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 Post subject: Re: Rally News
PostPosted: 24 Nov 2010, 20:21  
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Joined: 23 May 2010, 06:44
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from the Wall Street Journal

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142 ... lenews_wsj

Quote:
You Think You're a Good Driver?

By NICOLAS BRULLIARD

SALOU, Spain—Meet the best driver in the world.

Of course, the unofficial title will always be in question, but France's Sébastien Loeb, the world champion of rally, has a better claim to it than most.

Besides a record seven consecutive titles in the World Rally Championship, racing's preeminent multi-terrain circuit, the 36-year-old has excelled in various motorsports. He finished second at the 24 hours of Le Mans endurance race in 2006, and he bested most of the professional Formula 1 drivers that were present at a winter testing session in 2008 despite having little experience with an F1 car. He also has three victories in the Race of Champions, an annual event pitting the best rally, F1, endurance and Nascar drivers against one another in identical cars.

Mud, Mist and Hang Time

But it's the sport that Mr. Loeb dominates that gives a better measure of his talent.

It's one thing to drive a racecar really fast on a racetrack. It is a different thing altogether to drive a racecar really fast on an icy mountain road with trees on one side, a cliff on the other and large fauna occasionally standing in the middle. Rally's sinuous courses allow for plenty of last-second braking, vertiginous acceleration and liberal use of the handbrake in tight curves.

"I have the most fun in rally because of the variety of terrains," Mr. Loeb said. "Competing on a racetrack gets a bit tiresome after a while."

The typical rally season runs from February to November across continents and is made up of multi-day events. While some rally competitions use tarred roads, most take place on gravel, sand, mud or snow. Because most take place in natural environments, sometimes nature finds its way to the middle of the road.

Earlier this year, former F1 champion Kimi Raikkonen narrowly missed a moose at the Sweden Rally. Mr. Loeb couldn't avoid hitting a cow at the Rally of Argentina in 2005, but he went on to win the event anyway. The cow seemed fine, Mr. Loeb said. Norway's Petter Solberg, one of Mr. Loeb's fiercest rivals and the last man not named Loeb to win a world championship, wasn't so lucky at the Australia Rally in 2005. Neither was the kangaroo with which his car collided.

It's no surprise, then, that drivers from the ranks of F1, which just crowned its youngest champion in Sebastian Vettel, have yet to make a smooth transition to rally. Mr. Raikkonen in particular has struggled in his first season. He failed to score points at most of the events he entered, and at the rally held here recently, he crashed his car before the rally even started.

"Raikkonen's switch to rally is a huge boost to the championship," said Gérard Bridier, founder of a rally magazine. "Formula 1 being the self-proclaimed king of motorsports, people thought that an F1 champion would be able to dominate any other discipline. Raikkonen proved it's just not the case."

Mr. Loeb was a precocious driver, holding the steering wheel of his father's car under supervision at 3 years of age and crashing it—all by himself—at 4. The son of teachers, Mr. Loeb competed in gymnastics before developing a keen interest in speed and motorized vehicles. An electrician by training, he had to wait until his early 20s to take part in his first rally competition. He turned professional a few years later with a spot on Citroën's rally team.

Mr. Loeb narrowly missed the world title his first full season, in 2003, but hasn't let go since. He and co-driver Daniel Elena won their 61st rally here after clinching their seventh world championship last month—two races before the end of the season. He even won a go-kart race held for WRC drivers before the rally.

A physician on Mr. Loeb's team says he owes part of his superiority to his extraordinary hand-eye coordination. Mr. Loeb himself says a key to his success is his visual memory, which allows him to remember specific curves from one year to the next and accelerate when others slow down—especially in conditions of poor visibility.

Few dispute that Mr. Loeb is the best rally driver in history, but one competitor isn't so quick to pass judgment. Mr. Solberg said the large infrastructure of the official Citroën team has been his rival's big advantage.

"Of course he's good, he's very good," Mr. Solberg said. But "honestly—in my opinion—he hasn't had proper competition."

For Fredrik Johnsson, the organizer of the Race of Champions, Mr. Loeb is the most versatile driver, while Michael Schumacher, the seven-time F1 champion, has an edge in pure speed. But Mr. Loeb said determining the better driver of the two was nearly impossible. He said he would win against Mr. Schumacher on a rally course while Mr. Schumacher would beat him on an F1 racetrack.

Mr. Schumacher said in an email that various motorsports can't be compared but that he had a lot of admiration for Mr. Loeb's accomplishments.

"I know Sébastien very well," he said, "we often have fun together on race tracks when we go motorbiking together."

Mr. Loeb conceded that Mr. Schumacher was "a bit better" when riding motorcycles at a racetrack near their homes in Switzerland, but he figured Mr. Schumacher benefited from his recent three-year retirement.

"He trained more than I did last year because he had nothing else to do," Mr. Loeb said.
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 Post subject: Re: Rally News
PostPosted: 24 Nov 2010, 20:24  
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Kriss wrote:

What about Kimi :huh:


No contract, no testing... but hard to think that they haven't discussed the thing when negotiating with the teams so that he gets enough of mileage in the car he will drive net year.
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 Post subject: Re: Rally News
PostPosted: 25 Nov 2010, 04:28  
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Some news about Dani in Autosport:

Image
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 Post subject: Re: Rally News
PostPosted: 26 Nov 2010, 13:25  
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I'm sure there are people who will be happy to know that PG won't be driving at all in the WRC next year :p. In any case, I think it's a sad day in any sport when there are not enough seats to go round and you can't get a car unless you are a pay driver. PG signed up to be a driving instructor in Dubai next year to a rich Saudi businessman.


Bad google translation as usual:
Quote:
Turned down by Mini - trying his luck in Dubai

On Wednesday, got PG Andersson, 30, got told what he feared: He can not test drive the Mini's WRC car.
Now is the chance of a WRC-2011 contracts is almost nonexistent.
- Is it running as it is, "says PG.
Now he seeks happiness in Dubai instead.


The struggle between the Spaniard Daniel Sordo and Per-Gunnar Andersson seems apparently to be over.

- I will not run any test in all cases. Then you get to interpret it how they want, says Arjang driver.

• This means that Sordo will be Mini's second driver?

- I can well imagine that it is so, but the information I had not.

• Are you completely out of the picture?

- I have sent an email and asked if this means that it's gone now, but I have not been answered yet.

- Is it running as it is, it is only to further erode elsewhere.

PG Andersson took the news in stride. But of course he is disappointed that this dream opportunity seems to have slipped out of his hands.

• It is well not to get much closer to a WRC-control?

- You never know how close it really is in this sport. But there is nothing to think about, it is what it is.

Now the 30-year-old is forced to put all energy into finding a job outside the rally WRC class. That he should be advised to buy themselves a place at Ford, which costs around 20 million Swedish kronor (about 2.15 million euros) for the 13 rallies, excluding travel and accommodation costs, is hardly possible.

- It is not on the map. It was said that it would be cheaper to run the WRC now when there are new cars, it is quite the opposite.

The door is wide open, however, with the Czech Team JM Racing (as in this year's World Cup SWRC competed in the Slovakian flag and name rufa Sports).

As early as this weekend, flying to Dubai PG for action driving instructor Yazeed Al-Rajhi, a wealthy Saudi businessman who has had some racing success in the Middle East. Al-Rajhi, who is also UNICEF ambassador, engages JM Racing and PG Andersson in an attempt to develop their skills.

• Will it open any new doors?

- You never know. It would be foolish not to go. All expenses are paid and may be able to establish important contacts.

- There will be an exciting journey, "says PG who has a packed schedule in the near future.

Before he flies to Dubai, he will this weekend participate in Solberg Extreme Motor Show in Oslo, where he will meet Dani Sordo, and after the trip to the Middle East he will run a rally sprint for JM Racing in Prague.

But then the calendar is pretty empty right now.

If it becomes the start of the Swedish World Championship Rally in February remains to be seen. The contest was without SWRC VM and thus it is only one class that is interesting for Värmland:

- It's WRC-class in this case. It may be worthwhile to spend a million on renting a car and drive it - not least to get all weird on the nose ..., "said PG with apparent revenge in his voice.

http://www.vf.se/sport/bilsport/nobbad- ... an-i-dubai
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 Post subject: Re: Rally News
PostPosted: 26 Nov 2010, 13:25  
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This Spanish website seems to be reporting something completely different from Autosport. Ford or Mini, well at least Dani has somewhere to drive next year....

Google translated from Spanish (with a little bit of editing):
Quote:
Sordo, on the verge of signing with Mini to drive in six WRC rallies

The pilot of San Miguel Bridge renewed yesterday in Madrid his personal sponsorship agreement with Banco Santander

The chances of Dani Sordo signing with Mini are increasing. Sources close to the pilot put them at "98 percent." In addition, the Spaniard is not alone in his new adventure, as staff will be sponsored by Banco Santander. The financial organization repeats, since this season also has been one of the personal patrons of the one of San Miguel Bridge. However, Banco Santander would increase substantially its support, since its intention is to use the image of Sordo for advertising and marketing. Yesterday in a closed meeting in Madrid where the Spaniard stamped on his signature look, once again, with the colors of the organization. At Mini they do not demand money from him, although any aid in times of crisis in auto racing would be well received.

Over the next few days he will make a decision about his future. His intention is to sign up for Mini. The only thing that separates him is the fact that the team will only compete in six events in 2011 World Rally Championship. The first rally would be the Rally of Sardinia in May. At best, the intention of the brand and the preparer, Prodrive, rallies would be to extend their participation in two more World Rally events. What we are trying to close the driver's environment is to take part in other events with a different vehicle. In fact, Sordo is working to be at the starting line of the Monte Carlo Rally, cites IRC scoring for the tournament. This was one of the possibilities offered in Citroën: a number of rallies in the WRC and the chance to contest the IRC with a Peugeot. To do so, he needs to provide one million euros, the same number that is required at Ford.

Sordo is considering these two possibilities and he only thinks about Mini, where team-mate would an old friend, Kris Meeke. Prodrive, under the guidance of David Richards (former boss of Subaru at the time of McRae, Sainz, Makkinen, Solberg ...), would be responsible for preparing the vehicle and developing it. Precisely for this reason, Sordo is convinced that the Mini option may be the best. Apparently, the brand has offered the possibility of taking part in a good number of tests, something highly appreciated by the pilots. Also, the possible arrival of BMW in the WRC in 2012 makes the choice of the German firm more appealing.

The intention of both parties is for there to be no time delay in the decision, hoping to sort out the last remaining details in order to sign the agreement at the latest, next week on his return from Norway.

http://www.eldiariomontanes.es/v/201011 ... 01125.html
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 Post subject: Re: Rally News
PostPosted: 26 Nov 2010, 14:50  
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Quote:
26 Nov 10
Four Citroen DS3 WRCs planned for Sweden

Citroen Racing boss Olivier Quesnel says he is confident that four of the French firm's DS3 World Rally Cars will contest next year's World Rally Championship opener in Sweden from February 10-13.

Although Citroen has long-since revealed the identity of its main team, with Sebastien Ogier joining seven-time champion Sebastien Loeb in a pair of DS3 WRCs, the line-up of its second squad has yet to be finalised and has been the subject of considerable speculation in recent weeks.

“We will have two teams next year but I can’t tell you who will be in the second team because we need to secure the budget first,” said Quesnel. “That means for Dani Sordo we would have to find 100 per cent of the budget if he was to continue with Citroen and that is very complicated. It is the same for Kimi Raikkonen.”

Quesnel, who has spoken of his desire to include former world title-winner Petter Solberg in Citroen’s second team in 2011 after the Norwegian competed in a privately-run Citroen C4 WRC this season, says he has received several approaches from interested drivers.

“We have a lot of demand but we would prefer to have the drivers with the budget who are also very fast,” said Quesnel. “We would be very pleased with Kimi and Petter and I think they would have the priority but in the end we will see. Last year, at this time, we didn’t have any customer so I am not worried. We will just have to wait but I am sure we will have two cars in the second team, even though it is quite complicated."

Quesnel has confirmed that a maximum of four DS3 WRCs will compete in Sweden as part of a decision by Citroen not to make the car available to private customers in the first season of use.

Meanwhile Ford team boss Malcolm Wilson is still working on plans for up to 10 Fiesta RS WRCs to be ready in time for Rally Sweden. “We’re not there yet but it’s possible,” said Wilson.



http://www.wrc.com/news/four-citroen-ds ... ?fid=13967

Kimi? very fast? that's sweet :)
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 Post subject: Re: Rally News
PostPosted: 26 Nov 2010, 15:00  
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Mar wrote:

This sounds great :cool:

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 Post subject: Re: Rally News
PostPosted: 26 Nov 2010, 15:29  
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Moominpappa wrote:
Mar wrote:

This sounds great :cool:

yeah great.. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Rally News
PostPosted: 26 Nov 2010, 15:29  
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Moominpappa wrote:
Mar wrote:

This sounds great :cool:


not true but I like it :thumbsup:
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 Post subject: Re: Rally News
PostPosted: 26 Nov 2010, 15:44  
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Kriss wrote:
Moominpappa wrote:
Mar wrote:

This sounds great :cool:


not true but I like it :thumbsup:

why not.. Quesnnel can judge the relative speed and can draw the conclusions. So i feel kimi could be termed as a fast rally driver.

Pace is there. Finesse and consistency will hopefully follow soon.

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So its gonna be a mix of Ravishing Black and White for Kimi Raikkonen this season
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 Post subject: Re: Rally News
PostPosted: 26 Nov 2010, 15:45  
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Kriss wrote:
Moominpappa wrote:
Mar wrote:

This sounds great :cool:


not true but I like it :thumbsup:

why not.. Quesnnel can judge the relative speed and can draw the conclusions. So i feel kimi could be termed as a fast rally driver.

Pace is there. Finesse and consistency will hopefully follow soon.

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So its gonna be a mix of Ravishing Black and White for Kimi Raikkonen this season
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 Post subject: Re: Rally News
PostPosted: 26 Nov 2010, 15:47  
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luieluv wrote:
Kriss wrote:
Moominpappa wrote:
Mar wrote:

This sounds great :cool:


not true but I like it :thumbsup:

why not.. Quesnnel can judge the relative speed and can draw the conclusions. So i feel kimi could be termed as a fast rally driver.

Pace is there. Finesse and consistency will hopefully follow soon.


I love him I really do but he is not very fast :)
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 Post subject: Re: Rally News
PostPosted: 26 Nov 2010, 16:21  
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Kriss wrote:
luieluv wrote:
Kriss wrote:
Moominpappa wrote:
Mar wrote:

This sounds great :cool:


not true but I like it :thumbsup:

why not.. Quesnnel can judge the relative speed and can draw the conclusions. So i feel kimi could be termed as a fast rally driver.

Pace is there. Finesse and consistency will hopefully follow soon.


I love him I really do but he is not very fast :)

agreed not very fast but has laid a good platform to build up on the pace part.

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 Post subject: Re: Rally News
PostPosted: 26 Nov 2010, 17:45  
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Kris Meeke Driver Profile




Gallery - Sardinia Test with the Mini Countryman
http://www.motorsport.com/photos/select ... Y=2010&O=0
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 Post subject: Re: Rally News
PostPosted: 26 Nov 2010, 17:50  
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Kriss wrote:
luieluv wrote:
Kriss wrote:
Moominpappa wrote:
Mar wrote:

This sounds great :cool:


not true but I like it :thumbsup:

why not.. Quesnnel can judge the relative speed and can draw the conclusions. So i feel kimi could be termed as a fast rally driver.

Pace is there. Finesse and consistency will hopefully follow soon.


I love him I really do but he is not very fast :)


But Kimi is fast for someone who's done just 12 WRC rally's :D

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