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2021 Rallying Thread


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#1 AlexPrime

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Posted 01 January 2021 - 16:31

I am sorry if someone else was supposed to start the thread, but Dakar starts in two days and I think that it is time. According to Sainz, Mini and Toyota will fight for the win, but Loeb will participate as well in a new team :) 

Apart from that, Rally Monte Carlo is later this month (hopefully). I also like ERC which is rarely commented here.

Any expectations for the season?



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#2 BRG

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Posted 01 January 2021 - 17:22

Jan 1 is the perfect time to start this thread.  :up:

 

I am even less bothered about the Dakar than I was when it was in S. America.  The fact that it is now in S. Arabia and yet garners no calls from the human rights lobby for its boycotting shows just how far the event has declined in importance.

 

I am less and less optimistic about the Monte Carlo Rally running.  With Sweden already ditched, we will be missing out on rallying in what looks to be a snowy winter.  

 

I try to follow the ERC on Eurosport.  They made a far better fist of 2020 than the sad efforts of the WRC but whether they can do it again in 2021 is in the hands of fate. 



#3 Silberpfeil

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Posted 01 January 2021 - 17:43

I‘m… sceptical about the Monte happening. I suspect a decision will be made in the week leading up to the first day. Ironically, if the forecast shows lots of snow on the way that could help its chances, because that would be a natural inhibitor to people turning up where they‘re not supposed to. Let‘s see what happens, but right now I‘d hesitate to put the odds at better than a 50/50 split.

If it does happen, tyres will probably be the main talking point – and not just because it‘s the Monte. Pirelli seems reasonably well-prepared, but I guess by the time testing finishes we‘ll have more of an idea. Tänak & Evans have somewhat recent experience developing the DMACK tyres, so that could potentially help them adapt to the new rubber.

I‘ll probably follow the end-of-day results from the Dakar, if only to see if Loeb can win the darn thing already. I‘d say the fleet of Toyotas are favourites, though, provided they don‘t shoot themselves in the foot.

#4 AlexPrime

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Posted 01 January 2021 - 17:47

I am unhappy with the way covered ERC, putting summaries of the day late in the night like a porn movie. I hope that they do a better job this year. Any idea if they will broadcast Dakar?

Thankfully, a local TV had a great coverage of WRC. I hope that they continue doing well in 2021. I will be sad if Monte is cancelled. Didn't know about Sweden :( 



#5 ArnageWRC

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Posted 01 January 2021 - 20:27

The current ERC coverage is probably as good as it's going to get. The days of the old IRC Live coverage (which were selected events) have long gone. It costs quite a bit of money for live TV; somebody has to pay for it - nobody can. Late night highlights will have to do.

 

I'm not sure the Monte will happen - and if it does, I can see another severely shortened event; which is becoming regular pattern.



#6 messy

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Posted 01 January 2021 - 20:44

My interest in the Dakar is at an all-time low now it’s in Saudi Arabia. It took a while for me to accept South America but that eventually won me over because it’s actually a beautiful, diverse place which, just like Africa, still retained the ‘epic adventure’ feel that always made Dakar feel special. But without wanting to sound like I’m wildly generalizing even though I am, Saudi is just a big old sandpit and then there’s the human rights stuff on top of that. It’s the loss of that sense of adventure that saddens me. I dislike the idea of it going to Saudi Arabia just as much as I disliked the idea of it going to South America, but the difference is I don’t see it winning me round at all. Ever.

The WRC I think will skip Monte sadly. The hope is, that this year we lose the early winter events but once people are getting vaccinated, the weather improves and the world at large takes a deep breath and begins finally to return to some sort of normality, we get the rest of the season - the Finlands, Catalunyas and Rally GBs and so on that we missed out on last season. Surely it can’t be worse than last year?

The ERC I really haven’t followed in years. Which I know is my issue rather than any sort of comment on the series itself. I get an image in my head of drivers with no Wikipedia pages battling each other in Skodas in front of two guys and a socially distanced dog. Maybe it’s time to educate myself a bit again.

#7 ArnageWRC

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Posted 01 January 2021 - 23:51

The WRC I think will skip Monte sadly. The hope is, that this year we lose the early winter events but once people are getting vaccinated, the weather improves and the world at large takes a deep breath and begins finally to return to some sort of normality, we get the rest of the season - the Finlands, Catalunyas and Rally GB's and so on that we missed out on last season. Surely it can’t be worse than last year?
 

 

RallyGB - reading between the lines, it may have run it's course.....there doesn't appear to be any funding; either from the mainland or Northern Ireland. 



#8 messy

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Posted 02 January 2021 - 10:48

I hope not. Losing Rally GB would be horrendous.

#9 Myrvold

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Posted 02 January 2021 - 16:02

we will be missing out on rallying in what looks to be a snowy winter.  

 

Not everywhere. This is the first day with snow this winter where I live - which is not far from where Rally Sweden is run. It seems like other places do get some snow this winter season though.



#10 AlexPrime

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Posted 02 January 2021 - 17:17

Calendar of 2020 ERC revealed:

 

https://www.fiaerc.c...x9rqF-8ESVMUTkg

 

Eight rounds, March to October :up:



#11 BRG

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Posted 03 January 2021 - 12:55

Not everywhere. This is the first day with snow this winter where I live - which is not far from where Rally Sweden is run. It seems like other places do get some snow this winter season though.

That would be the Greta Thunberg effect.  Global warming is taking place principally in Sweden. 

 

It was snowing in Texas the other day, which came as a surprise to folks there.  And many ski resorts are facing the heart-breaking sight of superb snow coverage , but no skiers.



#12 Silberpfeil

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Posted 04 January 2021 - 16:23

See ya on Thursday…

https://dirtfish.com...on-on-thursday/

#13 Branislav

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Posted 06 January 2021 - 10:01

GREENSMITH HEADS YOUTHFUL M-SPORT FORD LINE-UP

https://www.wrc.com/...8Zwe-jwdXlg3P4E



#14 ArnageWRC

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Posted 06 January 2021 - 10:34

It's as good a line up as you can expect really......



#15 BRG

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Posted 06 January 2021 - 12:48

It's as good a line up as you can expect really......

Greensmith  must be paying a lot for that seat.  Suninen is a better driver yet he is being sidelined, presumably because he isn't paying enough.  It's a sorry state that M-Sport have got into.



#16 messy

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Posted 06 January 2021 - 13:25

Their fall from top class, World Championship winning WRC team to underfunded privateer entry is complete with that really, isn’t it?

It’s so sad because there’s clearly so, so much potential in the Fiesta. On paper I liked the Lappi/Suninen pairing last season but results were highly underwhelming, it ain’t gonna get any better with this lineup that’s for certain.

#17 ArnageWRC

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Posted 06 January 2021 - 14:22

You can't test, develop and bring in top line drivers and pay them with fresh air - it has to be financed. M-Sport haven't got it.  It is what it is. And in my view it's not their fault.  It's the old problem; promotion. Sponsors, manufacturers will back teams if there is something in it for them. Ford don't think it's worth it, and neither too many sponsors.

 

Rinse & repeat.



#18 ARTGP

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Posted 06 January 2021 - 17:15

You can't test, develop and bring in top line drivers and pay them with fresh air - it has to be financed. M-Sport haven't got it.  It is what it is. And in my view it's not their fault.  It's the old problem; promotion. Sponsors, manufacturers will back teams if there is something in it for them. Ford don't think it's worth it, and neither too many sponsors.

 

Rinse & repeat.

 

I don't think the problem is what do the drivers want to get paid with. I can think of a handful who would drive for free to just stay relevant.  It's more that M-Sport need pay-drivers because they are underfunded and hit hard by the economy.



#19 Silberpfeil

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Posted 06 January 2021 - 17:23

Well, M-Sport are officially in ”We can’t afford to think about results anymore” mode. Greensmith is easily the worst full-time appointment since Camilli in 2016. Let’s hope the money that doesn’t go straight into keeping the company afloat will at least help them build a credible 2022 challenger.

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#20 Amz964

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Posted 06 January 2021 - 17:36

Well, M-Sport are officially in ”We can’t afford to think about results anymore” mode. Greensmith is easily the worst full-time appointment since Camilli in 2016. Let’s hope the money that doesn’t go straight into keeping the company afloat will at least help them build a credible 2022 challenger.


I hope so it makes thier Gardemeister/Kresta line up of 2005 seem like a god send cause at least in Gardemeister case he was able to get poduims on merit with stiff competition and even Kresta is way better than green Smith. Sad to think 3/4 years ago they had a Ogier, Tanak and Evans line up winning championships and rallies and now they're down to this very sad to see thier plight.

Edited by Amz964, 06 January 2021 - 17:38.


#21 Branislav

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Posted 07 January 2021 - 11:47

Monte got green light

 

Finland insted of Sweden



#22 BRG

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Posted 07 January 2021 - 13:06

Do you have a reliable source for that please?  I made the mistake of looking at the appalling WRC website, but it is only interested in selling me a video game and its WRC+ service.  No news at all.   



#23 Branislav

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Posted 07 January 2021 - 13:16

https://dirtfish.com...ng-green-light/



#24 BRG

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Posted 07 January 2021 - 13:54

Thank you.  

 

Not totally a green light though, we must still wait and see!

 

What about your comment re Finland instead of Sweden? The Arctic Lapland Rally starts on 14 Jan, so too late to put that into the WRC?



#25 ArnageWRC

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Posted 07 January 2021 - 14:08

So not a 'green light' but a kind of 'proceed with caution'. What would be bad, is getting the go ahead, and a day before (or the day itself) getting pulled as things have worsened.

 

I wouldn't be against postponing it until later in the year - and running the event as planned without changes to the route. 



#26 Branislav

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Posted 07 January 2021 - 14:42

Thank you.  

 

Not totally a green light though, we must still wait and see!

 

What about your comment re Finland instead of Sweden? The Arctic Lapland Rally starts on 14 Jan, so too late to put that into the WRC?

 

I read that on same twitt but I didn't found reliable source. I thought it was in that link but obviously isn't.



#27 Silberpfeil

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Posted 07 January 2021 - 18:13

So not a 'green light' but a kind of 'proceed with caution'. What would be bad, is getting the go ahead, and a day before (or the day itself) getting pulled as things have worsened.

 

I wouldn't be against postponing it until later in the year - and running the event as planned without changes to the route. 

 


Thierry thinks the same. In other news, Ypres is set to take over Rally GB’s slot for this year. Confirmation expected tomorrow. Sources: https://dirtfish.com...-end-of-season/ (Neuville) https://dirtfish.com...1-wrc-calendar/ (Ypres)

#28 mikko-ville

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Posted 07 January 2021 - 20:03


What about your comment re Finland instead of Sweden? The Arctic Lapland Rally starts on 14 Jan, so too late to put that into the WRC?


I think the idea is to run "same" rally again sometime in february as a WRC event, if the organizers can get budget and permits etc. sorted out. https://dirtfish.com...n-wrc-calendar/

#29 Lennat

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Posted 08 January 2021 - 11:24

Arctic Swedish rally sounds very cool. Probably much better weather there, with proper snow.



#30 ArnageWRC

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Posted 08 January 2021 - 16:20

https://www.autospor...ded-to-calendar

 

https://twitter.com/...erp|twgr^author

 

 

Ypres replaces RallyGB. Will be a good addition to the WRC; a great event which has a great party atmosphere.

 

Were RallyGB goes from here - who knows? But some serious questions need to be asked.



#31 BRG

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Posted 08 January 2021 - 21:02

Happy about Ypres - miffed it didn't run last year.

 

Not happy about Rally GB which seems to be falling through the cracks.  MS-UK need to get a grip.



#32 Hellow

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Posted 09 January 2021 - 12:31

I think if we're going to get replacement rally for canceled Sweden than it's going to be at Finland around same area as Arctic Lapland Rally. There is a lot of preperations going on that it could be held at Rovaniemi.

 

Toyota Gazoo Racing is going to compete at Arctic Lapland Rally at least with their test driver Juho Hänninen and take it as testing rally for them in case the winter wrc rally of Finland comes reality. :)

 


Edited by Hellow, 09 January 2021 - 12:35.


#33 Silberpfeil

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Posted 09 January 2021 - 14:22

Once this season gets underway, I for one will be very interested to see how much more pace Toyota can scrape out of the Yaris this season, considering the car wasn’t even supposed to race this year. While Hyundai appears to have made great strides with some of their surface-based weaknesses over the last year, with Toyota it seemed much more like business as usual – carrying on in the same manner and style with which so many of their drivers have found success over the last four years. I guess the Pirelli tyres will be the biggest difference-maker – and whoever gets a handle on them first will be in a very good position for the year ahead. It shall be very interesting to see what news, if any, comes out of the teams’ camps over the next week as testing resumes.

#34 Viryfan

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Posted 09 January 2021 - 14:28

I would be very very suprised to see WRC get going in Monte Carlo.

 

Right now french government is asking all Rugby Matches with british teams to be postponed.



#35 Branislav

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Posted 10 January 2021 - 15:42

MONTE CARLO RALLY SHORTENED AGAIN IN ORGANIZATIONAL BOOST

https://dirtfish.com...zational-boost/



#36 ArnageWRC

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Posted 10 January 2021 - 18:54

I wouldn't call shortening the Monte as a boost.....it's short enough as it is. Just postpone and run a full event when possible. Ski resorts and other sports are being hit - running the Monte seems like a 'blinkered' attitude.



#37 Dolph

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Posted 10 January 2021 - 19:09

I wouldn't call shortening the Monte as a boost.....it's short enough as it is. Just postpone and run a full event when possible. Ski resorts and other sports are being hit - running the Monte seems like a 'blinkered' attitude.

 

There's no ice in June



#38 pacificquay

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Posted 10 January 2021 - 19:18

A world championship without a round in the UK isn’t worthy of the name.

 

McRae and Burns must be spinning in their graves.



#39 ArnageWRC

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Posted 10 January 2021 - 22:32

There's no ice in June

Who mentioned June.....I wouldn't have a problem in the summer. But I'd prefer to run it when most suitable; Nov/Dec as a final round.



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#40 ArnageWRC

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Posted 10 January 2021 - 22:36

A world championship without a round in the UK isn’t worthy of the name.

 

McRae and Burns must be spinning in their graves.

Wrong! Honestly, it's just another 'generic WRC event' nowadays. Sadly, it no longer has any right to be in the WRC - the MSUK haven't handled it at all well; thinking the Welsh money would continue.



#41 FLB

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Posted 10 January 2021 - 23:14

Former multiple Dakar winner (both in cars in 1992 and bikes in 1981 and 1983) Hubert Auriol has died of a stroke:

 

https://www.lepoint....-2408930_23.php (en francais)


Edited by FLB, 10 January 2021 - 23:15.


#42 messy

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Posted 11 January 2021 - 11:07

Wrong! Honestly, it's just another 'generic WRC event' nowadays. Sadly, it no longer has any right to be in the WRC - the MSUK haven't handled it at all well; thinking the Welsh money would continue.


I don’t really agree with this - whatever it’s (many) issues and the fact it’s certainly not the event it was, sliding through the Welsh forests through Sweet Lamb etc with the fans up on the banks, with the rain beating down and so on....it’s still a unique and iconic event. Losing it is so sad.

#43 BRG

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Posted 11 January 2021 - 12:52

The classic RAC Rally on its late November date almost guaranteed difficult conditions with early morning fog, frost, rain, mud and sometimes snow, and even the occasional unseasonal dust did provide a distinctive challenge.  But its character has been tamed and turned into just another standard spec rally sadly with the move to mid October.  It has been showing signs of improvement in recent years but total dependence on Welsh Govt funding has left it in the lurch.  Hard to see how it can be rescued but it is a shame that one of the iconic WRC rounds should just fail like this.



#44 masa90

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Posted 11 January 2021 - 13:28

The fact that there is a good title fight and cool cars really hide the HUGE flaws on current wrc.

 

Man it seems like a completely different sport these days.



#45 Branislav

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Posted 11 January 2021 - 17:05

 

BRING IT ON :clap:

 

Ogi the king...  ;)



#46 masa90

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Posted 11 January 2021 - 18:56

My wishes for 2021. Proper battles, someone new winning the title, and biggest of all: a miracle and new team to 2022 wrc.



#47 Silberpfeil

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Posted 12 January 2021 - 11:38

Finally a new coat of paint for the Toyotas?

https://twitter.com/...5404445697?s=21

#48 BRG

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Posted 12 January 2021 - 13:04

Yes, it looks like they will be white, black and red instead of red, white and black.  



#49 messy

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Posted 12 January 2021 - 14:34

Maybe they gave them a little bit of creative license what with this shape Yaris now being obsolete?

#50 ClubmanGT

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Posted 12 January 2021 - 18:50

The classic RAC Rally on its late November date almost guaranteed difficult conditions with early morning fog, frost, rain, mud and sometimes snow, and even the occasional unseasonal dust did provide a distinctive challenge.  But its character has been tamed and turned into just another standard spec rally sadly with the move to mid October.  It has been showing signs of improvement in recent years but total dependence on Welsh Govt funding has left it in the lurch.  Hard to see how it can be rescued but it is a shame that one of the iconic WRC rounds should just fail like this.

 

Classic rounds have been dropping off the calendar for years - see the Rally NZ/Rally Australia debacle, Acropolis, Safari etc. 

 

I don't know, the cynic/optimist in me hopes that maybe the existential questions around the sport will get addressed now that's affected the UK, but for some of us around the rest of around the world who have seen rallies come and go and supposedly 'classic' events just totally abandoned, there isn't much sympathy for the mess rallying now finds itself in.