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  Home > Seasons > Season 2011
It is eight for Loeb
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In retrospect 2011 proved to be an interesting season. Beforehand there were lots of reasons for excitement, new cars being the most obvious one. Besides these, one new team was expected to make debut during the season and they they did, Mini created more than one hush in the crowd. But apart from these interesting developments there was one more thing that added spice to 2011 season and that was Sebastien Ogier.

Sure, in the end Loeb won the title but unlike Dani Sordo, who had been obedient team mate, new number two in Citroen was everything but that. Maybe he shouldn't be called number two driver, at least nominally both Sebastiens started the season as equals. Ogier pushed Loeb further than Sordo ever had, ending his remarkable run of victories in Deutschland and scoring as many wins as Loeb. Rumors about icy atmosphere between the won were numerous and at the end of the season Ogier left the team and signed for Volkswagen, despite having contract with Citroen for 2012.

At Ford camp the co-operation between drivers worked a little better. Towards the end of the season Latvala, who had lost his chances for the title, handed over positions in several rallies to Hirvonen, including the win in Australia. This kept Mikko's title hopes alive but retirement in final rally put end to those hopes.

Changes
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Besides the new rally car regulations which renewed the choice of cars almost completely, there were some other changes too.

Calendar changes continued with four event rotation: Sardinia, Argentina, Acropolis and Australia all made comebacks whereas Turkey, New Zealand, Bulgaria and Japan were dropped.

All rallies had a final stage televised live and where top three competitors scored extra drivers' points. This led to interesting solutions like Latvala driving slow in order not to interfere with Hirvonen's title fight or Mini drivers taking soft tyres just to be able to win this one stage. Unlike previous TV-stage experiment with extra points in 1999 season, this time rule was upheld for whole season and practice is set to continue.

In championship side the old Junior WRC was canned and was replaced somewhat more low key affair known as WRC Academy, which since it's only a Cup is not covered by this site. Since WRC Academy drivers competed only two first days in selected rallies and they were thus listed as non-finishers, retirement ratio on those rallies went up.

New cars
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Due to technical regulations changed, all teams fielded new cars and there were three of them.

Citroen fielded the DS3 WRC, which proved to be the top car during the season. It was piloted by two works team drivers but also two top privatees Petter Solberg and Kimi Raikkonen plus several other drivers during the season.

Ford's challenger was Fiesta RS WRC, which started the season with 1-2-3 win. From then on, too many problems plagued the car and challenge slowly faded. Fiesta was used by many drivers and teams, outnumbering Citroen by factor of two.

Third new car was Mini John Cooper Works which fared very well. Team scored their first points, stage win and podium finish during the season. Car was supplied to several privateers as well, though only works ones had any success.

2011 Champions
(Click picture to see larger version in a pop-up window)
2011 FIA World Rally Champions, Sebastien Loeb and Daniel Elena Click picture to see larger version in a pop-up window
Drivers scoring their
first win
  no new winners
first drivers' point
  O. Tanak (Mexico)
  B. Sousa (Jordan)
  P. Flodin (Argentina)
  H. Paddon (Argentina)
  P. van Merksteijn (Deutschland)
  M. Kosciuszko (Australia)
  B. Guerra Latapi (Australia)
  O. Saliuk (Australia)
  P. Campana (Alsace)
  K. Meeke (Catalunya)
first stage win
  J. Ketomaa (Finland)
  K. Meeke (Catalunya)
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