a shame. But this one is almost unique. Yes, Chris would argue that the Acropolis, Turkey, Sardinia and maybe Jordan are all similar to this. But with the possible exception of Sardinia, which is still struggling to define its own charecter, the others are all much faster and run over much more open roads.

Where I do agree with Chris is that the Eastern Mediterranean has far too large a proportion of events compared to the rest of the world, much of it in areas that are not significant to the marketing departments of most of the manufacturers. But thats event rotation can actually work well.......

Keep the classic events that have earned their place on the calendar, and rotate the newer events until such time that one or more of them has built up its stature to rival the permanent events such as Monte Carlo which should NEVER have been allowed to be ped, the RAC sorry, "Wales", the 1000 Lakes oops, "Finland", and the Acropolis. Id like to include the Safari in that group too, but Im a little unsure of the stability of Kenya these days. Maybe in a year or two more.

Sorry, this was supposed to be a short post......

 Re: wrc drivers future. by Chris B

5-Mar-09 06:57 AM 

Yes, we had this discussion before, and Cyprus is not really the subject here, but more like an example for the general problem. I don't know what connections you have with Cyprus.

That it is a slow rally as in twisty is definitely a plus. But in this it only challenges Corsica, and Corsica has the far more unique, bizarre and memorable scenery. If Cyprus was the only rough rally, I would probably love it as much as I used to love Acropolis. But seen stage footage and pictures, I really cannot tell the difference between Cyprus, Sardinia, Acropolis and Turkey, while in Jordan the only difference is that Jordan looks even more dull.

Cyprus does not have a market on its own and for the reasons above you cannot sell cars in Europe and other places with a Cyprus success either, unlike Safari.

Talking slow rallies, there is slow for being twisty and technical and there is slow for being over the top. I only have to look at Cyprus 2005, when the entry was a little better. After 5 stages of cruising everybody but Loeb had problems and Loeb carried on cruising. He was not attacking, nor tactical except cruising, at any point and this is not what rally is about. This is not helped by Cyprus simply not being endurance. It is a sprint rally with 3 stages a day repeated. In its first couple of years they had one larger section linking stage parts being used 5 or 6 times. Since then they have changed the route trying to become faster, so the twisty technical nature of the stages does not even appear intended by the organisers.

I actually love the Safari, so it is not a general problem I have with hard endurance rallies. But Cyprus, and Sardinia, Turkey, Jordan, Acropolis too, there is too many of them to ever be unique and outstanding like Safari. Plus the layout these days. If in these rallies you have a 4 minute lead, you cruise and nobody will ever catch you. In Safari if you lost half an hour, you fight back.

These rallies are too stupidly rough, yet too short for being an endurance event for having a sporting value. Maybe they have an endurance element as you would probably better market Land Rovers rather than performance cars. When Panizzi lead Cyprus and Acropolis, this did tell nothing of his gravel skills. And I do not know of a single team that at some point or another did not echo my sentiments. Ford even showed extensive statistics some years ago, showing how Cyprus cost them the same as a fly away event as Japan or Argentina, yet it does not represent any market, nor is it unique enough for marketing potential elsewheere, as is the case with Safari.

To get back to the subject, if Cyprus was a once a year stand alone, like Acropolis used to be, it would see its point and rather likely look forward to it. But as it is, Cyprus does not offer marketing potential in its location, nor its uniqueness, nor as a showground for the type of cars we are trying to sell through this sport. Further I it looks like every other event in the region, making Cyprus for me the perfect showcase what is wrong with the WRC calendar and choice of events. And teams and drivers seem to agree with my sentiments. Beyond its weak entry, we should see soon how drivers and team managers will tell how they love this event or not.

 Re: wrc drivers future. by teamanager

5-Mar-09 10:09 PM 

No connection to Cyprus.....I was there for two or three days on a conference years ago, I enjoyed the climate, but was not much impressed with the island itself. That's beside the point.

I know you don't agree with me on this one Chris, and I don't expect you to change your mind. But there are a few of us who like that type of rally. You should try some of the events out here in the interior of BC....many crews from Alberta, just a few hundred kilometres to the east on the other side of the Rocky Mountains say they don't like the rallies here either, because they're too rough. Others like them a lot.

Frankly, as someone who has to fix the car afterwards, I'm not necessarily a fan of rough rallies either. But they DO have their place. They are where a driver whose car may not match the speed of the cars up front can still still get a good finish by looking after his car and making sure it is still there at the finish.

With regard to Loeb just cruising.....I don't think there's any rally in the world where he would be pushed to do more than cruise to a win once his main competitors had broken their cars and fallen out. Note....they broke their cars and he did not. I think that says something about Loeb's ability, in that he was still there cruising after the others had all failed.

Rallies are not all about outright speed.....there is an element of strategy there too, and conserving your car while others are breaking theirs is very good strategy.

As I said earlier, I wouldn't want to see too many rallies like this. But I do enjoy watching a few like that. Like it or not, it is different.

Enough....I know we won't agree on this one. :)

 Re: wrc drivers future. by Chris B

6-Mar-09 03:25 AM 

But if out of 15 cars 14 had problems after 5 stages, that is the point wheere not only I would say it is down to luck and not skill. On that example it was Loeb, OK. On another it was the two Fords. And if it is an underdog driver in an underdog car, he would not have impressed the people that matter, because they know it proves nothing about his skills, maybe he was just slow as ever with a bit of luck.

We seem to agree that I would not object if there was one rally a year like that. As said, in the old days I was actually looking forward to the Acropolis. But not so in modern days. Look alone at this year's WRC calendar. First 2 rounds were interesting.
Round 3 - Cyprus
Round 4 - Portugal
Round 5 - Argentina
Round 6 - Sardinia
Round 7 - Acropolis
Round 8 - Poland

OK, so Cyprus is the slowest out of these. We don't know much about Poland. Portugal is not smooth either, but OK. Argentina was a wonderful event when it went into the Anden with variety, but today they take the roughest stages of the old and run it as a short sprint event, making Argentina edge to the same style. For me - and not only me I believe - this is 6 rounds in succession which are very similar indeed and such make the WRC boring, de-valuing every single one of them. So for me it is like after Ireland and Norway the WRC has gone into a long summer break and continues with Finland in August!

Portugal is maybe a bit of an exception here. But generally we also shouldn't forget what teams try to market here. In adverts and comparative tests we are told a Subaru Impreza WRX is a performance car, not a Land Rover equivalent. If there was one rally like Cyprus, OK, but I really feel if people love this type of rally so much they they prefer them to everything else, even if half the calendar shows nothing else, we already have a series for these fans and makes - the Dakar style cross country raid series!

 Re: wrc drivers future. by Chris B

6-Mar-09 03:39 AM 

Maybe my point against such rough rallies is so strong also for me being a former competitor. However that would contradict your privateer underdog car theory. I had an underdog car in my class at least by engine power. But on those rough rallies I never was proud beating someone who is usually faster, when I beat him just because he hit troubles. As on the rough rallies I had to hold back also, thinking of my privateer budget. Besides being bounced around so much that you have blurred vision is no fun!

Funny enough, for the aspects you name, I always liked muddy and sandy conditions. Mud can be as treacherous with no traction found, even people getting stuck, but at least here you can concentrate on your driving and indeed tactics how to approach sections, as mud doesn't damage your car the way rocks the size of footballs do!

But as said, if it was one event like that, I actually used to love the Acropolis. But see the calendar extract above, the next 6 rounds. However thought up this calendar for WRC should be shot!

 Re: wrc drivers future. by teamanager

6-Mar-09 08:34 PM 

I think you're back to the issue of the event format.....the small area covered, and the stages repeated and getting rougher all the time.

I agree with you on that, and I agree that events like Argentina and the Acropolis have been reduced to mere shadows of their former grandeur.

But I do not agree that a finish where many other cars were eliminated is unworthy. Faster cars should still be able to finish ahead of slower cars, as there are always sections where speed and power can make a difference. The faster car can also slow down when things get rough. The driver who completes such a course and finishes ahead of otherwise faster cars has no need to feel shame. Far from it. He has done what needed to be done.

I'll compare it to your much loved Safari. For years the fast European teams were being beaten by local drivers in cars that were hopelessly outclassed in terms of speed and power. But they knew how to pace themselves, and ensure that they kept their cars together, while the works teams raced away in the first couple of days.

No, those wins didn't generally result in the works teams offering them fat contracts to run the WRC - or whatever the championship was in those days - in their works cars. Except, perhaps, for the next Safari, or the Bandama. Yes, the distances involved were totally different, which was why you could - under the right circumstances - make up large amounts of time, but the game is still the same.

We don't want too many of these. But I am looking forward to see who can do the best job of keeping it all together. Likely it will be Loeb again, but it will be interesting to see who lines up behind him at the finish.

Truce !!!! I've had my say.

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