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As Ogier was busy with Volkswagen development, new teammate Hirvonen was content to familiarize himself with the team and Ford's usual floundering continued, so Loeb regained his status as winningest driver of the season.

Amazing consistency and Citroen's reliability provided both of their drivers with ten podiums although Hirvonen lost one due to exclusion from Portugal. Ford drivers scored only two podiums less but many of these were scored by second Ford team.
Consistency was not the key

Hirvonen scored points on all rallies of the season save one and that was his exclusion from Portugal. Even that would not have helped Mikko in championship fight as Loeb kept outscoring him everywhere. Sensation of the season, Mads Ostberg, proved to be consistent as well, scoring points every time he started rally.

At Ford, Latvala failed to finish twice and Solberg once, but misfortune plagued Petter's season almost throughout. Even though he didn't retire, he went off or had technical problems more often than not.
Stage wins and leaders

Besides Loeb's dominance, the rise of new blood is evident from stage winner statistics. Three new drivers scored their first stage win in 2012 and Neuville, Ostberg and Tanak did so often enough to attract further attention. Also noteworthy is that Ogier won one stage in S2000 car.

Also, plenty of drivers feature on rally leaders list.

Given Mini's limited programme, Sordo's 17 stage wins prove the worth of the car and the driver. No wonder Citroen decided to re-sign him for 2013.
Events

It is no surprise that Rally Finland was again the fastest rally, but surprisingly Rally Portugal was the slowest with a marked drop in average speed from 2011.

Spread in rally distances virtually exploded. Rally Finland was fourth shortest WRC event ever at just over 300 kilometers with Sardinia only few kilometers longer whereas Rally Argentina was first rally since 1996 to exceed 500 kilometers of stages (if Safari Rally is not counted).

Number of long stages also increased a lot. In 2011, there were just three stages over 40 kilometers but in 2012 there were eight and of these three were over 50 kilometers. Total stage distance exceeded 5000 kilometers first time since calendar was reduced in 2008.

Number of entries continued to decline, perhaps due to difficult economic climate. With increase by 2.4 fold, France claimed the top spot on crew nationality list.
Sebastien Loeb
(Click picture to see larger version in a pop-up window)
In his final full season, Loeb was statistical king once again. Click picture to see larger version in a pop-up window
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