Since today most of the seats got filled and the deadline for manufacturers entries and monte entries passed, I think it is high time for a new thread.
We have some regulation changes both in WRC and ERC (WRC ditches qualy stages because they seem to be a problem for potential TV broadcasting, while ERC which doesn't have so many TV issues adopts them , manufacturers in WRC have to name one permanent driver for 10 rounds only etc ), there was a lot of movement on the driver market, so this is a properly NEW season
While Ogier/VW will probably take the titles again and the live timing will work like a crap, I think it is going to be a great season. For instance I can't wait to se how will Meeke and Evans do, if Hirvonen finds his mojo back, and of course how will go RK's second season of proper rallying. I'm trying not to get overly hyped, by I think he may throw a surprise here and there. And I'm super happy he is doing the whole season.
There is also hyundai, and while nobody expects them that they will Polo the 2014 season, I think it will be interesting to see their progress.
And the promoter promisses more live coverage, plus internet broadcast of the service park. What we had during rally France was great and I hope everything goes into that direction. Maybe we will indeed see some live power stages... But what is one stage in fact... I'm pretty sure some Polish station buys rights at least for rally Poland (RK is really huge here) so in the worst scenario you'll be able to hear some of our beautiful language:)
So, 2014 line-ups:
M-Sport: Evans/Hirvonen and Kubica in something like a "satelite" team, though ATM I'm not sure what is the character of their deal
There will be Prokop I guess, BOuffier is said to start in monte, and Paddon is optimistic about what looks like 7-8 rounds programme in WRC.
There is also no word about Kościuszko after his back problems. Also it seems that Lotos decided to put a lot of their resources into RK's programme, so nobody knows if we will se Michał at WRC stages. Also there are some whispers his co-driver is one of the candidates for RK's right seat.
Rallye Monte Carlo 14 - 19 Jan 14
Rally Sweden 05 - 08 Feb 14 Rally Guanajuato Mexico 06 - 09 Mar 14 Vodafone Rally de Portugal 03 - 06 Apr 14 Philips LED Rally Argentina 08 - 11 May 14 Rally d'Italia Sardegna 06 - 08 Jun 14 Lotos Rally Poland 27 - 29 Jun 14 Neste Oil Rally Finland 01 - 03 Aug 14 ADAC Rallye Deutschland 22 - 24 Aug 14 Coates Hire Rally Australia 12 - 14 Sep 14 Rallye de France-Alsace 03 - 05 Oct 14 RallyRACC-Rally de Espana 24 - 26 Oct 14 Wales Rally GB 14 - 16 Nov 14
FIA ERC calendar:
01: 31 Int. Jännerrallye, Oberösterreich (Austria), Asphalt/snow, 3-5 January 2014
02: Rally Liepāja (Latvia), Gravel/snow, 31 January-2 February 2014
03: Sibiu Rally Romania, Gravel/snow, 27 February-1 March 2014
04: Acropolis Rally (Greece), Asphalt/gravel, 28-30 March 2014
05: Circuit of Ireland Rally (United Kingdom), Asphalt, 17-19 April 2014
06: 49th SATA Rallye Açores (Portugal), Gravel, 15-17 May 2014
07: Geko Ypres Rally (Belgium), Asphalt, 19-21 June 2014
08: auto24 Rally Estonia (Estonia), Gravel, 17-19 July 2014
09: Barum Czech Rally Zlín (Czech Republic), Asphalt, 29-31 August 2014
10: Cyprus Rally (Cyprus), Asphalt/gravel, 19-21 September 2014
11: Rallye International du Valais (Switzerland), Asphalt/gravel, 23-25 October 2014
12: Giru di Corsica-Tour de Corse (France), Asphalt, 6-8 November 2014**
*Subject to ratification by the FIA World Motor Sport Council
**Subject to the signing of the event promoter agreement
I hereby state the rally fever is on!