The most exciting WRC season in over a decade continues, and this weekend we’re back on tarmac. With Neuville and Ogier now tied for the lead in the championship the title race effectively starts fresh now.
In the Fantasy series one word can describe Finland: Garbage. The round-winning score of 42 wouldn’t be enough to finish in the top 10 in any previous round, and for all but six players this was their worst event of the season (excluding events they missed). With long-time championship leader Marric having a particularly dismal event, only scoring 14 points, we have a new leader as Shane Hutton has slipped to the front of the field. Germany marks the point where we start dropping worst scores though, so for many Rally Finland is about to be expunged from the record. There’s also a few players who missed rounds that could suddenly become a threat once those misses are removed. James Beckett, Turbo Squirrel, SatanicSaint, Wheelerguy, and Jonathan Landry could all land somewhere within the top 5 if they don’t miss any more events this season.
I know I say this every round, but Rally Deutschland is a tough one to predict. Of the 15 entries three are previous event winners, with a total of five Deutschland wins between them, while an additional four have finished in the top 5 here. Then, on the flip side, there are six entrants who have never run Deutschland before. Historically drivers tend to be avoided in fantasy play on their first visit to an event, but the danger of this was demonstrated at the last event when Lappi and Suninen finished first and fourth. Lappi is, of course, one of the six first timer drivers on the entry list for Deutschland, as are Breen, Hanninen, and speedy German Armin Kremer.
For those keeping count, this leaves two drivers who have run this event before but haven’t finished in the top 5. Those two are Ott Tanak, who currently sits third in the championship, and Kris Meeke, who led the event in 2014 until... things. Both drivers have the pace and potential to turn it around. But will they?
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: 15.6 - Avg Germany: 15.0
Ott Tanak (EST) - Avg last 10 rounds: 10.9 - Avg Germany: 1.3
Elfyn Evans (GBR) - Avg last 10 rounds: 7.4 - Avg Germany: 10.0
HYUNDAI MOTORSPORT - HYUNDAI i20 COUPE WRC
Hayden Paddon (NZL) - Avg last 10 rounds: 6.2 - Avg Germany: 6.0
Theirry Neuville (BEL) - Avg last 10 rounds: 14.6 - Avg Germany: 13.6
Dani Sordo (ESP) - Avg last 10 rounds: 8.6 - Avg Germany: 14.0
CITROEN TOTAL ABU DHABI WORLD RALLY TEAM - CITROEN C3 WRC
Kris Meeke (GBR) - Avg last 10 rounds: 3.9 - Avg Germany: 0.0
Craig Breen (IRL) - Avg last 10 rounds: 5.1 - Avg Germany: N/A
Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR) - Avg last 10 rounds: 8.9 - Avg Germany: 8.4
TOYOTA GAZOO RACING WRC - TOYOTA YARIS WRC
Jari Matti Latvala (FIN) - Avg last 10 rounds: 9.5 - Avg Germany: 6.7
Juho Hanninen (FIN) - Avg last 10 rounds: 5.0 - Avg Germany: N/A
Esapekka Lappi (FIN) - Avg last 4 rounds: 9.5 - Avg Germany: N/A
SINGLE CAR TEAMS AND INDEPENDENTS:
Armin Kremer (GER) - FORD - Avg last 0 rounds: N/A - Avg Germany: N/A
*Jourdan Serderidis* (ARG) - CITROEN - Avg last 2 rounds: 0.0 - Avg Germany: N/A
*Jean-Michel Raoux* (FRA) - CITROEN - Avg last 4 rounds: 0.0 - Avg Germany: N/A