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Old 22 Nov 2023, 12:04 (Ref:4186868)   #1
BertMk2
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2024 Rallying

So with the 2023 WRC season over it's time for the 2024 thread to fire up!

Toyota:

Rovanpera has signed a new multi year contract but 2024 will not be a full time drive for him. Ogier continues with a part time programme.

Evans and Katstuta will compete in all rounds in 2024.

The new Yaris Rally 2 car looks set to make its debut on the Monte Carlo.

Hyundai:

Neuville continues with the team and is joined by the returning Tanak for a full season.

Lappi has a part time drive confirmed.

The other 'half' of the Lappi deal could see Sordo retained, Suninen or Linholm promoted. Other names mentioned are Formeaux and Solberg.

M-Sport:

I've not seen anything from M-Sport regarding driver lineup but obviously the loss of Tanak is a huge blow.

Possible drivers - Formeaux, Loubet, Greensmith?


General observations:

The addition of the Yaris Rally 2 car adds some more variety to the class - it has to be said that the Rally2 regs seem to be working well. A lot better than Rally 1 - the number of Rally1 cars for next year looks very poor. Assuming 2 Pumas, 3 Yaris and 3 i20 - that's only 8 starters in the top category. Not sure what can be done about that?
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Old 22 Nov 2023, 16:06 (Ref:4186895)   #2
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Said it in the 2023 thread, but probably more relevant posting here! I think next year could be an interesting one. Hyundai look to have the stronger full time driver line up, but Evans definitely seems to have the speed to at least hold Neuville off.

Hoping that M-Sport can bring the drivers (and cars) to get themselves in the mix. If they can find a work around for potential sponsor conflict, is there a possibility of Oliver Solberg appearing in a Puma?

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The new Yaris Rally 2 car looks set to make its debut on the Monte Carlo.
The article on the WRC site reckoned there will be five at Monte Carlo and I think Latvala is quoted saying they are expecting to churn out 40-50 Rally 2 Yaris this year. Guess they are expecting a serious demand if they are building that many cars?
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Old 22 Nov 2023, 20:57 (Ref:4186935)   #3
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Said it in the 2023 thread, but probably more relevant posting here! I think next year could be an interesting one. Hyundai look to have the stronger full time driver line up, but Evans definitely seems to have the speed to at least hold Neuville off.
It has to be Evans' best shot doesn't it? Potentially Neuville and Tanak will take points off each other if Hyundai doesn't have a clear no1 driver.

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Hoping that M-Sport can bring the drivers (and cars) to get themselves in the mix. If they can find a work around for potential sponsor conflict, is there a possibility of Oliver Solberg appearing in a Puma?
I think the problem for M-Sport again will be they'll only be running inexperienced drivers (unless they can grab Loeb for the Monte again?). Add in the unreliability of the Puma and it doesn't look good. I haven't seen much about Solberg's plans (other than for the RAC) - is he still linked to Hyundai at all? Possibly more likely for a Rally2 campaign?


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The article on the WRC site reckoned there will be five at Monte Carlo and I think Latvala is quoted saying they are expecting to churn out 40-50 Rally 2 Yaris this year. Guess they are expecting a serious demand if they are building that many cars?
You'd have to think they've got orders in the book if they're building that many - you can't really afford to have them sitting around waiting to sell. The question is who is buying them? Interesting to see which current crews replace existing cars with the Yaris.
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Old 28 Nov 2023, 13:42 (Ref:4187657)   #4
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Yeah, from the outside it looks like M-Sport have lost their way entirely. Unless I am entirely wrong, that leaves a 4 car world championship unless one of the part timers wins enough races to embarrass the full timers.
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Old 28 Nov 2023, 14:46 (Ref:4187670)   #5
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Tänak is the Fernando Alonso of the WRC. He has terrible timing to switch teams.
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Old 28 Nov 2023, 14:58 (Ref:4187677)   #6
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M-Sport is just bad signing drivers. Can't they get Yohan Rossel?
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Old 4 Dec 2023, 17:54 (Ref:4188280)   #7
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Derwent is heading for a stewards' enquiry!
Don't knock M Sport please. Remember that they have very limited funding and no manufacturers' money like the other two.
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Old 5 Dec 2023, 11:25 (Ref:4188331)   #8
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Don't knock M Sport please. Remember that they have very limited funding and no manufacturers' money like the other two.
Yeah, I think it is unfair to directly compare them with Hyundai and Toyota given the difference in funding. I really want to see them succeed, but they are in a very difficult position.

I wonder if the introduction of the Rally2 Yaris will hit their Rally2 sales/customer base as well?
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Old 5 Dec 2023, 14:37 (Ref:4188345)   #9
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Don't knock M Sport please. Remember that they have very limited funding and no manufacturers' money like the other two.
I think M-Sport deserve credit for still competing at the top level and have done very well considering their budget compared with the works teams. Let's face it - without M-Sport rally1 would be dead. However, they have suffered with reliability issues all year that they've seemingly been unable to get on top of and arguably that's lead to them losing their best driver for next season.

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I wonder if the introduction of the Rally2 Yaris will hit their Rally2 sales/customer base as well?
You've got to think it'll dilute the sales somewhat but M-Sport do seem to have a good customer base of models below the Rally2 car as well so that might protect them somewhat. Also the R5 cars are cropping up on more clubman events now as well so with support for those still coming from M-Sport there's still a good sized revenue stream I'd think.
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Old 12 Dec 2023, 10:27 (Ref:4188879)   #10
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Toyota have revealed their colour scheme:

https://www.wrc.com/a/news/w27089_Al...;s-2024-livery

The black scheme will also be applied to their WEC cars as well. I think it looks ok - an improvement on the white/red/black from the last few years.
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Old 12 Dec 2023, 13:51 (Ref:4188894)   #11
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I think that all black cars look the same. I like colors.

Toyota should have returned to white, red, orange and yellow.
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Old 15 Dec 2023, 20:10 (Ref:4189172)   #12
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flatlandsman should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
They are not skint for goodness sake, they still get money from Ford just not as much as a full manufacturer, they still make enough to massively expand the factory, build a test track and run several other programs.

They are though the poorest choice for any decent driver hence they never really keep anyone long enough. Ogier was superb when he was there because he and he alone made the difference, the car as good, but Ogier was the reason they won, not the car.
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Old 16 Dec 2023, 14:23 (Ref:4189236)   #13
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ArnageWRC should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
Interstingly, Ford have just announced their GT3 Mustang drivers.....and all are good choices - and no 'pay drivers'.

I think we can assume that is more of a priority than the WRC........Where M-Sport will need pay drivers for the 2024 season.
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Old 17 Dec 2023, 15:46 (Ref:4189326)   #14
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They are not skint for goodness sake, they still get money from Ford just not as much as a full manufacturer, they still make enough to massively expand the factory, build a test track and run several other programs.

They are though the poorest choice for any decent driver hence they never really keep anyone long enough. Ogier was superb when he was there because he and he alone made the difference, the car as good, but Ogier was the reason they won, not the car.
As someone wo lives 5 miles from Dovenby Hall, I think you are rather mistaken. Malcolm Wilson is an astute businessman. He has invested in property, land and other areas not just rallying. Diversification has kept M Sport's head above water. Each area of M Sport has to pay for itself. Selling rally cars pays for the WRC team. I am sure Malcolm will not continue in the WRC if it is costing him money.
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Old 20 Dec 2023, 19:40 (Ref:4189526)   #15
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I am sure he has spent a fair bit over the years and is about breaking even, he has spent a huge amount expanding, land is cheap there and that is why he can do this, he would likely not be able to do this further south. AS an aside it also means he can pay people far less than they would get elsewhere, I can tell you this from real experience!

he has also forsake good drivers in favour of pay drivers like greensmith, he is tight, it is that simple, and that is a way to be a businessman sure, but not the best way to win sadly.

I too have been there and he runs a tight ship, he also has that usual trait people like him have of being very odd about people going on his grass! Which I found rather odd for a man who has spent his entiore life getting dirty rallying!
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Old 20 Dec 2023, 19:53 (Ref:4189530)   #16
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Interstingly, Ford have just announced their GT3 Mustang drivers.....and all are good choices - and no 'pay drivers'.

I think we can assume that is more of a priority than the WRC........Where M-Sport will need pay drivers for the 2024 season.
With the income from the Mustang engine deal he can fund their WRC effort.
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Old 22 Dec 2023, 09:47 (Ref:4189638)   #17
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M-Sport confirm Fourmaux and Munster for 2024:

WRC - M-Sport confirm 2024 line up

Nice to see M-Sport hanging in there but, as much I like Fourmaux, I can't see the car making much progress under those two.

Fingers crossed M-Sport can secure some decent results with the car in 2024.
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Old 22 Dec 2023, 10:23 (Ref:4189641)   #18
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It's a bit underwhelming isn't it?

No mention of a 3rd car in that announcement either - I thought they might have a 3rd car with possible outings for Loeb and/or another more well known driver at some point in the year.

The other bit of news was Oliver Solberg committing to WRC2 for 2024 in a Skoda:

https://www.wrc.com/a/news/w27126_So...-glory-in-2024
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Old 24 Dec 2023, 11:50 (Ref:4189768)   #19
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ArnageWRC should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
The most underwhelming M-Sport line up since 2005; Gardemeister & Kresta - and there were reasons for that. Developing the new Focus, and preparing for a full effort with a top driver in 2006....
Which is what happened, they signed Gronholm. There is no such plan this time.....
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Old 28 Dec 2023, 20:21 (Ref:4190102)   #20
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Tom908V12 should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
Bigger effort for Citroën Racing in WRC2 next year with a three cars for Yohan Rossel, Nikolay Gryazin and Marco Bulacia
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Old 29 Dec 2023, 21:40 (Ref:4190197)   #21
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Firehawk505 should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
What do people think about the incoming points system? I think I see what they are trying to do, but the fan should be able to understand it a bit more readily.

https://us.motorsport.com/wrc/news/f...stem/10558452/

Quote:
Under the new system, the sliding scale of 18-15-13-10-8-6-4-3-2-1 points will be awarded at the end of Saturday's final classification, but only if a crew reaches the final classification of the rally at the end of Sunday.

If a crew fails to finish on Sunday, the Saturday points will be awarded to the next best-placed pairing.

The biggest change sees championship points now awarded specifically on Sunday's performance. The prime reason for the introduction of this points system is to prevent drivers from cruising through Sunday's stages preserving tyres for the end-of-rally Power Stage.

Competitors will do battle for a maximum of seven points on Sunday. Points will be awarded as follows to the top seven competitors via the following sliding scale; 7-6-5-4-3-2-1.

The Power Stage will remain unchanged with the top five fastest drivers receiving bonus points, five points being the maximum.

If a driver completes a perfect rally they will continue to score a total of 30 points as per the previous regulations.
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Old 30 Dec 2023, 18:38 (Ref:4190277)   #22
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I understand the idea of awarding points on Sunday, but this format doesn't make sense to me.

A driver that leads on Friday and Saturday, then cruises on Sunday to finish 6th would score 20 points. And a driver that finishes 3rd on Sunday but wins the overall race would also score 20 points.

A better solution would be to give 15-12-10... points for each leg classification (Fri-Sat-Sun), and then again the same points scale for the overall result.

With that score system, those two drivers would earn 37 and 50 points respectively.
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Old 31 Dec 2023, 11:01 (Ref:4190332)   #23
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Better to leave it as it is.....they've got the priorities all wrong. The current points system is not the issue in the WRC.

Rallying is meant to be an Endurance sport, cruising to the finish is what sometimes happens - if fans can't accept that, then maybe rallying isn't the sport for them....Maybe watch Rallycross.

It's like handing out points at 60 mins in a football match, and then some more at 90; or giving points out at 4 hours in a WEC race, and some more at the 6 hour end of race......
More dumbing down of a sport that seems to want to become irrelevant.....
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Old 31 Dec 2023, 11:48 (Ref:4190339)   #24
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Better to leave it as it is.....they've got the priorities all wrong. The current points system is not the issue in the WRC.

Rallying is meant to be an Endurance sport, cruising to the finish is what sometimes happens - if fans can't accept that, then maybe rallying isn't the sport for them....Maybe watch Rallycross.

It's like handing out points at 60 mins in a football match, and then some more at 90; or giving points out at 4 hours in a WEC race, and some more at the 6 hour end of race......
More dumbing down of a sport that seems to want to become irrelevant.....
I think part of this is caused by the lack of cars in the top class - with fewer cars you need to make sure that as many as possible are a) still running on Sunday and b) actually pushing.

As you say the priorties are wrong - working on more entries in the top class (or changing the top class so there are more entries) would seem to be the better long term solution. This tinkering with points doesn't solve the underlying issues.
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Old 31 Dec 2023, 12:24 (Ref:4190345)   #25
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It is what is perhaps most obvious when you look at the Roger Albert, a 5 day rally where numerous people led, numerous people were quick, but the same guy won, as he knows full well that is a long event, and you have to be there at the end. Everyone loved it, kids, old farts like me, it was simply majestic, why because it was proper rallying, parking in roads off the grid, wandering in, watching a few duds then seeing Oli or Marty on it!

That is what rallying should and ought to be about, and further to this point you could easily do events like this in an R5 type car, they have enough development to allow it and it just needs careful driving and servicing arrangements to do it. I think you could still have 4 or 5 day events with the right planing and have maybe 1 or 2 central service areas.

Can you imagine an old style Portugal or Sanremo, 2 days on tar then three on gravel and the one stage thrown in on both.

they were real tests, and you can see now with some reverence how rallies were won and why there is so much emphasis on winning say an RAC, SanRemo, Acropolis or especially Safari back in the day.

Drievrs want it, fans want it, teams I dont know.

The issue is money, the owners want more rallies, that means more hosting fees, more tv coverage, easier to sell. The teams want less, less expense, less testing less cars to build.
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