October 15th, 2007
It’s ironic that the first post in our shiny new Transport 2 blog is not about the future of transport, but about ICE (Internal Combustion Engine-) - powered WRC rocketships, or more specifically, the quest for the 2007 WRC title. Citroën’s Sébastien Loeb closed the points gap on FIA World Rally Championship leader Marcus Gronholm in the 51st Rallye de France – Tour de Corse on the weekend. The bookies are normally the best guide as to the probability of varying outcomes, and although Ford’s Gronholm holds a four point lead with just three rounds remaining (10 points for a win, 8 points for second), you can’t get better than 8/15 in the betting for Loeb. WRC is clearly the most progressive form of motorsport in providing spectators with virtual tools to understand the capabilities of cars and drivers and the season-long battle between Loeb (and co-driver Daniel Elena) and Gronholm (and his co-driver Rautianen) has been a highlight of the 2007 motorsport season. Loeb and Gronholm resume combat in Japan, on October 26-28 but although the smart money is on Loeb, it must be remembered that Gronholm won his first world title in 2000 in his first season in a nailbiter - he is very good when the pressure is at its most intense.
Finally, WRC is already the most relevant of all four-wheeled motorsport in relationship to roadgoing vehicles - wouldn’t it be wonderful if they framed the regs so that the main contenders, all of whom are already showing electric hybrid roadcars at various shows, could prepare for a hybrid WRC in say 2011 or 2012. All that brainpower focussed on getting the most potent mixture of ICE and electric horsepower on the ground would surely advance hybrid development considerably.
Final Leaderboard for Rallye de France – Tour de Corse
|1||S. Loeb/D. Elena (Citroën C4)||3h 28min 31.5s|
|2||M. Gronholm/ T.Rautianen (Ford Focus)||+ 23.7s|
|3||D. Sordo/ M. Marti (Citroën C4)||+ 44.3s|
|4||JM. Latvala/ M. Anttila (Ford Focus)||+ 2min 30.5s|
|5||P. Solberg/ P. Mills (Subaru Impreza)||+ 2 min 42.1s|
|6||C. Atkinson/ S. Prevot (Subaru Impreza)||+ 3 min 53.8s|
FIA World Rally Championship standings after round 13 – Manufacturers
1st. Ford - 179 pts; 2nd. Citroën Total - 147 pts; 3rd. Subaru - 71 pts; 4th. Stobart - 64 pts; 5th. OMV Kronos Citroën - 39 pts; 6th. Munchis – 6 pts
FIA World Rally Championship standings after round 13 – Drivers
1st. M. Gronholm, 104 pts; 2nd. S. Loeb, 100 pts; 3rd. M. Hirvonen, 74 pts; 4th. D. Sordo, 45 pts; 5th. P. Solberg, 38 pts; 6th. C. Atkinson, 29 pts.