2011 WRC Season Commentary

2011 WRC Summary by General Article :

Loeb title number 8, yawn. No, I don’t dislike the guy, right in contrary, but it is a sign that nothing much has changed, nor is changing.

Mind you, Citroën has found a new star after all. Sébastien Ogier. Not only the first name is identical, like Loeb he is a discovery from the French Peugeot Cup, followed by some experiements in Citroën’s. That we had someone special we already saw when Ogier won stages outright on the first WRC event he ever competed in a WRCar, and Wales GB at that, a completely new event to him. However still strange that at WRC level everybody talks about amateur M2 drivers, while a guy with more talent than money, like Matti Rantanen, can do a one off drive in Finland in 2009, come 5th overall on the spot, and nobody ever talks about him any more. Ogier in turn is a driver who was discovered in the national Peugeot Cup and not on WRC level at all.

The scenario takes an interesting twist. For 2011 Ogier replaces Daniel Sordo as Citroën’s number 2 driver. But then Ogier grows too quick, or some claim his head grew too quick. Ogier won 3 rallies in the first half of the season, but then disobeyed team orders at Rallye Deutschland and even went public with complaint. Now, some fans may not want to hear it, but there are situations were team orders make sense, and that was such a situation. Especially with the 2-car teams as they are, if you are minutes in front of your nearest opposition, the last thing you need is your team mates fighting each other till crash! In fact exactly that happened in Mexico earlier this year, so Citroën did not need such unnecessary points loss yet again, and even less they needed their driver complain about Citroën in public! In the end Ogier won Rallye Deutschland but PSA bosses in Paris dictated his sacking as a result!

All this goes nicely in line with two new manufacturers at the horizon. VW promises a huge preparation for their WRC entry in 2013 and snap up Ogier as their test driver in 2012.

BMW Mini is the new home for Daniel Sordo. But something strange is going on here too, which we come too in the 2012 write up. For now Sordo and Mini is a bit of a surprise. The car looks like a service barge rather than a sports car, but it somehow is good enough for 2 podium finishes for Sordo in the last 3 asphalt rallies of the season, while team mate and ex IRC champion Kris Meeke also manages stage wins in his service barge!

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So having written the sporting aspect first for a change, in the rules there is not much new this time. Leaves the calendar basically.

The WRC or FIA tries everything to get Monte Carlo to return from IRC and fails. So once again the season starts with Sweden. As per rotation NZ makes way for yet another new event in Australia. Bulgaria, Turkey and Japan are dropped for returns of more traditional events, in name Italy (Sardinia), Acropolis and Argentina.
 

2011 WRC Factory Team and Driver Line Ups :
 

Citroën Citroën, 2011 - Citroën Racing : 1st on 403 points.
 

 

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Ford Ford, 2011 - Ford Abu Dhabi Rallye Team : 2nd on 376 points.
 

 

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Ford Ford, 2011 - Ford (M-Sport Stobart) : 3rd on 178 points.
 

 

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Citroën Citroën, 2011 - Citroën (Petter Solberg) : 4th on 98 points.
 

 

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Ford Ford, 2011 - Ford (FERM Power Tools) : 5th on 54 points.
 

 

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Ford Ford, 2011 - Ford (Abu Dhabi Rallye Team) : 6th on 54 points.
 

 

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Ford Ford, 2011 - Ford (Munchi's) : 7th on 38 points.
 

 

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Ford Ford, 2011 - Ford (Monster) : 8th on 27 points.
 

 

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Citroën Citroën, 2011 - Citroën (Peter v Merksteijn Jr Sr) : 9th on 16 points.
 

 

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BMW BMW, 2011 - BMW Mini (Brazil WRT) : 10th on 7 points.
 

 

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Citroën Citroën, 2011 - Citroën (Ice One) : 66th on 1 points.
 

 

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