Thoughts: 2007 Rally Mexico

Aqui hay mis pensamientos/locuras acerca de Rally Mexico:

The drivers’ championship is shaping up to be a good fight. Seb’s still got 4 points to make up on Marcus. With both drivers consistently finishing either 1st or 2nd, they’ll have to duke it out for each victory, gaining or losing 2 points at a time. But the Finn seems to be losing his motivation lately–the “sacred fire” within. (As coined by Stephane Lambiel, the reigning world champion in men’s figure skating, who abruptly quit when he just didn’t feel like skating anymore. I shudder to think that’ll happen with Marcus. And yes, I love both rallying and figure skating.)

Travis Pastrana! It’s weird yet wonderful to hear an American accent on the world rally scene! What a welcome addition! Such enthusiasm! And yes–every sentence ends in an exclamation point! Cuz Travis is awesome!

Mikko Hirvonen is quite the ambitious one, isn’t he? He’s got a taste of what it’s like to be on top, and he ain’t resting until he’s winning all the time. Headstrong, yes. But his mischievous sense of humor and boyish antics make him oh-so-loveable.

I’m so relieved to see Seb win. Norway was his worst finish since 2002 (!) and I was afraid he had lost his groove. All drivers eventually do. But what was I thinking? It’s Super Seb, and he hasn’t finished his reign just yet.

Another big sigh of relief for the Subaru WRT. The Impreza S12B is fast! And it’s only an interim car until the 2008 Impreza S14 arrives. Chris Atkinson said he could drive normally now, instead of taking risks like a madman just to keep up with the field. What a novel idea!

The second finish in a row for Jari-Matti Latvala–is this a sign of growing consistency? It’s a good step for him.

Also impressive was Dani Sordo. He finished in fourth last year also. He’s a circuit-racing-bred tarmac specialist, but he’s coming to grips with the sandy stuff. I think he finishes so well in Mexico because the cars are slowed by the altitude and he can cope better with the gravel. When the speeds get really fast, like in Finland, he has a harder time keeping up.

All in all, it was a fun rally, especially with the crew at World Rally Radio. Good times.

Last of all, I’m all for a rally in North America. But when the spectators cause this many problems, I’m also in favor of this rally being left off the calendar (which it will be for 2008). I couldn’t even count how many times they threw rocks at the cars. Unacceptable.

Petter and Phil - Mexico 2007 A friendly punch to the face Seb - Splish Splash The improved Impreza

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March 15, 2007. Auto Racing, Citroen, Ford, Motorsport, Rally, Rally Reports, Rallying, Solberg, Subaru, Thoughts, WRC.

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