ND4SPD Posted December 5, 2008 Share Posted December 5, 2008 The series known as the World Rally Championship was established in 1973 when the inaugural 13-event season began in Monte Carlo, a classic rally that still appears on the calendar today. The first world championship was won by French manufacturer Alpine, while no awards were granted to drivers at the time. So far, the WRC has known three periods, each spanning several years and each bringing changes in the wake of certain events and/or conclusions. The early 1980s saw the appearance of four-wheel-drive cars. At first, teams were reluctant to use such complicated technology in a racing environment, but when Audi successfully applied its concept (constructors’ titles in ’82 and ‘84, with Hannu Mikola taking the drivers’ crown in ‘83), other manufacturers involved in the series quickly understood the pertinence of four-wheel-drive if they wanted to lead championship bids. Up to that point, engine power was not very regulated and drama was too occur on several occasions: drivers complained of problems in handling power, causing off-road accidents; three spectators were killed and many others were wounded when a car went out of control in Portugal; the 1986 season’s championship leader Henri Toivonen lost his life in a fiery crash down a cliff during the Corsican event. He had previously commented on the difficulties of containing his car’s power on such routes. Within hours, what were known as Group B cars were banned from competing the 1987 season, while two manufacturers (Ford and Audi) left the class immediately after the fatal accident. The Group A class was adopted as the prevailing basis of the WRC, limiting the power and weight of rally cars. It also served to facilitate private entries next to manufacturer teams. Italian carmaker Lancia showed itself very adept at exploiting the new environment and raced to take six consecutive titles spanning the years 1987 to 1992. Then came the ‘Japanese era’ of the 1990s when manufacturers like Subaru, Toyota and Mitsubishi took the forefront and won constructors’ and driver’s titles. In 1998, the World Rally Car regulations came into effect after the FIA (Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile) adopted a new approach, as two-litre turbocharged engines, four-wheel-drives, a minimum weight of 1230kg and the addition of aerodynamic elements became the norm in the WRC. Cars thus transformed must be based on a production model which counts at least 2,500 produced units (although it is not necessary for the ‘road car versions’ to be standard-equipped with such things as turbos or four-wheel-drives). Amongst other things, a rollcage and reinforced chassis elements are also required to be homologated as a World Rally Car. Apart from the few basics described above, not much remains the same on a World Rally Car compared to its mainstream counterpart. After stripping down everything possible and replacing what remains with state-of-the-art materials, much work is done to reinforce the shell, making it about ten times stronger than the standard public model. Building a rally car can cost a million US dollars, but you also get interesting Formula One-like systems on board! With new regulations in place, Peugeot returned to world rallying and quickly reached the top, taking three crowns from 2000 to 2002 thanks to its 206 model. Another French manufacturer then stepped into the limelight when Citroën signed its own string of three consecutive titles between 2003 and 2005 with its successful Xsara car. For the last two years however, American manufacturer Ford, through its European branch, has been collecting laurels. The 2006 season brought its first championship win since 1979 and, with strong drivers on the line-up, the feat was repeated in 2007 despite hard competition from its rival, Citroen. The battle remains close again in 2008. New proposals regarding the regulations and format of the series are now being considered, which will again move the World Rally Championship into a new era. When it comes to rally drivers, being the best at this game also means being a bit crazy... When people find enjoyment racing at high speeds over rocks, mud, snow, asphalt, ice, rubble, and ditches, across mountains, deserts, and forests – under every possible weather condition – they have to count themselves amongst the best in the world. With nothing to prevent a flat-out crash, a rally driver must have full confidence not only in his abilities and reflexes, but also in the co-driver calling out route characteristics to him at the exact moment required. There are two people in the cockpit, and nothing can be won without the other’s talent. Over the years, many names have become famous in the World Rally Championship. Officially, the first WRC driver to be named champion was Björn Waldegard at the conlcusion of the 1979 season, but Sandro Munari and Markku Alen each won the “FIA Cup for Drivers” during the two previous campaigns before the drivers’ championship was implemented. Hannu Mikkola was a favourite of the 1980s, but only managed to take the crown once in 1983 aboard the famous pioneering all-wheel-drive Audi. Juha Kankkunen won back-two-back titles in ’86 and ’87, with different cars no less (Peugeot and Lancia), and became the first double world champion of the WRC. Massimo Biaison would follow suit to end the decade. The early 1990s brought about a duel between Juha Kankkunen and Carlos Sainz, with the title changing hands every year between the 1990 and 1993 seasons, making Sainz a double champion while Kankkunen became the first quadruple WRC champion, this time aboard a Toyota. Didier Auriol continued with Toyota success in 1994, driving the legendary GT-Four ST185 to his only title. The names of Colin McRae and Subaru became intertwined thanks to McRae’s many striking performances, leading him to win the drivers’ championship in 1995 after a down-to-the-wire battle against teammate Sainz. Then came the Tommi Makinen domination: his Mitsubishi came out on top of every championship from ‘96 to ‘99, capping off the decade. Although considered a late-comer to the sport, Makinen defended his title against the best and joined Kankkunen in becoming a quadruple champion. The 2000s began with another tug-of-war between champions. Marcus Gronholm took the title with Peugeot in 2000 and 2002, while Subaru drivers took their turns, with Richard Burns winning in 2001 and Petter Solberg in 2003. Since then, one driver has proven unbeatable so far: Sebastien Loeb. At the controls of a trustworthy and reliable Citroen, Loeb has won every title from 2004 to 2007. His current crown was won on the last rally of the season against a determined Gronholm, who had previously announced his retirement at season’s end. Following Kankkunen and Makinen, Loeb is now the third driver to hold four World Rally Championship titles. The conclusion of the 2008 season, an ongoing and heated battle, may result in Sebastien Loeb becoming the first-ever driver to claim five WRC titles. Jos korisnih informacija ima na: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Rally_Championship Od slika prilazem link koji vrijedi pogledati, strasno puno slika od 70-tih godina, pa do danas: http://www.forocompeticion.com/foro/index.php?action=printpage;topic=889.0;images Staviti cu samo par filmica, ostalo sve imate na youtube-u i ostalim video web sharing stranicama. WRC - What is Rally WRC Technical - Brakes http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CDqkwjartM8 WRC - Colin McRae - Scandinavian Flick & Handbrake Lessons WRC - Colin McRae - Oversteer & Understeer Lessons Understeer is a crime Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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