|Originally Posted by Drif10 |
Let the F5 begin...
I'm hoping we can get the boys out hibernation for a little pre-season dakar.
I'll f5-ing well jump in then with an observation from the darkside
The Maroc rallye sure is shaping up to be a real DAKAR formguide... if not a great competition/race in it's own right (this event region has a long history - almost that of Dakar - in terms of cross country rally history).
And while I don't begrudge NPO the size and quality of the field for one minute (both MOTO/QUAD and AUTO/CAMION)... the quality of the field is second to none (except possibly dakar), with the top 30 moto and top 10 Auto entries reading like a who's who/creme de la' creme (with only a few notable ommissions in the auto field) of the current CCR competitors. This is quite obviously a testimony to the regard in which the event is organised, promoted and run... so I cannot help but wonder WHY this rally is not in the FIM/FIA World championship for Cross Country Rallies???
Just a week ago (or less) we saw the Pharoahs Rally (which is included in both the FIA and FIM calender) run andwon... with by comparison... what was only a handful of top line competitors in either category?
Whether this is due to the fact that either A). in some regards the "title" was already decided... and as such did not warrant the factories/teams to participate or B). some other political/economic reason why (most of the) the premier teams in both classes, seemingly give priority to another (non-title desert rally)... It still makes me wonder just how "valid" the FIA/FIM CCR World championship titles are, when the events on the series calender attract what can only be regarded as less that representative fields of the "best" teams/competitors in the particular sporting discipline!?
Now I know that last year I stood on some toes when I commented on Helder Rodrigues CCR World Title win... and once again my comments were more along the lines of; "Why are there so few riders/teams participating in the championship"
or "Helder really only had to beat one or two other top level riders to take the titel"
as opposed to any negative reflection about the Portuguese champion himself, his dedication, talent or the proffesionalism of his (then 20011) Yamaha supported efforts.
But I have always been of the understanding that a WORLD champion is the rider/driver/team that performs best, at a specific genre of motorsport, conducted at a number of venues around the globe, which reflect the countries and cultures, conducted under the same sporting parameters AND contsted by a selection of the best exŚponents of that sport, from around the world.
Tell me how can it be then that a "Cross country World Championship" can be comprised of;
A.) two (albeit well run and apparently competitive/challenging) sand dune rallies held only a week apart from each other in what (by global standards) conducted in a relatively small geographic area that you could literally "toss a blanket over".
B.) one etremely well promoted (but entirely different from the discipline of desert rally) event in the middle of summer on the resort like island of Sardinia... an event more akin to the rallye/enduro events of the continental european countries like Italy, Greece, Crotaia/albania etc. an event that is more like "B schedule enduro following roadbook" than a traditional marathon rally, as is evidenced by the prevalence of Rallye-"super"-lite bikes used at this event (ie: enduro bikes with a roadbook roller and ICO fitted) as opposed to genuine rally bikes (with fuel autonomy and equipment for 250 km + stages of competition).
C.) the fourth (and final) round (Pharoahs), held only a week or so before another (non-titel event) which even though it is bestowed "World championship" status, only attracts a handful of top competitors... while the "non-titel" bout has billboard status with all of the weight divisions big hitters in the ring?!
It just does not make sense to me...? I have always been of the opinion that a "World Championship" was made up of "the best of the best, in the biggest arena"... but regretably have to say (that for most of the FIA/FIM World Cup/World Championship of Cross Country Rallies history)... most of these titles have been contended by "the rest of the less, at the what was left".
DAKAR ( the biggest longest, oldest AND most important event on the calender, has NEVER been part of the titel), and there are events in many parts of the world (that at various previous times HAVE been part of the CCR World Cup) eg. Brazil (DesSertoes), Argentina (Las Pampas), Australia (Safari) and even some newly introduced events in Asia (Mongolia), now that would make for a truly global and representative "world championship"... but still the selection, and acceptance criteria for the rallies that do end up on the calender from year to year, seem to lack any form of consistency or scheduling (in regards to each other). More than once we have seen two events that are either so close (or coincide with one another) datewise, that it is physically (and economically) impossible - even for multiple rider/vehicle factory teams - to attend all events.
Not to single the Sardinia Rally out - by all accounts a great event, professionally promoted and run, which attracts a great field of riders and sponsors. media and spectator interest. But what in hell does it have to do with Cross Country (desert) rally, when the top 50% of the field are 450/500cc enduro bikes, with a roadbook and trip meter on the cross brace.
Gee... make a "European Championship" for events similar to this (there is a whole series of them in Italy) and the Hellenic rally, Albania etc. But to have this event as part of the "Cross Country Rally World Championship" (alongside events like UAE desert Challenge or the Pharoahs) is as ludicrous as when the "Baja Espana" and "Baja Italia" were part of the FIA's world cup. It would be like halfway throught the F1 series including a race for go-karts around the Maui Hiltons carpark as part of the "F1 World Title"... laughable.
Back to the topic at hand... The Oilibya Rallye Maroc is shaping up to be a really great and competitive rallye... the quality of the field is (apart from Dakar in january) prabably the broadest and most competitive assembled this year. Just a shame (from my perspective) that an event of this calibre does not count (to the already decided) world title... when other (lesser) patronized (dare I say prestigious) event do.
Well, there you go Drif
... that should pour some avgas on the "state of all things rallye" debate...
This is possibly better placed/suited in the "Bivouac" thread (I will copy/paste to there), but we really only have YOU to blame mate... You opened the pandoras' box...
I just jumped in with my knickers in a twist...
PS: Just to add another dimension to the cross fire...
What about the Merzouga Rally?
Here's another (second) well run event in Marocco (early november) aimed/touted as a warm up for aspiring Dakar competitors (maybe a bit close to then end of the year if one has more problems than say a sprained ankle... but anyway?). It just serves to underline my criticism of the whole calender/planning thing. You see it time and time again... two (or more) events in geographically similar areas, targeting the same customer base, at more or less the same time... yet at other times of the year, there are scarcely anything on the diary pages.
I know a lot has to do with climate, or certain nations holiday schedules etc., but still... sometimes I can't help but get the impression that it is like a bunch of ants arguing over who gets to raid the picnic table on the 4th of july weekend...
... yet there is food going to waste in the dumpster 364 other days in the year...