Loeb does it again! Is the competition too weak?

Discussion in 'Motorsport' started by TAFKADY, Oct 26, 2009.

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Was Loeb's competition strong?

  1. Yes, his opponents were about equally strong.

    16 vote(s)
    61.5%
  2. No, it was rather easy for Loeb.

    10 vote(s)
    38.5%
  1. TAFKADY

    TAFKADY

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    First of all: congratulations Super Seb, 6 Titles in a row is legendary!

    Sebastien Loeb always had a competitive car at his disposal, a weaker team mate and weaker competition - or hasn't he? What do you think? Is one opponent at a time (Grönholm, then Hirvonen) too little?
     
  2. Scaff

    Scaff Staff Emeritus

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    Given that this years championship went pretty much upto the last stage, and had it not been for a hard landing and a bonnet/hood loss for Hirvonen, Loeb may well have not one (and he admitted as much in the post race interview).

    This year was certainly his hardest fought championship (winning by a single point is no easy victory) and I for one loved watching every round of it.


    Regards

    Scaff
     
  3. homeforsummer

    homeforsummer Premium

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    Loeb certainly didn't have it easy, but I was watching coverage of the rally yesterday and feeling completely flat about it. Not about Loeb's victory - although I don't like total dominance, I'm very happy to see people like Loeb (and Schumacher, and Rossi) at the top of their games and being that staggeringly good at their craft that they still win year after year... but I just don't find the WRC anywhere near as exciting as it used to be.

    Maybe it's the lack of a top British driver I can really root for (sorry Wilson, you're just not up to that level yet), maybe it's the lack of manufacturers, or maybe it's the feeling that the current TV-friendly rallies just don't have the depth and even the "romance" that the epic rallies I grew up watching had. The Wales Rally GB is a perfect case in point - Wales really do have some of the best stages in the world... yet so did Kielder Forest, so did Yorkshire, so did Scotland, and some of the Sunday spectator stages were iconic too on the old RAC.

    Ultimately, the talent and the competition are still there in rallying, but the spectacle has diminished for me and I'm just not compelled to watch it now :indiff:
     
  4. TAFKADY

    TAFKADY

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    Absolutely agree, after the Schumi years (which I didn't watch) I thought it was an almost forgotten/lost thing that the F1 championship is won or lost by few points in the last race. This was the case in the last few seasons in F1. And Loeb certainly had his hardest WC victory this year.
    I fully understand your point, homeforsummer, don't exactly like dominance either. Didn't like MSC, don't like Rossi, don't like Audi in DTM or sports car racing (their dominance respectively), don't like the MC12 in FIA GT - but I do like Loeb as a Person. I would love to see more manufacturers and drivers in a competitive position. Felt sorry for P. Solberg over the last years.
     
  5. homeforsummer

    homeforsummer Premium

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    I like Schuey, Loeb, Rossi et al and I even like that they're head and shoulders better than their competition, enough to dominate as they have - it's the sport itself I'm no longer keen on. Would I feel any different about rallying if drivers other than Loeb had been winning over the past few years? No, not really. The spectacle and variety has gone for me and that's why I no longer watch.
     
  6. Bram Turismo

    Bram Turismo Premium

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    For me it's the lack of drivers who actually are able to give Loeb a run for his money. It's basically been Loeb vs Hirvonen for a long while now, and some Solberg vs Sordo for the podium. Back in the days when Petter was about to take the title, there were at least 2 drivers from every team battling for the win. Now you can nearly already call who's going to take it. Loeb is just so phenominally good at this sport.
     
  7. Greycap

    Greycap Premium

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    Answering the question in the thread title, hell yes, the competition is far too weak. The only guy who can rival Loeb is Hirvonen and the Ford team manages to screw up at just the wrong moments to effectively hand the trophy to Citroën year after year. The same thing was already in effect when Grönholm was the one fighting Loeb. Another thing, were it not for Citroën team orders in several rallies this year we'd be celebrating Hirvonen as the champion. Which leads to the superiority of the C4... if guys like Sordo and Ogier can quite handily humiliate Hirvonen and even Solberg - nobody wins World Championships with luck after all - at times on gravel the car must be something very special. They can build a nice barricade of cars on the top spots and then let Loeb to the lead, whoops, another overwhelming victory over Ford.

    I'm not saying Loeb isn't an unbelievably good driver. He's one of the best, perhaps the very best, but not as much better than the rest as the statistics show. Given the same car it might well be Grönholm with the six championships and Loeb with zero. He just has been in the right place at the right time to take full advantage of his skills.
     
  8. Ardius

    Ardius

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    I'd say its the lack of manufacturers - IRC, PWRC and JWRC are a lot better to watch :tup:
     
  9. Ian Poole

    Ian Poole

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    i quite agree, bring back Subaru, Mitsbushi, Hydunai, Renault, and all of the other great rally competitors

    And as for Seb Loeb, i have one word and one word only to say to him: :censored:
     
  10. Roo

    Roo Premium

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    There's a lack of drivers and a lack of teams. There's also the fact that Loeb has anyone driving a Citroen, bar Solberg, willing to jump out the way for him - Sordo has 22 podiums and no victories - whereas Hirvonen has to drive for every point (witness Latvala not being asked to move aside for Mikko in Sardinia, which cost Hirvonen the championship). In many ways, Loeb is like Schumacher - he's brilliant, no doubt, but nobody in the same car is allowed to challenge him, and there's no other car close to his.

    I'm interested in the WRC, but haven't bothered to watch any over the last few years because it's so often a foregone conclusion.

    Why? It's not his fault there's noone fast enough to challenge him.
     
  11. sanpanico

    sanpanico

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    You're not the first I've read state as much. Here in the states we've not been privliged with decent really coverage in several years. Keeping up on WRC.com isn't the same. You don't get the in depth coverage. IF we were able to get coverage (blast NASCAR for monopolozing every channel lineup that shows motorsports), I would probably watch, but eh. Not happing here. I'm excited at the prospect of WRc in GT5, but will be sorely disappointed if time penalties are implemented.
     
  12. Speedster502

    Speedster502 Premium

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    I wouldn't say the competition is too weak...it's just a lack of teams with the same outstanding efficiency and lack of mechanical probelms. Let's face it Citreon as a team have had pretty much flawless runs over the past couple of years, this year has had a few slip ups allowing Hirvonen to do relatively well. There is no doubt, Hirvonen is a quick driver and I was rooting for him this year, but Loeb's car never seems to put a foot wrong and only very rarely does he make a mistake.

    I'm hoping that next year should be close again, hopefully Petter will have gained more experience with his C4 and be therefore more competitive than this year and perhaps give Hirvonen and Loeb a good run for their money. I reckon Hirvonen will be stronger next year, Ford have obviously gained experience this year...so who knows what the future holds for next year :)
     
  13. Radracing

    Radracing Premium

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    Slightly off topic. Any comments on why Loeb couldn't qualify for an F1 drive when he won in Lemans which is equally fast and even more gruelling than F1. What are the qualifications required anyway? Is it really that or is it politics as usual?
     
  14. homeforsummer

    homeforsummer Premium

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    I had a real interest in the JWRC for a while but even that's gone a little stale - there aren't nearly as many cars in there as there used to be. Heydey for that for me was the competition between the Renault Clio, Peugeot 206/106, Citroen Saxo, Suzuki Ignis, Ford Puma, Fiat Punto, MG ZR, VW Polo, Opel Corsa... how many manufacturers are in the JWRC now? Two? Three? Virtually every one of those teams above won a JWRC/Super 1600 event at one stage or another.

    With the WRC, I feel like it's hard to explain because it's nearly intangible, but it just doesn't give me the same buzz it used to. I bought a review of the 1995 season on DVD a while back - the season McRae won the title. It was amazing to watch. The cars seemed so much more lively - perhaps all the modern technology has settled them down, even though the speeds have gone up. All the cars had normal manual gearboxes so you got to see some real left-foot braking, heel-and-toe gearchanges and a lovely fluidity to the driving that again the current rallying seems to lack - of course you get some nice, long slides but it all seems more point-and-squirt.

    Of course, you also had the cars themselves - more advanced than the road cars they were based on, but outwardly fairly similar. Modern WRC cars share very little indeed. A good road car used to mean a good rally car, but those days have gone - perhaps instrumental in Subaru and Mitsubishi leaving, as despite producing brilliant road cars as they always have, this no longer translated into results.

    Then, there are the stages and current TV-friendly format, like I mentioned earlier. It's a combination of factors and the series just isn't like it used to be. I dislike nostalgia normally because it's too easy to view the "good old days" through rose-tinted specs, but in this case I really do think rallying used to be better. In contrast, BTCC is just as much fun for me now as it was when I started watching back in 1993. WRC needs to reinvent itself like the BTCC did.

    Why? What's wrong with him?...
     
  15. Roo

    Roo Premium

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    The qualifications for an FIA Super Licence (I posted a simplified version here). Loeb is unable to race in F1 because he doesn't meet the criteria.
     
  16. homeforsummer

    homeforsummer Premium

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    From reading those requirements then, he's presumably been refused on the grounds that he's completed insufficient mileage at racing speeds in an F1 car then. If he was being considered then they'd presumably waived the requirement for him to have been a competitive single-seat driver.
     
  17. MagpieRacer

    MagpieRacer Premium

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    Hirvonen put in a dam good word for himself, he was leading into the final round, got real unlucky on the jump and lost it by a point. As for Loeb team mate, he was much quicker than Loeb in Spain but had to concede the victory for Loebs championship, so even Sordo can beat him. Petter Solberg, really started coming into his top form toward the end of the season in the modern C4 instead of the old Xsara he was using earlier this season.

    I dont think Loeb will be on top next season, and am I right in saying its the S2000 rules next season?
     
  18. ben92

    ben92

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    I WAS THERE!, LOEB IS ONE HELL OF A DRIVER BUT PETTER SOLBERG WILL BE THE WINNER IN 2010:sly:
     
  19. Jay

    Jay Premium

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    The competition is really good, but Loeb is just a ridiculously fast and cool rally driver. One constant in a ever changing WRC.
     
  20. HaoleHatingWRX

    HaoleHatingWRX

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    As much as I hate Loeb, he is the fastest driver the WRC has seen in a long time. He manages to drive quick while not making many mistakes. Granted, his competition has been a little soft recently but he still has to finish every rally. Hopefully Petter Solberg will get back to his winning ways next season!
     
  21. AtD94-[GT]

    AtD94-[GT]

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    It was somehow bored to see the same guy win the same championship. It looks like there's no stronger competitor to challenge Loeb. Eventually, he blows away every driver and win the championship.
    But, he's good coz he's rallying in an WRC era which is don't have many challenges unlike before.
     
  22. Prince.M5

    Prince.M5

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    Congratulations to Loeb for his 6th concecutive title. But guess what, he really is a very cool and very fast rally driver but 6 years straight, this made me bored on watching rally. I did watch rally starting from 2005 until 2008 but this year, I missed some because I know it's going to be Loeb's again. I admire his capabilities and talent. It's like watching Schumacher winning all the races straight!!

    So my hope next year is to see someone else taking the crown back home. Preferabally Petter Solberg. Been supporting him in 2005 to win a championship also in 2006 but never happen. Mikko Hirvonen is a guy to watch out too ;)