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Protocawl

FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) 2019 season

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Protocawl
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There's been basically no talk about WRC within XDBX, but are there any other rally fans here who follow the action every year or at least this year?

If no, then you probably should (especially if you're following the boring and quite predictable F1 this year :P). Here's why...

 

After many years since the early '00s of not really actively following WRC, I caught up with it again in 2017, just after the over-dominant Volkswagen factory team had pulled out of the competition after absolutely dominating 4 years in a row in the motorsport and each year has been more and more exciting since, with 2019 being regarded as one of the most epic seasons of all time.

Long story short: this year there is a great 3-way battle for the WRC title between Ott Tänak (EST) [Toyota], Sebastien Ogier (FRA) [Citroen] and Thierry Neuville (BEL) [Hyundai], with the Estonian leading the championship having amassed 150 pts, followed very closely by the Frenchman with 146 pts and the Belgian in 3rd with 143 pts. Yup. The 3 title contenders are separated by 7 points after having completed 8 out of the 14 rally events of the season, when in the past seasons the difference between the 1st and the rest has continuously been between a few dozen to 100+ points. Prior to the last event it was 10 points and it has not been greater than about 30-40 pts at any time this season. (Max pts obtainable from a single event is 25+5) The manufacturers championship is also quite an open one, with the difference between 1st and last (4th) just 90 points.

Just to name a few more exciting things about this season:

  • The top 4 drivers of the championship are all from different teams and from different countries.
  • Rally legend and 9-time WRC champion Sebastien Loeb (FRA) is participating in half the events this season after having been away from WRC since 2012.
  • The 15-year reign of the Frenchmen Sebastiens could come to an end with Tänak and Neuville threatening to take the throne.
  • A lot of spectacular crashes have happened already and plenty of drama on EVERY event so far. :D
  • Despite the bad results for many drivers, all of them have shown top quality and fighting spirit over the season.
  • It's almost impossible to say for sure who will win the title at this point!

As I said, the 2019 season is just past the half-way point with 8 out of 14 rally events completed and the teams & drivers have been enjoying their summer break since mid-June. The season itself will continue on the 1st of August with Rally Finland, but there is a big promotional rally event before that in Estonia from July 12-14, which is basically a warm-up for Finland, but also an effort to get Rally Estonia on the actual WRC calendar in the future.

 

Official WRC site with all the news, stats, calendar, footage and other info about WRC: https://www.wrc.com/en/

 

If you're not familiar with the sport, "What is WRC?": https://www.wrc.com/en/wrc/about-wrc/what-is-wrc/page/673---672-.html

Specifically the season calendar and event results: https://www.wrc.com/en/wrc/calendar/calendar/page/671-29772-16--.html

Championship standings: https://www.wrc.com/en/wrc/results/championship-standings/drivers/page/4774----.html

Official WRC YT channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5G6kTnHXDz0WIBC2VGBOqg

 

As far as where you could watch either live action or reviews? Well, either WRC live from the links above, some of your national sports channels maybe or Red Bull TV on either your PS4 or on the web here: https://www.redbull.com/int-en/tv/channel/Rally & the 'live events' tab on that site is where you can follow some stages live (which are normally also on your local TV).

 

A selection of great rally crashes from this season:

Some crashes from this season's Rally Portugal (first 4 mins are rally crashes): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CJxt8QKiWoQ

Rally Argentina 2019 Elfyn Evans (WAL) crash + some small highlights: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mf_SrXTYzME

Some Rally Sweden 2019 highlights: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PJ1Wp1K2eZ8

Rally Chile 2019 Thierry Neuville epic crash:

 

Rally Portugal 2019 Gus Greensmith (ENG) crash:

 

 

Rally Italia Sardegna 2019 crash compilation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R0BNfVDuJUw

 

+ a bonus video from last year of increasingly more brutal crashes from basically all different possible rally classes, including a few WRC & WRC2 crashes, but also many many amateur ones and anything in between:

 

I recommend following this great motorsport this year and for the next few years to come at least. ;)

Edited by Protocawl
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Beez

Ott Tänak is such a badass name. 😉 Great post Proto. I have not followed WRC for many years mostly because I’m lazy. It’s my favorite form of car racing but it’s not served up to me on one of the cable sports channels I get so I never see it. I catch American Rallycross sometimes but it’s not the same. 

Are the rallies on the WRC yt channel after the events?

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Protocawl
1 hour ago, Beez said:

Ott Tänak is such a badass name. 😉 Great post Proto. I have not followed WRC for many years mostly because I’m lazy. It’s my favorite form of car racing but it’s not served up to me on one of the cable sports channels I get so I never see it. I catch American Rallycross sometimes but it’s not the same. 

Are the rallies on the WRC yt channel after the events?

They post some really short recaps of each day of the event there and highlight videos after the rally has finished, but no major coverage on YT unfortunately.

I'm not sure if the Red Bull TV I mentioned is available for the US, but if it is, that's the place where you can watch all of the usual TV-coverage stages of each rally for free. It's available via web browsers and also there's the official app on PS4 that you can download (if it's available outside of UK & EU). The website link: https://www.redbull.com/int-en/tv/channel/Rally

Otherwise the last option that remains is the WRC+ live coverage of the entire events for a monthly or annual fee. That even covers the Rally Estonia (starting tonight/tomorrow) to the same extent as the local TV over here.

Thankfully over here the entire WRC season is covered on local TV channels and the same stages can be watched live on Red Bull TV as well, so I really hope RBTV is available across the pond, too.

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