Hold on to your butts, we’re about to go fast.
The last five rallies (Mexico, France, Argentina, Portugal, and Italy) are usually five of the six slowest rallies of the season (depending on weather conditions in Monte Carlo). But it is now summer, and in the WRC summer means it’s time to go stupid fast, with the two fastest rallies of the season and the fastest tarmac rally of the season. And it all starts in Poland.
If you’re one of the nine people who had Tanak on your roster you probably had a good time in Italy. If you’re one of the 16 who didn’t you’re probably glad we drop the worst scores at the end of the season. Italy was kind to the top 5, all of whom scored 68 or more, and harsh to those who finished the week eighth or worse, all scoring 50 or below. The unpredictability of the season, which has now given us our fifth different winner in seven starts is making it harder than ever to be consistent. Despite that, Marric continues to work towards being the first ever repeat Fantasy champion.
Now it’s time to go fast. Actually, it’s time to go stupid fast. Rally Poland is the second fastest event on the calendar, with an average speed last year of 116.6kph (72.5 mph). That may not sound like much to some, but keep in mind that we’re talking average speed on a ten foot wide undulating dirt road in the forest and farm fields. That’s also only 20 mph slower than this year’s Monaco GP. Also, between the improved horsepower and the improved downforce, this year’s car should be even faster, which means this will likely be the fastest Rally Poland ever.
This will also be a difficult event to make picks for. The driver with the best record here is Andreas Mikkelsen, with a win last year and a worst finish of second, but he’s still learning the new Citroen (which seems to be the most challenging car in the field). Ogier has won here twice, but we’ve seen so far that (while still very fast) he’s not quite as potent without his VW, and last year when he had to sweep the road he could only manage a sixth place finish.
Tanak, Neuville, Latvala, and Paddon are all regulars to the top 5 here, with Tanak nearly getting his first ever victory here last year before a puncture on the final day. Last year Tanak was on DMacks (which the company said were engineered specifically for Poland and Finland), this year he’s on Michelins. Will that help or hinder him?
And then there’s the new kid. Esapekka Lappi. He’s never run a WRC car in Poland, but at the last round in Italy he won 6 of the 19 stages, more than any other driver, and finished fourth, all in his second ever event in a WRC car. He’s one to watch, is he also one to roll the dice on?
So yeah, good luck managing to pick just five drivers out of that talent pool. If you haven’t seen them yet, be sure to read the updated rules (in case you haven’t heard, you can now pick up to two drivers per team!). Here’s the official Entry List, and the current fantasy points spreadsheet. And while you’re at it, you can also look at the driver’s data and statistics here.
M-SPORT WORLD RALLY TEAM - FORD FIESTA RS WRC
Sebastien Ogier (FRA) - Avg last 10 rounds: 19.1 - Avg Poland: 19.3
Ott Tanak (EST) - Avg last 10 rounds: 12.9 - Avg Poland: 16.5
Elfyn Evans (GBR) - Avg last 10 rounds: 7.0 - Avg Poland: 0.0
HYUNDAI MOTORSPORT - HYUNDAI i20 COUPE WRC
Hayden Paddon (NZL) - Avg last 10 rounds: 6.8 - Avg Poland: 9.7
Theirry Neuville (BEL) - Avg last 10 rounds: 14.3 - Avg Poland: 11.7
Dani Sordo (ESP) - Avg last 10 rounds: 9.8 - Avg Poland: 0.5
CITROEN TOTAL ABU DHABI WORLD RALLY TEAM - CITROEN C3 WRC
Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR) - Avg last 10 rounds: 10.5 - Avg Poland: 20.3
Craig Breen (IRL) - Avg last 10 rounds: 6.6 - Avg Poland: 6.0
Stephane Lefebvre (FRA) - Avg last 10 rounds: 2.0 - Avg Poland: 2.0
TOYOTA GAZOO RACING WRC - TOYOTA YARIS WRC
Jari Matti Latvala (FIN) - Avg last 10 rounds: 10.1 - Avg Poland: 10.7
Juho Hanninen (FIN) - Avg last 10 rounds: 5.0 - Avg Poland: 8.0
Esapekka Lappi (FIN) - Avg last 2 rounds: 6.5 - Avg Poland: N/A
SINGLE CAR TEAMS AND INDEPENDENTS:
Mads Ostberg (NOR) - FORD - Avg last 10 rounds: 5.2 - Avg Poland: 2.0
Teemu Suninen (SWE) - FORD - Avg last 0 rounds: N/A - Avg Poland: N/A
*Jourdan Serderidis* (GRC) - CITROEN - Avg last 1 rounds: 0.0 - Avg Poland: N/A
*Valeriy Gorban* (UKR) - MINI - Avg last 10 rounds: 0.0 - Avg Poland: 0.0
*Jean-Michel Raoux* (FRA) - CITROEN - Avg last 3 rounds: 0.0 - Avg Poland: N/A