It’s Rally Finland time, and we’re here again to see who has the best idea who’s the best at predicting the result. It could be you! Or even you back there. Yes, even you! But probably not. It’s usually either between Dusty Ventures and You Can Tell a Finn, who are likely to tell us about the Finns.
Disclaimer: Hermann wrote this preview, but because of Kinja issues I’m posting it for him while listening to the Finnish rock band Peer Günt.
We’re officially over half of the WRC season. And you know what this means? Me neither. I’m just stating a curious fact.
Speaking of curious facts, Rally Poland wasn’t a huge disaster like Rally Italy, where no one scored over 56. Now only 8 out of the 25 players scored under 56 on this last race. But still, no one was over 80. The current leader, Dusty Ventures, scored low allowing Tell A Finn to close the gap from 14 points to only 3. This rally had a really unusual result. Mikkelsen first, Tänak second and Paddon third. None of the usual suspects to be seen. Which is awesome!
So, Finland. Last year, after Ogier set off to a great start, got behind Meethen back in the front. On the third day, Latvala smoked everyone else and had the lead for the next two days and won the Rally, breaking Loeb’s record for average speed in the process.
Sordo, unfortunately, had a back injury and won’t race this week. Latvala has the clear historic and home field advantage. He won the last two years and has stepped on the podium 6 out of the 8 times he raced here, making this race the perfect one for the NOgier Cup contenders. Ogier has never really scored badly here, though, being either first or second in the last three years.
HAVING A BAD SEASON?: We’ve got a new optional 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. Keep in mind that by making NOgier cup picks you’re probably not going to score highly overall in this round.
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: 14.9 - Avg Finland: 25.0
Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN) - Avg last 10 rounds: 10.4 - Avg Finland: 11.0
M-SPORT WORLD RALLY TEAM - FORD FIESTA RS WRC
Mads Østberg (NOR) - Avg last 10 rounds: 8.8 - Avg Finland: 1.0
Eric Camilli (FRA) - Avg last 7 rounds: 3.0 - Avg Finland: N/A
HYUNDAI MOTORSPORT - HYUNDAI I20 WRC
Hayden Paddon (NZL) - Avg last 10 rounds: 9.6 - Avg Finland: 7.0
Thierry Neuville (BEL) - Avg last 10 rounds: 6.4 - Avg Finland 11.5
ABU DHABI TOTAL WRT - CITROËN DS3 WRC
Kris Meeke (GBR) - Avg last 10 rounds: 8.6 - Avg Finland: 3.8
Craig Breen (IRL) - Avg last 4 rounds: 3.6 - Avg Finland: 0.0
SINGLE CAR TEAMS AND INDEPENDENTS:
Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR) - VW - Avg last 10 rounds: 14.3 - Avg Finland: 18.0
Ott Tänak (EST) - FORD - Avg last 10 rounds: 5.3 - Avg Finland: 15.0
Lorenzo Bertelli (ITA) - FORD - Avg last 10 rounds: 0.5 - Avg Finland: 0.0
Kevin Abbring (NLD) - HYUNDAI - Avg last 10 rounds: N/A - Avg Finland: N/A
Henning Solberg (NOR) - FORD - Avg last 10 rounds: 2.7 - Avg Finland: 2.0
Valeriy Gorban (UKR) - MINI - Avg last 6 rounds: 0.2 - Avg Finland: N/A
Yazeed Al-Rajhi (SAU) - FORD - Avg last 4 rounds: 0.0 - Avg Finland: N/A
Khalid Al-Qassimi (UAE) - CITROËN - Avg last 10 rounds: - Avg Finland: 0.3
Marcos Ligato (ARG) - CITROËN - Avg last 1 round: 6.0 - Avg Finland: N/A
Oleksiy Tamrazov (UKR) - FORD - Avg last 0 rounds: N/A - Avg Finland: N/A
Abdullah Al Qassimi (UAE) - FORD - Avg last rounds: N/A - Avg Finland: N/A
José Alberto Nicolas - CITROËN - Avg last 1 round: 0.0 - Avg Finland: N/A
Matti Koskelo (FIN) - FORD - Avg last 0 rounds: 0.0 - Avg Finland: N/A