Are we entering a second decade of WRC domination by a man named Sebastien? Hit the jump to find out.
Rally racing has always had a reputation for being wild and unpredictable. For good or for ill this hasn’t really been the case for the last decade. The complete and utter domination of the sport by CItreon and Sebastien Loeb has made the actual racing in the WRC a bit stale. Don’t get me wrong, what he and the team managed to do over the previous decade is nothing short of amazing.
Winning the driver’s championship 9 times in a row is a feat that will probably remain unequaled in our lifetime. Watching Loeb simply demolish the rest of the field race after race was always impressive. Sadly, such utter domination carries with it a certain amount of boredom. For many, the WRC has become a bit stale and the announcement that Loeb was moving on to seek new challenges gave a lot of fans hope for the future of WRC where a number of drivers challenge for the top position.
In 2013 that hasn’t really happened. The rookie Volkswagen team has fielded a car that is simply the class of the field and Sebastien Ogier has taken a page from Loeb’s book and dominated the field. With superb skill and exceptional reliability from his VW Polo R, Ogier has won four of the first seven races and with the season halfway over it looks like he already has a lock on the championship. Even Loeb has predicted that Ogier wil be the man standing on the top of the podium at season’s end.
Ogier’s performance at the WRC Rally d’Italia Sardegna was predictable as always. Clearing off to an early lead Ogier finished the rally with over a minute in hand to Qatar M-Sport driver Thierry Neuville.
Of course Ogier’s impressive performance so far is not solely due to his exceptional skills. The VW Polo R is really starting to look like it’s the class of the field. Ogier’s teammate, Jari -Matti Latvala, suffered a front puncture early on day one an simply drove himself back up into a podium finish. Such is the pace of the VW.
In other WRC Rally d’Italia Sardegna news, Novikov survived a big crash on day one and Robert Kubica continues to improve in his privateer Citreon. Let’s hope that an F1 team is keeping track of his progress.
For all the official times and results check out the WRC page:
FInally, we’ll leave you with the best of WRC Rally d’Italia Sardegna from the official WRC YouTube channel and as always some amazing images from the 2013 WRC Rally d’Italia Sardegna.