Give me a break. Titles are hard.
When the WRC created the new regulations for 2017 they did it in hopes of creating a better show and better competition. After the first four rounds, which provided us with four different winners from the four different manufacturers, it has to be said that the WRC succeeded (with a little help from VW). This is the season we fans have been dreaming of for over a decade.
In Fantasy WRC we surpassed the WRC by having our fifth different winner in four events, with Fantasy newcomer jebidia24 scoring not only his first win, but his first top 10, which he did in dominant fashion by correctly guessing the top 5. This strong performance rocketed him from 21st to 10th in the season. It also puts him tied with TurboThomi for the highest single round score of the season. Meanwhile last year’s champ Marric has returned to the top of the championship, unseating Squirrel Boy, who dropped five places after a rough weekend.
Rally Argentina is our second gravel event of the season, and also our second visit to the western hemisphere, which is good news for us ‘Muricans who don’t want to have to get up at 4 AM to follow all the action live. From a fantasy perspective Argentina is a very hard rally to predict. Argentina used to be the playground of Sebastien Loeb, who won eight straight, including his final career WRC victory. That success has not been matched by Seb the Younger, despite having four podiums in his last five starts here Argentina is the one place on the calendar Ogier has never won. Since Loeb left three different drivers have scored victory, with Latvala taking it in 2014, then Meeke and Paddon each earning the career first victories in 2015 and 2016 respectively. Now, with new cars, new teams, and a season that has so far largely bucked the trend of the stats, who do you go with? Evans, Tanak, Breen, and Hanninen are all itching to get that elusive first win, while Ogier is desperate to get the Argentine monkey off his back. Meeke has had monstrous pace lately, but still his traditional luck, as demonstrated in Corsica. Paddon’s been frustrated with the start of his season, and will be desperate to get it back on track at the site of his first and (so far) only win. Then there’s Ostberg, who’s finally back for his second event of the year. He has a pair of podiums here as well, including a decently close second to Meeke in 2015. Good luck, folks!
And with that, let’s get this party started 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: 19.4 - Avg Argentina: 12.5
Ott Tanak (EST) - Avg last 10 rounds: 7.8 - Avg Argentina: 0.3
Elfyn Evans (GBR) - Avg last 10 rounds: 5.4 - Avg Argentina: 10.5
HYUNDAI MOTORSPORT - HYUNDAI i20 COUPE WRC
Hayden Paddon (NZL) - Avg last 10 rounds: 8.8 - Avg Argentina: 12.5
Theirry Neuville (BEL) - Avg last 10 rounds: 13.0 - Avg Argentina: 7.6
Dani Sordo (ESP) - Avg last 10 rounds: 10.3 - Avg Argentina: 8.1
CITROEN TOTAL ABU DHABI WORLD RALLY TEAM - CITROEN C3 WRC
Kris Meeke (GBR) - Avg last 10 rounds: 8.5 - Avg Argentina: 20.0
Craig Breen (IRL) - Avg last 10 rounds: 6.6 - Avg Argentina: N/A
TOYOTA GAZOO RACING WRC - TOYOTA YARIS WRC
Jari Matti Latvala (FIN) - Avg last 10 rounds: 10.1 - Avg Argentina: 8.3
Juho Hanninen (FIN) - Avg last 10 rounds: 3.4 - Avg Argentina: N/A
SINGLE CAR TEAMS AND INDEPENDENTS:
Mads Ostberg (NOR) - FORD - Avg last 10 rounds: 5.0 - Avg Argentina: 9.8
Lorenzo Bertelli (ITA) - FORD - Avg last 10 rounds: 0.1 - Avg Argentina: 0.0
*Valeriy Gorban* (UKR) - MINI - Avg last 10 rounds: 0.1 - Avg Argentina: 0.0