2021 WRC and Off Road Discussion

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2021 WRC and Off Road Discussion

#1

Post by Everso Biggyballies »

Time for a 2021 thread as Monte Carlo is underway.

We have a new tyre supplier for 2021, Pirelli replacing Michelin. A lack of testing and greasy conditions along with no shakedown this year (Covid related) caused a few issues. The Pirelli rubber has less grip in wet and snowy conditions, but this escalates considerably whenever the road dries.

Biggest casualty was that of Teemu Suninen who had a big off which broke his roll cage and ended his weekend on the spot.

WRC Monte Carlo: Tanak tops opening day, Suninen crashes out

Hyundai's Ott Tanak has thrown down the first marker at the start of the 2021 World Rally Championship season in Monte Carlo with victory in both of Thursday's stages.

Tyres were the major talking point of the day, with Pirelli replacing Michelin as the WRC's new control supplier.

A shortage of pre-event testing in the truncated close season caused many teams to run conservatively; all the more so as no shakedown was permitted under the tight enforcement of measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the Haute Alps prefecture.

It is understood that the Italian rubber has less grip in wet and snowy conditions, but this escalates considerably whenever the road dries.

Wet roads fringed with snow were far from optimum, therefore, but Tanak is a man on a mission to reclaim the title and wanted to capitalise on any hesitancy among his rivals.

At the start of his second season in Hyundai's i20 WRC, Tanak felt considerably more at ease than at this time in 2020.

Keeping closest to Tanak's pace was Toyota's young Finnish star Kalle Rovanpera, who sits five seconds in front of his British team-mate Elfyn Evans as the crews go into their first overnight halt.

Reigning champion Sebastien Ogier suffered a serious accident in pre-event testing which limited his experience of the new rubber and his performance was further blunted by an unnerving intermittent brake problem.

Ogier holds fifth place overnight behind the Hyundai of Thierry Neuville, who is joined for the first time by a new co-driver Martin Wydaeghe - who was only recruited last week after salary negotiations broke down with Neuville's long-standing partner Nicolas Gilsoul.

One man who missed the 'cautious approach' memo was M-Sport's Teemu Suninen, whose Ford Fiesta WRC was right on the pace of Tanak in the first two sectors of the opening stage.

The Finn then got caught out by a 90-degree right-hander, understeering into an earth bank and being pitched into a roll which ended up in the trees halfway down a hillside.

With a broken roll cage resulting from his off, the unhappy Finn will not restart.

Image
Some measure of cheer was brought to the Cumbrian squad by the performance of its French prodigy Adrien Fourmaux in the team's WRC2 entry.

A dominant second stage time meant Fourmaux was almost three seconds faster than Gus Greensmith in the team's second full WRC car.

The youngster's time hoisted him to second in WRC2 behind the Skoda of former WRC star Andreas Mikkelsen, who spent 2020 developing this year's Pirelli compounds and wants to use the second-tier category as a springboard back into the big league.

Russian driver Nikolay Gryazin holds third place in WRC2 at the wheel of his privateer VW Polo, just ahead of the man who took his seat for 2021 at Hyundai, Oliver Solberg.

In WRC3, Citroen ended the day with a 1-2-3 lockout for its French drivers Yohan Rossel, Nicolas Ciamin and Yoann Bonato.

Curfew regulations as a precaution against the spread of COVID-19 must be strictly adhered to, requiring an early finish to each day and precipitating a very early start to the second day's action, with the first stage getting underway at 6:10am local time.
https://www.autosport.com/wrc/news/1546 ... onte-carlo

Leading Rally Monte Carlo positions after Stage 2
POS CLASS DRIVER TEAM GAP
1 RC1 Ott Tanak, M.Jarveoja Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT 24m17.5s
2 RC1 Kalle Rovanpera, J.Halttunen 3.3s
3 RC1 Elfyn Evans, S.Martin Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT 8.5s
4 RC1 Thierry Neuville, M.Wydaeghe Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT 16.0s
5 RC1 Sebastien Ogier, J.Ingrassia Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT 16.9s
6 RC1 Dani Sordo, C.del Barrio Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT 42.7s
7 RC1 Pierre-Louis Loubet, V.Landais Hyundai 2C Competition 1m07.8s
8 WRC2 Andreas Mikkelsen, O.Floene Toksport WRT 1m18.3s
9 WRC2 Adrien Fourmaux, R.Jamoul M-Sport Ford WRT 1m27.2s
10 RC1 Gus Greensmith, E.Edmondson M-Sport Ford WRT 1m30.0s

A video of Suninens huge crash.


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#2

Post by SBan83 »

Redbull TVis providing free coverage again this year, and this year's seems to be free of the extended blah blah bullshit with their usual Redbull hams and features the excellent Paul King's commentary and a more standard daily highlights package instead. Check out Friday's coverage below.

https://www.redbull.com/in-en/events/fi ... onte-carlo
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#3

Post by Everso Biggyballies »

SB83 wrote: 3 years ago Redbull TVis providing free coverage again this year, and this year's seems to be free of the extended blah blah bullshit with their usual Redbull hams and features the excellent Paul King's commentary and a more standard daily highlights package instead. Check out Friday's coverage below.

https://www.redbull.com/in-en/events/fi ... onte-carlo
Great coverage indeed, and it seems to be hinting for Saturday a live link. Maybe that is part of a premium package they offer, but its better than our delayed TV Coverage (Friday is yet to be shown, although on shortly)

Thanks Sandy for the heads up. :thumbsup:

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#4

Post by Cheeveer »

It's a cruel, cruel world.
***Some say you should live each day like it was your last... but who wants to live each day in wild panic and extreme death anxiety?

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#5

Post by Everso Biggyballies »

Cheeveer wrote: 3 years ago It's a cruel, cruel world.
Was it last year there was virtually no snow?

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#6

Post by Cheeveer »

yup
***Some say you should live each day like it was your last... but who wants to live each day in wild panic and extreme death anxiety?

The universe, look at the hugeness of it... it is a dizzying thought that little ol' me is the centre of it all!***
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#7

Post by Everso Biggyballies »

Solberg name returns to the WRC

Oliver Solberg will step up to the premier class in the World Rally Championship with Hyundai at Arctic Rally Finland. I think it is only a one-off at this stage but he certainly has been doing well in WRC2. Looking forward to seeing how he goes, and hope he doesnt try too hard. It is certainly great to see the Solberg name return to the top level of rallying, and I wish Oliver all the best of luck on his WRC debut, and hope he earns further outings.

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#8

Post by Cheeveer »

Arctic Rally Finland just started with Tänäk fastest on SS1. Perfect winter rally conditions, but unseasonly warm up in Lapland (we are talking just below freezing). Tänäk and Rovanperä had the best pace on SS1, but Rovanperä lost 12 seconds in a snowbank, so Tänäk takes the early lead. Breen 2nd fastest, a mini sensation that.

Oliver Solberg takes it easy on his first WRC stage, 10th fastest.

Tyre wear seems to be high.
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#9

Post by Everso Biggyballies »

After Day 2 of Rally Finland Tanack leads, Ogier has retired having gone off into a snow bank 50 metres from the end of the day 2 final stage, but impressively Oliver Solberg is running in 6th place on his WRC debut.

Kovanpera is 2nd in his Toyota some 24 seconds behind Tanack with Neuville who had a great final stage (12 secs faster than Tannack) in 3rd. Breen an a Hyunda is 4th. So a great weekend at this stage for Hyundai with 3 cars in the top 4.

Just one stage remains on the Arctic Rally, the 22.47 km Aittajarvi test, which will be run twice, with the second pass acting as the Power Stage with points on offer to the five fastest cars. Tanack has been ordered to take it easy given the buffer he has and the mileage left to run. Hyundai dont want to throw a win away at this stage of the event.

I have heard that although Ogier was retired from the stages, his car has been repaired and he will reappear for the points paying power stage to try and salvage a few points. I have never really understood that part of the regs.... retiring a car and then being allowed back in. I understand the reasons for the allowance (which I presume is to minimise the championship effect of a bad day on any driver) but to me if you are out you are out, including the power stage.

WRC now compared to the mighty days is lame enough as it is. The cars are all electronically controlled or assisted with fancy diffs etc, the stages are short sprints and the overall rallies are far less demanding than the halcyon days of rallying. Anyway that is just a personal opinion / whinge about the state of the WRC today. I miss events such as the East African Safari, real endurance rallies with unmarked roads and lasting several days and thousand of klms. Real tests for men (plus women :wink: ) and machines.

Any others have thoughts on that last point re rallying at WRC level today?

After Day 2.

Driver/Co-driver Car Total Time Gap Interval
1
Estonia Ott Tanak
Estonia Martin Jarveoja Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC 1:43'32.100
2
Finland Kalle Rovanperä
Finland Jonne Halttunen Toyota Yaris WRC 1:43'56.200 24.100 24.100
3
Belgium Thierry Neuville
Belgium Martijn Wydaeghe Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC 1:43'58.000 25.900 1.800
4
Ireland Craig Breen
Ireland Paul Nagle Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC 1:44'25.500 53.400 27.500
5
United Kingdom Elfyn Evans
United Kingdom Scott Martin Toyota Yaris WRC 1:44'35.600 1'03.500 10.100
6
Norway Oliver Solberg
United Kingdom Sebastian Marshall Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC 1:44'58.900 1'26.800 23.300
7
Japan Takamoto Katsuta
United Kingdom Daniel Barritt Toyota Yaris WRC 1:45'06.500 1'34.400 7.600
8
Finland Teemu Suninen
Finland Mikko Markkula Ford Fiesta WRC 1:45'21.400 1'49.300 14.900
9
United Kingdom Gus Greensmith
United Kingdom Elliott Edmondson Ford Fiesta WRC 1:46'33.900 3'01.800 1'12.500
10
Finland Esapekka Lappi
Finland Janne Ferm Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 1:48'20.900 4'48.800 1'47.000

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#10

Post by Cheeveer »

A fun, but quite short rally. Only 10 stages is a bit too few. Tänak showing that he is probably the fastest driver at the moment. Ogier having a very off weekend, he could barely bother it seemed.

But the star of the show should be Oliver Solberg. He was right up there on pace in his first WRC rally. Had a few minor offs, but that looked damn promising.
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#11

Post by Everso Biggyballies »

Cheeveer wrote: 3 years ago A fun, but quite short rally. Only 10 stages is a bit too few. Tänak showing that he is probably the fastest driver at the moment. Ogier having a very off weekend, he could barely bother it seemed.

But the star of the show should be Oliver Solberg. He was right up there on pace in his first WRC rally. Had a few minor offs, but that looked damn promising.
I couldnt believe when Oliver Solberg had that spin 30 secs from the end of the final stage and had difficulty turning round. Without that he certainly would have been 6th if not 5th. A great effort. I seem to remember his Father used to drive at times with his mouth open wide in the same way as Oliver does. A great future talent though, no doubt. I hope he gets more wildcards this year and it leads to a full time gig next year.

Talking of young guys with a future how quick was Rovanpera on the power stage. I think he should now be leading the championship thanks to Ogier having a bad weekend, adding just one point to his Monte Carlo tally. In fact Ogier has I would think lost second place as well, to Neuville.

Agreed re its too short. I think they all are. By some margin.

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#12

Post by DoubleFart »

I miss when the WRC was a real event in this country. It would get actual press coverage, decent highlights on free to air TV, and a good hour chunk every night during Rally GB.

It's like it doesn't exist now.

I recently bought the WRC game, and the cars don't excite me, the name don't excite me. It's so sad, for what is one of the toughest disciplines in Motorsport.
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#13

Post by erwin greven »

I wonder how many people actually watch this. The cars are not exiting. Think the Group B has done a lot of damage to all the cars that succeeded the beasts of the early/mid 80's.
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#14

Post by MonteCristo »

Well that Extreme E stuff is diabolically boring.
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#15

Post by Everso Biggyballies »

MonteCristo wrote: 3 years ago Well that Extreme E stuff is diabolically boring.
Glad you mentioned it.... I thought it might have just been me that thinks it has failed to match the hype. By quite a margin.

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