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eating dust taking photos
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So Citroen has Duval and Seb now instead of El Matador and Seb....

Pug has the Big Finn and Markko, with promises of Marcus and Marko getting along unlike the Finn/Burns relationship, maybe they'll find common ground on have M as a first initial.....

Mitsubishi is continuing the love fest so to speak with crazy Giles still on board with Rovapnara coming onboard for the full season and Gali getting some rides still.

Ford gets to deliver on the corporate committment and investment with Kresta nad Gardmeister, yeah, this is going to work....

Skoda has Schwarz, old and seasoned like El Matador but slower and not a podium threat, with the road racer Mattais Eckstrom getting a ride, the love fest continues with Janne Tuohino, Jani Paasonen and Alex Bengue all getting a ride at somepoint and Kris Meeke still in the picture, yeah thats going to work real well.

Subaru has Sohlberg pissed and wanting records, 10 overall victories, 12 gravel rallies, if they can give him a car that can get wet who knows, the french openwheeler Sarazain gets some rides, but he only has tarmac experience, but he spanked the factory drivers on tarmac but with michellins, Mikko is probably still going to be around, they might even let him crash out at the Finnish superspecial again.


That leaves McRae sitting at home riding Meeks backside when he isn't trying to drive the ferrari or trying desperately to not get beat by a montero in the desert.



Oh yeah, Pirrelli's coupe of Pugeot and Mitsubishi is going to be a factor too. Hope those italians can figure out how to make a tire worth using on tarmac, or the tarmac rallies are going to be laughable, can you say as many privateers in the top ten as factory rides.

Almost forgot, Hyundai keeps talking big about 2006, but only rallytaff or maybe Morten would believe that, I mean its written on the internet....

So give your picks, predictions, general comments...

I think Duval will win 2 rallies outright.
Sohlberg will continnue to dominate on gravel, winning 7 events, maybe as many as 9.
The big Finn will get along with Markko for a while, then Markko will be faster and the relationship go south, it will take 3-4 rallies for Markko to find the pace in the 307.
Skoda will podium 4 times, never higher than second.
Mitsubishi will continue to struggle but will finish as unseccessful podium threats atleast 5 times, Gilles and Herve will continue to entertain though.
The Ford crew will be stuck in mediocrity but will podium 6 times..



Sebastian will win 4 rallies and will challenge sohlberg as champion for 2005, but if the Subaru can not short out in the water its Peter's to lose....
 

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"Skoda will podium four times although never higher than 2nd"

One can only hope that Skoda - the perennial underdog will find a driver with the skills to win - I will be watching this year's season with my Skoda Motorsport hat on and my fingers crossed!
 

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Thanks for the mention, but did I hear a while back that you were in journalism? If so, why do you still have a job? If the above is an example of your spelling and grammar, I suggest you return to school to learn the basics.



Can't see me in your mirrors?
I must be in front of you!
 

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eating dust taking photos
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
> Thanks for the mention, but did I hear a while back that
>you were in journalism? If so, why do you still have a job?
>If the above is an example of your spelling and grammar, I
>suggest you return to school to learn the basics.
>
>
>
>Can't see me in your mirrors?
> I must be in front of you!


It's all about effort.
When I feel the need, or am in the position that warrants being formal, I am more then capable of rising to the occasion. However, when posting for purely recreational purposes I see no need to be formal. Welcome to the internet, where, when recreation is the purpose all you need to do is clearly convey your message, or attempt to do so to the best of your abilities.
I do so appreciate the effort for a witty retort. Were you able to find that one on some website about how George Bush will deliver us from the evils of the world?

Edit to add:
Pete, I have no desire to have a battle with you, I was merely attempting a light hearted jab given some of your recent exchanges, and some of the recent postings from our friend to the North. This does not change my position that I will continue to post in a more stream of conciousness format when I feel its due. I will probably never spell check a casual post to a public internet forum either.
 

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eating dust taking photos
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
>"Skoda will podium four times although never higher than
>2nd"
>
>One can only hope that Skoda - the perennial underdog will
>find a driver with the skills to win - I will be watching
>this year's season with my Skoda Motorsport hat on and my
>fingers crossed!



Its not so ambitious if you think about it. Eckstrom won the PWRC event at Sweden last year, he is a threat to do very well this year. Passonen and Touhino are fast enough that given a high attrition event or Finland they have a shot at slipping in there, and its not like there won't be some high attrition events, there always are. I think Eckstrom could podium at sweden, and given passonens performance at finland he is a threat there, and maybe NZ, that leaves one lucky event left. Of course this is assuming that Peugeot is as far away from top notch at they appear to be and not as close as they try to make us think they are.....
 

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>Sebastian will win 4 rallies and will challenge sohlberg as
>champion for 2005, but if the Subaru can not short out in
>the water its Peter's to lose....


I respectfully disagree; it's Seb's to lose.

No doubt Petter is quicker on the loose surfaces, but if you think all of his offroad excursions are attributable to "water crossing" shorts, think again.

Loeb is simply unbelievable for consistenceny, pace and smarts.

The only fly in the ointnment is whether that new "welcome back the next day after crashing " rule will have an impact.
 

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eating dust taking photos
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Super Rally will play a part I am affraid.


I do feel though that Peter would have won had he not had the two water short DNFs early in the season.
I think some more of his off course adventures later in the season came from pushing too hard in an effort to make up lost ground in the points battle. He will DNF once or twice but he had what, 4 or 5 dnfs?

I question if the Xsara will be able to retain its incredible reliability streak in 2005. Give seb a couple DNFs plus Peter with incredible amounts of focus, and I think it could come down to the wire, with whomever finds that last little tenth of speed winning, much like in 03, and in that situation the edge goes to Peter IMO.

Had Martin stayed with Ford he'd have been my pick for champion though.
 

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I'd also agree that Seb is not to be underestimated.
He is the next Carlos Sainz (he definitely learned from the master). Methodical, patient, calculating, consistent, almost surgical. It will be a battle between Loeb and Petter.
Petter has an almost Italian (can you say Markku Alen) passion and focus for the sport. He will be a very hungry dog next year!
Either Loeb or Solberg will be champion - I would put my money on Seb.
If Citroen were in it for more than one more year I would almost wager Loeb to have a Makinen style domination.

If the Peugoet's can keep all their gears in their boxes then Marcus and Markko will be serious threats. I really miss Marcus's off the cuff remarks about not trying too hard - even when he just put in the most incredible stage times!! That was Richard Burns psychological disadvantage. It will be fantastic to have a 4 way battle.

Nick.
 

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- I put my money on Marcus Gronholm! He is the fastest of all...

- I believe it was PSA's plan to get French champion last year by refusing technical help to sister brand after Pug's English built Hewland turned to be junk. It's a scam when nr2 car factory in Europe takes 18 months to build a gearbox that keeps oil and gears inside!

- Ford - what are you smoking?? To let two great drivers to go was an end to you. Ford bean counters know nothing - neither of their new boys can win....

- Skoda has more drivers than I can count. I hope they know who drives where! This mixing and matching has never worked... nobody feels specially motivated without a change for the championship even if the car is 50-60HP down. Get rid of that 5-valve head - it may start to breath!

- I'm looking forward to new rules. It was an hollow rally in Australia after half of the WRC cars went out. For drivers it may not be that fun. Marcus said: "Without being in the fight and driving only 90% it's more dangerous!" And it was, for him at least.
 
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