Round 2 of the 2019 WRC season is upon us and boy do we have a special treat for this one!
Forgive me for not including an image of the current Fantasy WRC scores here like I usually do, I’m currently nursing a dying computer and until I can get a replacement next month my speed and functionality is kinda limited.
Monte Carlo was a battle for the ages between last year’s top two drivers, Thierry Neuville and Sebastien Ogier. Only once in fifteen completed stages was the gap between first and second more than ten seconds, and with less than half a second between the pair going into the final stage the pair were forced to give it their all right down to the final corner (literally, both drivers blew through the braking zone for the corner just after the finish in order to pick up extra tenths, relying on emergency handbrake pulls at the last moment to keep from crashing). Like it was with last year’s championship, Ogier managed to fend off Neuville for the win, taking the rally by 2.2 seconds.
Behind the lead pair it was a mixed bag, with most competitors having some kind of trouble. Punctures plagued a number of drivers, while Evans and Mikkelsen, two drivers who most agree need to perform this year to keep their seats, both had rather spectacular retirements, Evans going off the side of a steep embankment and Mikkelsen attempting to take a dirty corner flat and crashing across the finish line of the stage.
Despite all the mishaps and despite only six WRC drivers finishing in the scoring positions of the rally it was a strong points week in fantasy WRC with the lowest score of the week being 63 and nearly 80% of players scoring over 70, enough to podium at most events. The biggest winner though was Lumpy44, who was a power stage pick away from perfection, correctly guessing the top 5 in order to end with a score of 97. Damned impressive.
A high score will be a much harder feat to achieve this week, as we head into the incredibly unpredictable Rally Sweden. Road sweeping is a major factor with the Swedish snow, and with the top finishers from Monte opening the road here they’ll struggle to do well, as demonstrated last year with Monte’s top 4 all unable to break into the top 6 in Sweden. With this year’s top 3 from Monte all being the three title favorites you might have to get creative with your fantasy picks if you want to nail that Sweden podium.
Oh, one more little note here. There’s some guy named Marcus Gronholm on the entry list for Toyota. Looks like he hasn’t been in a car for a while, but apparently he was kind of a big deal. Says here he actually won Rally Sweden in 2007. And 2006. And 2003. And 2002. And 2000. That’s probably just a typo though or something.
M-SPORT FORD WRT - FORD FIESTA RS WRC
Elfyn Evans (GBR) - Avg last 10 rounds: 5.5 - Avg Sweden: 4.0
Teemu Suninen (FIN) - Avg last 10 rounds: 4.8 - Avg Sweden: 4.0
Pontus Tidemand (SWE) Avg last 3 rounds: 1.3 - Avg Sweden: 2.0
HYUNDAI SHELL MOBIS WRT - HYUNDAI I20 COUPE WRC
Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR) - Avg last 10 rounds: 3.8- Avg Sweden: 14.0
Thierry Neuville (BEL) - Avg last 10 rounds: 12.8 - Avg Sweden: 7.6
Sebastien Loeb (FRA) - Avg last 10 rounds: 14.4 - Avg Sweden: 10.4
TOYOTA GAZOO RACING WRT - TOYOTA YARIS WRC
Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN) - Avg last 10 rounds: 9.6 - Avg Sweden: 14.8
Ott Tänak (EST) - Avg last 10 rounds: 12.5 - Avg Sweden: 8.7
Kris Meeke (GBR) - Avg last 10 rounds: 8.0 - Avg Sweden: 1.4
CITROËN TOTAL ABU DHABI WRT - CITROËN C3 WRC
Sebastien Ogier (FRA) - Avg last 10 rounds: 13.1 - Avg Sweden: 15.1
Esapekka Lappi (FIN) - Avg last 10 rounds: 7.7 - Avg Sweden: 12.0
SINGLE CAR TEAMS AND INDEPENDENTS:
Marcus Gronholm - TOYOTA - Avg last 2 rounds: 0.0 - Avg Sweden: 0.0
Lorenzo Bertelli - FORD - Avg last 10 rounds: 0.1 - Avg Sweden: 0.0
Janne Tuohino - FORD - Avg last 0 rounds: N/A - Avg Sweden: N/A