Delta Rally Championship Season 3 Overview Dec 10, 2018 19:50:48 GMT
Post by DRC Covert on Dec 10, 2018 19:50:48 GMT
Delta Rally Championship Season 3
Delta's premier rally championship returns on January 20th with the iconic Rallye Monte-Carlo, this famous event sees drivers take on the icy Alpine foothills above the principality of Monaco. Despite being called after the area in Monaco, the rally is often based out of the French town of Gap which is also the birthplace of one Sebastien Ogier, current World Rally Champion. Monaco has a rich history in motorsport, holding the jewel in the crown for both WRC & F1 as well as being home to Daniel Elena (Sebastien Loeb's co-driver) & Formula One driver Charles LeClerc. Delta Rally Championship entries will tackle the icy mountain roads at the same time as the top WRC drivers as the 2019 WRC season starts on January 24th in Monte-Carlo.
Following the "Monte", the DRC will head to inland Europe, more specifically to the automotive capital of the world, Germany. This all tarmac/concrete event will be a must win for any drivers in the VW Polo R WRC as well as the Hyundai who have their many motorsport programs based out of Alzenau in Germany. Rally Deutschland itself has been around since 1988 but only has been a part of the WRC season since 2002 (was not run in 2009). Despite being an event German car manufacturers long for on their resumés, they only have won the event 5 times (VW 3x, Audi 1x & Opel 1x), Citroen is the most successful team in Baumholder with 12 wins, 9 of which were claimed by Sebastien Loeb making him the most successful driver at the event.
Drivers will leave Germany & head south to Greece. Dry, hot, dusty, rough, Greece has always been a tough event for both drivers & machines with the iconic Acropolis Rally being one of rallying's most iconic events alongside Monte-Carlo, Sweden, Finland, Corsica & Wales. The WRC last visited Acropolis in 2013 with Jari-Matti Latvala taking victory in the VW Polo R WRC, the most successful driver in Greece is Colin McRae with 5 victories. 6 Greek drivers have won the event but ironically none were counting rounds of the WRC, 5 were counted rounds of the ERC in the 1950's & the 1995 event being excluded from both series for financial reasons.
After tackling the hot sun & dust of Greece, drivers will experience the polar opposite with polar being the key word as they head to the frozen north to Rally Sweden. One of Original 13 WRC events back in 1973, 7 of which will be on the 2019 WRC calendar (Monte-Carlo, Sweden, Portugal, 1000 Lakes/Rally Finland, RAC Rally/Wales Rally GB & the Tour de Corse). Rally Sweden is the only all snow rally of the calendar & is always held as round 2 to keep this tradition, the 1990 running of the event was cancelled after a mild winter led to "not enough snow" for the event to be run. Rally Sweden was once planned to be run as the last event in the WRC calendar in November in the 1980s to become an all-night rally but this plan was dismissed after the media & car manufacturers involved raised their concerns about running the event in total darkness. Only 3 non-Scandinavian drivers have won the event (Sebastien Loeb in 2004, Sebastien Ogier in 2015+2016 & Thierry Neuville in 2018). The DRC running of the event will share the same week as the WRC running.
Following Sweden, the DRC will head east to the forests of Finland, notorious for its fast sweeping gravel roads & "yumps", Finland is no walk in the park for drivers. The extreme high speeds & resulting air time often make even the smallest mistakes very punishing. The fastest rally on the WRC calendar, Finland has become a fan favourite of the every season attracting huge crowds to witness the iconic stages. Like Sweden, a very small number of non-Scandinavian drivers have won the event (Carlos Sainz, Didier Auriol, Markko Martin, Sebastien Loeb, Sebastien Ogier, Kris Meeke & Ott Tanak). Rally Finland is one of only 2 rallies on the 2019 calendar to have been included in every season of the WRC since its beginning in 1973.
Wales Rally GB is the only other event to have never missed a season since 1973, originally known as the RAC Rally, it started in Scotland on the Friday, heading to England on the Saturday & finishing in Wales on the Sunday before WRC's event cost reduction limited the event to just being held in Wales. Wales Rally GB isn't just famous for stages like Great Orme & Sweet Lamb, it's also famous for the typical British weather making the stages muddy & slippery often making fans standing at hairpins run for cover as they get showered in muddy Welsh gravel. Wales has closed out many WRC seasons but has now has giving that honour to Rally Australia, however Wales will close out Delta Rally Championship's third season. M-Sport are the most successful team, claiming 15 wins for Ford followed by Subaru/Prodrive with 9 (McRae 3x, Burns 3x & Solberg 4x),
Will the DRC's visit to the Delta Online Racing homeland see a Ford v Subaru battle once again?
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