Matters of Moment, November 2012

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Matters of Moment

taste for rallying clearly remains despite his accident, and certainly the World Rally Championship would welcome

him with relish if he chose to pursue a comeback career on the special stages. The WRC sorely needs heroes.

This year’s Rally GB was held on the same weekend as the Goodwood Revival, but you can be forgiven if it passed you by. Running Britain’s round of the WRC in September just about sums up the current state of this oncemagnificent arm of our sport. Late November, that’s when it should be run, just as the Monte must be in January.

Anyway, for the record, Jari-Matti Latvala ended a seven-month win drought for Ford, but that man Sebastien Loeb finished second and a mind-numbing ninth world title appears to be a formality. Respect. But really… isn’t it time for him to do something else? Like winning Le Mans perhaps. With or without Loeb, there are patches of blue sky on the WRC’s horizon. Citroen, Ford and MINI are about to be joined by mighty VW in 2013, while Hyundai has also announced a return. With proper promotion courtesy of Red Bull, and the firm hand of a true rally man in

Jean Todt at the FIA, the (special) stage is set for the WRC to fly once more. But they need to get the calendar in the right order first. ver in Brazil, Toyota added spice to the new FIA World Endurance Championship by defeating Audi in a straight fight at

Interlagos. Huge kudos to the team behind the T5030 Hybrid, plus drivers Alex Wurz and Nicolas Lapierre: to win third time out against the greatest force in modern sports car racing is not to be sniffed at. After Le Mans and Silverstone, we knew Toyota would take up where Peugeot left off as a genuine threat to Audi. With races in Bahrain, Fuji and Shanghai to come, the series is exceeding expectations.

But how will the takeover by Grand-Am of the American Le Mans Series affect the WEC in the long term? We assess what this deal means for sports car racing on page 22. On the face of it, a union between the two US codes is great news for American motor sport, although we can’t help feeling a pang of regret that the Big Three — Daytona, Sebring and Le Mans — will probably never come together within a single world series. Triple Crown has a nice ring to it, does it not? We can’t have it all, it seems.