Rally Portugal

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Rally Portugal

Postby ChrisB » 28 Mar 2012 12:54

What an ugly country! So this is the famous Fafe stage, that got us all so excited in the 80s? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wT5vAmRhRPo Wow, has that changed. Who destroyed the landscape like that? I am nearly tempted to say when everybody dumped their rubbish into the forest looked better than this. I hope the Portuguese feel it in tourism income. Portugal was a rally I would have liked to visit, but I am certainly not going to make a holiday in a scenery looking like this!

Anyway, so the organisers wet the stages?

Dust was always a problem in Portugal. And I wonder is it me who changed? I found it a strike of genius, when in 83 I think it was Cesare Fiorio played chess and sacrificed Biasion and Bettega to clock in early and move over just after the stage start. This allowed Markku Alen in the Lancia 037 a 6min gap and free view to fight Hannu Mikkola in the Quattro, who was first on the road. But today's actions I find silly. Funny how Mouton argued after weeks of discussions, basically that there was once a girl that could win Portugal in dust, so the so called world best drivers should stop winging and start to drive like men!

Well, seriously, what is going on that those drivers keep losing their dummies every 5 minutes? Yes, dust is a problem and what Fiorio did in 1983 maybe is also not fair. But this is about dust in night stages. I have never heard this combination in the old days. I have never heard Röhrl, Vatanen, Mikkola, Waldegaard, etc complain driving in the dark was too difficult for them! And plainly I do believe this is not so much an acute dust problem specific to these stages, but a welcome chance for the so called world best drivers to lobby against night stages in general!

But an additional joke I find is the organisers reaction: Water the stages. So that is the solution then? They drive with tankers through the stages. Question: Do they do that in front of every car? Hardly possible, because except for Wilslow, Nobre & Oliveira, the tanker is going to be slower than the WRCars and therefore we would need 15min gaps between cars, in which case we wouldn't need the tanker any more in the first place! So that is clearly not to happen. But if the tanker drives over the stage only once, in front of the 1st car, then the 1st will have lots of water, the cars 2-5 will struggle through mud, and the so called world stars starting between 10th & 15th will not only have their dust back, but have to live with deep ruts and pot holes! So that's going to stop the drivers lose their dummies? Nope, we are stuck with it, modern World Rallying = ever less driving, ever more complaining....
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