It’s the end of July, which means that we have one of the most iconic events on the calendar coming up. The drivers of the World Rally Championship will have to tackle high speeds on flowing forest roads, where they are flying about as much as driving due to all the jumps. This be good.
Dusty asked me to do this preview, as he is probably on the road somewhere with other rally stuff to do.
Rally Sardegna ended up with being a straight fight between the two most likely title candidates this year: Thierry Neuville and Sebastien Ogier. Due to rain they didn’t suffer that much because of their road position, and ended up fighting each other all the way to the end. Thierry Neuville ended up only 0.7 seconds ahead of Ogier, proving just how tight it is between the two this year. Esapekka Lappi was the best of the rest in third, while Hayden Paddon got fourth ahead of Mads Østberg who had to think of his future in the Citroën Team rather than push for fourth. Several of our fantasy game entrants had a good round, with b dash rian winning with a huge 81 points. James Beckett still leads ahead of Shane Hutton and Marzobomber.
In contrast to Sardegna, Finland is quick, smooth and flowing. The amount of speed here have led to the nickname “Gravel Grand Prix”, which in some ways are fitting. In addition you have the never ending jumps, which makes the rally even more spectacular. As with Rally Sweden, this rally is usually dominated by Scandinavian drivers, with only a few exceptions. Last year Esapekka Lappi won his first WRC round here, with the other Finns also doing well. Jari-Matti Latvala is with 3 wins and 7 podiums the most successful of our current drivers here, sort of expected since he starts here for the 16th time. Sebastien Ogier has one win, but that was way back in 2013. Thierry Neuville, Ott Tänak and Mads Østberg has also led this rally at some point in their career, and add to the potential top runners for this event.
Want to see how you did last year and refresh yourself on the rules? Check this out right here. 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 FORD WRT - FORD FIESTA RS WRC
Sébastien Ogier (FRA) - Avg last 10 rounds: 15.1 - Avg FIN: 12.8
Elfyn Evans (GBR) - Avg last 10 rounds: 8.5 - Avg FIN: 8.0
Teemu Suninen (FIN) - Avg last 7 rounds: 6.0 - Avg FIN: 12.0
HYUNDAI SHELL MOBIS WRT - HYUNDAI I20 COUPE WRC
Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR) - Avg last 10 rounds: 5.5 - Avg FIN: 3.8
Thierry Neuville (BEL) - Avg last 10 rounds: 16.9 - Avg FIN: 7.0
Hayden Paddon (NZL) - Avg last 10 rounds: 6.3 - Avg FIN: 3.5
TOYOTA GAZOO RACING WRT - TOYOTA YARIS WRC
Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN) - Avg last 10 rounds: 4.1 - Avg FIN: 14.1
Ott Tänak (EST) - Avg last 10 rounds: 10.6 - Avg FIN: 4.8
Esapekka Lappi (FIN) - Avg last 10 rounds: 6.5 - Avg FIN: 25.0
CITROËN TOTAL ABU DHABI WRT - CITROËN C3 WRC
Mads Østberg (NOR) - Avg last 10 rounds: 5.5 - Avg FIN: 6.3
Craig Breen (IRL) - Avg last 10 rounds: 5.4 - Avg FIN: 8.3
Khalid Al-Quassimi (UAE) - Avg last 10 rounds: 0.0 - Avg FIN: 0.3
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