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It may have something to do with the fact that you can't buy a high performance turbocharged 4wd Pug or Citroen for the road. Consequently customers have difficulty identifying themselves with the motorsports programme.

Citroen's biggest seller in the UK? The Picasso, a 'people carrier'....

-Rob
 

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Jamie Coles
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There seem to have been a large nmber of 4x4 off road vehiuckes sold recently - maybe a series of races involving the likes of the Pajero, Land Cruiser, X3 and X5's could take place.

It would be the first time these had left the tarmac or the gravel rive I suspect!!

J-c
 

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WOW! That will shake the sport up a bit. Some famous drivers looking for jobs???
Makes Skoda and Mitsubishi's job a bit easier!


I think it is a shame to see motor sport treated so casually by the manufacturers. What about the fans and the people who work in the sport? The people with the desire! It is a shame that money is more important than the challenge and passion. What happened to pushing the boundaries and advancing technology?

Soon Fiesta racing will be the pinacle of motorsport. Not that there is anything wrong with Fiesta's of course!

JS
 

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Matt Tucker
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Bugger - after the good news that Ford committed to the next 4 years that is a blow for 2006 and beyond. They obviously feel they have entered the WRC and conquered it so the only way is down - maybe their Peugeot experience this year reminded them that peoples memories only relate to their last result.

Hope the rumours about renault joining in and hyundai coming back keep WRC as a lively competitive series.

Matt
 

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I have been a casual watcher of WRC, so I don't know much about it. It appears as if the WRC cars often have very little in common with their street counterparts - a few body panels and part of the chassis? Or is there a part of the engine that is original too?

I do enjoy watching the driving, and it is reassuring to know that cars still work with only 3 wheels left, but it would make more sense to me to race contemporary 4x4s on these type of courses.

As for the manufacturers leaving WRC - as said above, it is all about sales, and giving a car brand prestige and credibility. Citreon and Peugeot must believe they have achieved their goals on that front for the time being. As a grounds for safety and technology development - although some things have probably been invented through necesity in motorsports, it is again not the most cost effective R&D medium
 

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It can't be just me that thinks that *DIRECT* major motor manufacturer involvement in motorsport is not necessarily a good thing....

One change at board level, and a '4 year commitment' can be flushed down the toilet in a less than a day.

Let's look at a few examples....

F1 and Ford:

Ford withdrawal has left three teams up the creek (Jaguar with no money or engine, Minardi with no engine, and Jordan with no engine and major sponsor...) So, currently shrinking grids...

Australian V8 Supercars:

Direct manufacturer involvement is banned. Ford/Holden build/supply the roadcar components, TEAMS build, prep, engineer and run the cars. Much of the sponsorship involvement of the series is independent of the car manufacturers. So if Ford say, didn't want their cars in the series, there'd be a bit of a scramble, but the following month, the teams affected could be running Nissans or Mitsubishis. It's just the sheetmetal that would have been changed, not the number of teams involved.
Result = huge and oversubscribed grids, prequalifying for start slots and a very healthy feeder series. Express those results in terms of a percentage spend of the total population of OZ, and even I find the output downright astounding!


So let manufacturers stick to what they're good at...

Leave race teams to do what they know best.... Racing! (err... RALLYING!)


-Rob
 

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Personally I find '1 make racing' very dull, the racing is too tight, I prefer to see different cars pitted against each other as well as different drivers and teams. The racing always ends up very crowded and messy.

I am glad it exists, because loads of people do enjoy it, and if one simply wanted to know 'who is the best driver' it's a much better (though still flawed - mainly 'cos the idea of 'best' is a bit dodgy) way.

My favourite races are GT/le mans, F1, WRC, and I want to see RAID at some point! All multi-car races, and I think all manufacturer sponsored. I have no idea if the sponsorship adds a certain je ne sais quoi to the racing making it better for me, or just the different cars.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I have to admit that I'm sort of neutral to this news as I'm not a great fan of rallying anyway (I think maybe because the traditional sideways approach of rallying is dying out due to better mechanical and rubber grip leaving the cars as less of a spectacle than they used to be. I had the WRC coverage of the Spanish rally on on Sunday while preparing some lunch and when they showed archive footage of Sainz in the old Celica the difference in approach was staggering - modern WRC is more of a fast drive through the country than a display of insane car skills - but I digress)

..but I do think that when race series rely upon manufacturers it is a very fragile foundation they build on. Not only a change of board but a decision that 'long term corporate aims have been achieved' or just the knock-on effect from a poorly performing sector within the same corporation can end it in minutes. No wonder Mosley and Ecclestone are so keen to avoid relying upon the big car producers so much. Another problem is when a manufacturer enters to try and stymie it's rival - when the rival goes what's the impetus to hang around? I don't think I'm the only one to think that Mercedes and BMW involvement in F1 is not unfluenced by the fact that 'the other is in it so we must too'.

Coop
 

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Interesting replies guys. I can't help but agree with rr3.9 that maybe motorsport would be better off without fickle manufacturers who are only in it for publicity.

Leave the racing to the people who actually enjoy the sport and want to build the fastest car for the thrill of it and not the purpose of shifting more cars from the garage forecourt! Of course these people are the people who actually do the work anyway the manufacturers just pay their wages.

Manufacturer teams, with their superior spending power, will always beat the independent teams so maybe it comes back to the old favourite of cost cutting. But then I can't help but think that the team with the best financial adviser will come out on top!

So maybe we should just let the manufacturers get on with it and just enjoy the racing! Does it really matter what badge is on the front of the car?

JS (have I just argued myself through a full 360 in one post?)
 
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