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  Home > Seasons > Season 2014
French domination continues
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Ogier started the season as a favourite as Loeb was retired for good, Volkswagen had a fast and reliable car and rising star of 2014, Thierry Neuville, had moved to season's debut team Hyundai. The only driver able to threaten Ogier would have to be his team-mate Latvala but he was known to be unreliable and had less experience with the car.

Perhaps the most defining moment of the 2014 season was experienced in the final morning of Rally Deutschland. It was ninth rally of the season and VW drivers Ogier and Latvala had won all the season's rallies held until then so expectations were high for VW to score win at their home event. Ogier had crashed twice which left Latvala to lead and on course for his first tarmac win. First place would also close the gap in championship race handsomely, so Latvala had a lot to gain - and lose.

True to his nature, Latvala began the final morning by crashing. From ashes of VW's disappointment rose new rally leader, Citroen's Kris Meeke. Win for him would not only be his first WRC win but it would also maintain Citroen's clean streak of wins on this rally. As crash-happy as Latvala is, Meeke tries hard to equal that and so he crashed out. This elevated Thierry Neuville and Hyundai to lead and he scored both his and Hyundai's maiden wins, ending Citroen's winning streak and becoming sole non-VW winner of the season.

Volkswagen's domination was almost compplete, as you can see from season's statistics. Citroen came second but managed less than half of the VW's points. Mainly this was due to their relatively inexperienced drivers but perhaps also because of the divided attention as team also ran touring car effort with Loeb. M-Sport, former official Ford squad that was still in the game as a privateerish affair, almost pipped Citroen for the second place. They attracted Mikko Hirvonen back from Citroen, only to see him retire from the sport at the end of the season. Teamed with Mikko was young Elfyn Evans, who was as much revelation of the season as Neuville had been a in 2013.

Changes
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There were not many changes. Acropolis was dropped from calendar, ostensibly due to fees left unpaid to FIA, and replaced with third WRC appearance for Rally Poland. Other than that calendar was unchanged.

Qualifying used on gravel rallies was dropped, which was a bit unfortunate, and starting order reverted back to old system of putting championship leader first on the road. Rally car classifications were renamed but classification system itself was not changed.

New cars
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There was a new team in WRC for the second year running, this time it was Hyundai who re-entered WRC with their i20 WRC. Team stated that 2014 would be a year of learning as they had not used extensive preparation period like Volkswagen had. Team started within expectations of such circumstances and were behind all other three teams both in performance and in reliability. Not far behind but far enough to make their first win seem like lucky stroke.

Sebastien Ogier
(Click picture to see larger version in a pop-up window)
2014 FIA World Champions: Sebastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia Click picture to see larger version in a pop-up window
Drivers scoring their
first win
  T. Neuville (Deutschland)
first drivers' point
  M. Gamba (Monte Carlo)
  Y. Protasov (Monte Carlo)
  J. Melicharek (Monte Carlo)
  P. Tidemand (Sweden)
  L. Bertelli (Sardinia)
  K. Kruuda (Finland)
first stage win
  R. Kubica (Monte Carlo)
  E. Evans (Deutschland)
  H. Paddon (Catalunya)
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