WRC - 2019 silly season
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    Default WRC - 2019 silly season

    Toyota

    Rumours claim that Meeke will struggle to get another years contract with Toyota. Latvala is also at some risk to lose his drive.

    Tanak has not as yet signed with Toyota. Tanak has had some discussions with Malcom Wilson about driving a Ford, but Wilson says he cant afford Tanak without Ford support. Tanak has driven for M-Sport previously and has a good relationship with Wilson.

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    Hyundai are rumoured to have offered Tanak five million Euros, but the same rumours claim Tanak is seeking 7 million for 2020.

    Thierry Neuville's contract with Hyundai continues into 2010. Sebestian Loeb will continue with Hyundai competing in about half the rounds in 2020.

    Sebestian Ogier and Esapekka Lappi have contracts with Citroen for 2020. Ogier has stated that he will stop racing at the end of 2020. Citroen have not commited to beyond 2020 at this stage.

    https://www.autosport.com/wrc/news/1...oyota-for-2020
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    The Comeback Kid
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    Ogier is obviously already in a huff about not beating Loeb's 9 straight championships. Typical. We'll see how he feels at the end of 2020, if he wins that year and that, and is sitting 8 in a row.

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    I think the reason Ogier went to Citroen is that it is a French team, putting him nearer to his home and family.

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    Fellow Frogger! nauli's Avatar
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    It looks like Tanak will be World Champ for 2019, so he will probably get his 7 mil and stay with Tommi. Hayden Paddon is looking for a contract with M-Sport......they may even look at Meeke if me behaves himself for the rest of 2019.
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    Paddon was set to make a return at Rally of Finland, but a heavy crash in practice ruled him out of the event.

    The below article quotes Paddon working with his backers to put together a package to get back in a car. Seems like he iked the Ford. M-soprt aren't flush with money so and the need to talk to backers suggest to me that he is trying to "buy" a drive. Nothing wrong with that, but at 200-250,000 Euros per round for car and a team, it's not a cheap way to go.

    https://www.autosport.com/wrc/news/1...-finland-crash

    Meeke is currently 4th in Championship on 80 points behind Tanak 1st (205), Neuville 2nd (172) and 3rd Ogier (165).
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    Toyota driver line up for 2020

    Tommi Makinen has been quoted as saying his preferred driver line up for next year would be Tanak/Meeke and young Kalle Rovanpera .

    Latvala has struggled for quite some time and he rolled his car in the recent British round of the WRC and is unlikely to get a Toyota contract for next year.

    Kalle Rovanpera has been quite solid in the WRC2 Pro series he has been competing this year. He is currently leading the championship by 51 points and has scored total of 18 outright points in the WRC competition in his WRC2 Pro car from five rounds. His highest outright finish was 6th in Portugal.

    Edit:- I didn't realise it earlier, but Kalle secured the WRC2 Pro class champioship in UK with two rounds left to run.
    Last edited by FIVEDOOR; 7th October 2019 at 08:47 PM. Reason: add information
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    Rumour mills claim that the delay in signing Tanak with Toyota revolves around Tomi Makinen refusing some of the contract "demand" details, believed to be around number one status with the team. He is also believed to be asking for considerable pay increase.

    Makinen's refusal to accept some of the demanded terms has resulted in Tanak going around Makinen with his management to negotiate directly with Toyota. Not a smart move in my book if Makinen remains as the Manager of the team.

    Edit:- Tanak has reportedly had offers from Ford and Hyundai but prefers to stay with Toyota.

    He is clearly very good, I think it's foolish for him to risk alienating those who he will be hoping to work closely with in the future, particularly when it is unlikely that there will be anyone in the Toyota team in the short term who is likely to be able to match his speed. I fail to see what he is afraid of.
    Last edited by FIVEDOOR; 17th October 2019 at 09:13 PM. Reason: Add material
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    Rumours about Citroen quitting WRC after this season are persistent, although the Citroen team are still developing next years car.

    PSA Fiat/Chrysler merger plans could also impact on Citroen racing program/s.

    With Tanak moving to Hyundai next year, that leaves Toyota without top level driver. There is speculation that Makinen would try to secure Ogier for next year. Ogier has previously stated that he will quit WRC at the end of 2020, but if Citroen pull out, will he quit early or continue with another team, such as Toyota. The other driver impacted by any Citroen pull out is Lappi, who is the second Citroen driver.

    Neuville has two years on his cotract with Hyundai, so they will have two top level drivers next year. Interesting to see how the pairing pans out.
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    German publication Rallye-Magazin reportedly claims that Ogier will be testing a Toyota WRC car early as next week, despite his contract with Citroen.
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    I suppose they all have their reasons, but it seems overly pushy of Tanak to make demands of Toyota they just cannot meet.
    He's done a fine job of winning, but then again, so has Toyota. I would have thought maybe you wait till a second championship under the belt, before going rogue and demanding the moon and sun. It is also hard to see why he would want to be a designated 'first driver'. If you are clearly the best driver, then you are the first driver.

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    I agree, leaving a winning team, when they have arguably the best car in the competition, doesn't make sense to lot of commentators.

    Finnish press are speculating that Tanak has issues with Makinen or vice versa. Some of the speculation re Makinen relates to how he manages people.

    I have read some criticism of how Tanak/his management team have conducted themselves in the course of these negotiations, with comparisons to Ogier who is reputed to be thoroughly professional with his negotiations.
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    With Tanak leaving Toyota at the end of this year, latest rumour involves Eflyn Evans for Toyota drive next year. Evans has reported been sighted in central Finland, fueling the rumours.
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    Rumours of Citroen leaving WRC amid PSA shakeup seem to be gathering momentum

    Finnish publication Ilta Sanomat has 2020 Toyota drivers as Ogier, Evans and Rovanpera. Latvala is unlikely to get a full seasons drive and at best may get some events, such as Sweden and Finland.


    Edit - More on Citroen :- https://www.autosport.com/wrc/news/1...ramme-in-doubt
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    Well, it's official, Ogier is leaving Citroen.

    Citroen are quitting WRC again. Citroen are blaming Ogier's departure (in part) for their departure from WRC, which is bit weak if you ask me. Ogier says the car is not up to speed and not enough development is happening to breach the speed gap. Ogier feels Citroen's other driver Lappi is of the same vie in this regard.

    No official confirmation of what Ogier is doing next year, but Toyota rumours still abound.

    Lappi left Toyota to drive for CItroen and is no left without a drive, at least for time being.

    Edit:- Latest rumours have Lappi going to M-sport Ford
    Last edited by FIVEDOOR; 22nd November 2019 at 08:50 PM. Reason: Add last line
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    It would serve Tanak Just Right if Ogier when to Toyota and won the championship next year. Which one would have to assume would be a high likelihood. Tanak's decision is just so hard to understand, other than just wanting too much.

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    M-Sport would be well advised to sign Lappi up as they most probably have lost Evans.
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    Quote Originally Posted by nauli View Post
    M-Sport would be well advised to sign Lappi up as they most probably have lost Evans.
    M-Sport definitely lost Evans and strong rumours from Finland have Lappi going to M-Sport


    The below tweet is a screen dump so links wont work
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails WRC - 2019 silly season-wrc-toyota-drivers-2020.png  
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    Kris Meeke (40) is presently without a drive for 2020 after being dropped by Toyota.
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    Mads Ostberg is working to drive one of the Citroen Racing WRC C3's next year in the WRC. He is looking to rent the car and run it in as many rounds as his finances will permit. He is financially backed in the endeavour by Norway's Citroen importer.
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    Another manufacturer will be lost next year. Skoda has been running a factory ream in the WRC2 category and in fact won the drivers and the manufacturers championship this year. The decision to cease the factory operations is as a result of VW decision that they should restrict their activities to supporting privateers. They have built over 300 customer cars.
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    Quote Originally Posted by nauli View Post
    M-Sport would be well advised to sign Lappi up as they most probably have lost Evans.
    M-Sport have signed Lappi.

    Lappi and Suninen will do the full season and Greensmith will do 9 rounds for M-Sport.

    https://www.autosport.com/wrc/news/1...sport-for-2020
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