After a long wait the WRC returns this coming weekend with Rally Argentina, which means it’s time to make some predictions! Held in the motorsport-crazy country Argentina, this rally is the only one on the WRC-calendar to be held in South America, and together with Mexico the only to be in America.
Dusty is still out on the road (can’t find his way home or something?), so he asked me to write this preview as well. That shouldn’t affect you in any way though, commenting on this preview or sending him a message on twitter will get you entered for this fourth round.
Mexico saw another win by the so far dominant Sebastien Ogier, after showing surprising pace while being first on the road. The most memorable moment of the rally was Ott Tänak taking a bath, and the following TiTänak rescue process. His Ford Fiesta has been almost completely rebuilt back in England, and is ready for Argentina. Another driver that should be ready for Argentina is Jari-Matti Latvala, who lost a wheel in Mexico, handing the win to Ogier.
The rest of the podium was all Norwegian, with Citroën driver Mads Østberg taking second and Volkswagen driver Andreas Mikkelsen taking third. That was Mikkelsens third podium this season, and he’s second in the championship coming in to this round.
When it comes to how we did in this rally, it was split between those picking Ogier and those picking Latvala, with the first coming out on top. Marzobomber was on top with 82 points, followed closely by several others that had 81 points. Top 10 list below:
1. Marzobomber, 82
2. Lumpy44, 81
= Marric, 81
= McNewbie, 81
= Nealman, 81
= Timmybings, 81
7. Sliding-sideways, 78
8. BATC42, 77
= Chaozbandit, 77
= G17, 77
= TFritch, 77
That means McNewbie still leads by one point to Timmybings, with Lumpy44 four points behind. Things can quickly turn around though, but some of us has to reconsider our tactics if we want to climb back up the table.
Full results can be found on the regular results spreadsheet.
Rally Argentina is a rally with traditions, and has been held in pretty much the same area since 1980. It is known for ruts, fog and water crossings, and it exhibits some of the worst conditions we see in the WRC. It’s one of the longest rallies on the calendar, with stages up to 56km long. In recent years the rally has been dominated by Sebastien Loeb (of course), and the only of todays drivers to ever win in Argentina was Jari-Matti Latvala last year. And Jari-Matti has a great opportunity here as well, since two of his strongest competitors are first on the road, sweeping gravel. Just to make it clear: Sebastien Ogier has never won here. Depending on how the ruts develop, starting late could also be a disadvantage. On the second pass getting off the racing line can get catastrophic. Both ruts and water crossings are dependent on the weather, and rain can make things very interesting here.
With this being in Argentina, the entry is slightly lower than in the European rounds. There are still 14 WRC-cars to chose from, but if that isn’t enough you’re free to chose any car/crew on the entry list. In case you’re new to this game, check out the rules (AND PRIZES!) here. As usual, there’s a lot of statistics availible as well.
Sebastien Ogier - Avg points last 10 rounds: 19.3 - Avg points Argentina: 14.3
Jari-Matti Latvala - Avg points last 10 rounds: 12.9 - Avg points Argentina: 11.0
CITROËN TOTAL ABU DHABI WRT
Kris Meeke - Avg points last 10 rounds: 5.5 - Avg points Argentina: 15.0
Mads Østberg - Avg points last 10 rounds: 7.5 - Avg points Argentina: 7.8
M-SPORT WORLD RALLY TEAM
Elfyn Evans - Avg points last 10 rounds: 6.6 - Avg points Argentina: 6.0
Ott Tänak - Avg points last 10 rounds: 4.5 - Avg points Argentina: 0.5
Thierry Neuville - Avg points last 10 rounds: 9.0 - Avg points Argentina: 10.0
Dani Sordo - Avg points last 10 rounds: 6.4 - Avg points Argentina: 7.6
SINGLE CAR TEAMS AND INDEPENDENTS
Andreas Mikkelsen (VW) - Avg points last 10 rounds: 14.1 - Avg points Argentina: 8.0
Khalid Al Quassimi (Citroën) - Avg points last 10 rounds: 0.6 - Avg points Argentina: N/A
Hayden Paddon (Hyundai) - Avg points last 10 rounds: 4.0 - Avg points Argentina: N/A
Martin Prokop (Ford) - Avg points last 10 rounds: 3.8 - Avg points Argentina: 5.7
Robert Kubica* (Ford) - Avg points last 10 rounds: 0.6 - Avg points Argentina: 8.0
Lorenzo Bertelli (Ford) - Avg points last 10 rounds: 0.0 - Avg points Argentina: N/A
*Though he is on the entry list, Robert Kubica won’t compete in Argentina.