After two rounds of ice and unpredictability we’re finally moving on to gravel. And unpredictability.
I have bad news for all but one of you, and that is that Arch Duke absolutely killed it last round, sweeping the top 5 with his picks and getting maximum points on the Power Stage to score 89 points, just 10 points short of the theoretical maximum of 99. The only possible way to score a higher single round score and possibly take the single round prize away from Dukes is by getting all five drivers to finish in the predicted order, a difficult task but one we did see accomplished a few times last year. Dusty Ventures also scored 89, but as the operator of the series is ineligible for prizes. By which I mean I’ll just buy my own damn models. Frequently.
There are two major elements that will come into play in Mexico: altitude and endurance. Rally Mexico runs high into the mountains, where the thinner air can sap more than 25% of the car’s power. The drivers and cars that can best adapt to these thin air conditions will have the advantage. Rally Mexico also has the longest stages of the season, including a monstrous 80 km (50 mile) stage which will take 45 minutes to an hour to compete. This is a tough endurance challenge for both sides of the car, and some will likely falter, particularly when you also consider that Rally Mexico is one of the hottest rallies of the year.
BY THE WAY: We’ve got a new game category, titled the NOgier cup. A few players have stopped picking ogier out of principle (read: annoyance). Because I respect this (read: I am equally annoyed), I’m officially and retroactively implementing the NOgier cup. Any round where you don’t include Ogier in any of your picks you’ll automatically be added to the cup. Highest single round and highest season scores will each get two “Rally Takeover” stickers.
And with that, let’s get down to business. If you’re new be sure to read the rules. 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.
VOLKSWAGEN MOTORSPORT - VW POLO R WRC
Sebastien Ogier (FRA) - Avg last 10 rounds: 19.3 - Avg Mexico: 18.0
Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN) - Avg last 10 rounds: 12.2 - Avg Mexico: 7.4
M-SPORT WORLD RALLY TEAM - FORD FIESTA RS WRC
Mads Ostberg (NOR) - Avg last 10 rounds: 9.2 - Avg Mexico: 8.4
Eric Camilli (FRA) - Avg last 2 rounds: 0.0 - Avg Mexico: N/A
HYUNDAI MOTORSPORT - HYUNDAI I20 WRC
Thierry Neuville (BEL) - Avg last 10 rounds: 7.0 - Avg Mexico: 8.5
Dani Sordo (ESP) - Avg last 10 rounds: 6.6 - Avg Mexico: 7.7
SINGLE CAR TEAMS AND INDEPENDENTS:
Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR) - VW - Avg last 10 rounds: 13.0 - Avg Mexico: 7.5
Ott Tanak (EST) - FORD - Avg last 10 rounds: 5.4 - Avg Mexico: 5.0
Benito Guerra (MEX) - FORD - Avg last 3 rounds: 4.0 - Avg Mexico: 4.0
Martin Prokop (CZE) - FORD - Avg last 10 rounds: 3.3 - Avg Mexico: 6.7
Lorenzo Bertelli (ITA) - FORD - Avg last 10 rounds: 0.2 - Avg Mexico: 0.0
Hayden Paddon (NZL) - HYUNDAI - Avg last 10 rounds: 8.8 - Avg Mexico: 0.0
Valeriy Gorban (UKR) - MINI - Avg last 1 rounds: 0.0 - Avg Mexico: N/A