January 27, 2008

Full Monte

Largely ignored, certainly by US television, the Monte Carlo Rally is taking place this week end.

The race is not going to be on the WRC calendar next year switching instead to the "low cost" IRC (Intercontinental Rally Challenge). IRC promises to bring "innovative coverage" and distribution, we'll see if that means more access or simply a new more expensive subscription service.

Meanwhile the WRC is in a odd moment, the series one good rivalry gone with Marcus Grönholm's retirement leaving Sebastian Loeb to predictably dominate the first event.

They are also using spec Pirelli tires which nobody seems to be especially happy with. And once again, there is not much snow on the mountain roads behind the principality.

The one bit of great news for the WRC is that Dave Richards has come back as Subaru team manager and will run the team first hand this season. That can only be good news, and if he can give Solberg a good car to fight Loeb in, the season could be as good as the last. See a clip of the Scoobie Supremo discussing the upcoming new car below.

For our very international audience, I dug up three full stage onboard clips in three languages: Mikko Hirvonen, Danni Sordo and Chris Atkinson. The first two on Stage 3, the Subaru driver on Stage 13. Atkinson almost blows it, but he ended some 7.5 secs in front of everyone.

On the final day of the Rally WRC's official site promises live coverage of the final Super Special stage, that should be quite cool, coverage is promised for 9 AM EST (1500hrs local).

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