MOTORSPORT /// WRC /// 2014 RALLY GUANAJUATO MÉXICO (6.3.2014-9.3.2014) /// UNWANTED COMMENTARY: SHALL WE DO THIS LIVE? /// SS4…

  • Welcome to North America and Central Time.
  • …Where I have lived most of my life and live now.
  • I can guarantee that I will not have much to say this time.
  • …I’ve just lost 2000+ words of an article and have yet to find a way to retrieve them.
  • …I was on a roll for the first time in a very long time.
  • …Actually, quite happy with it.  Which is rare.
  • …I had both silliness and actual insight.
  • …So, of course, it would disappear.
  • …Because, I’m disaster-prone and suck at motorsport commentary (and, writing in general).
  • …Needless to say, I’m experiencing a blind rage.
  • …In fact, I can’t remember the last time I was this angry at everything.
  • …Lesson learned: give up, stop trying.
  • Anyway…
  • Rally Mexico.
  • Stage 4.
  • Let’s do this.
  • SS3 is wrapping up, and it’s going to be a while.
  • …Post El Chocolate cravings.
  • …I wrote all about it.
  • …But, now, you will never see it.
  • The entry list (for the WRC-class) is a (relatively) short one.
  • …Long hauls are pricey – in an (already) pricey sport.
  • …So, it’s the usual suspects.
  • …Hyundai is sending in Atkinson/Prevot for this round.
  • …He’s Australian, it’s hot and dusty…yeah.
  • Off goes Latvala/Anttila.
  • …Not to be confused with “Latvala goes off”.
  • …The Championship leader is very much on.
  • …Despite being first on the road.
  • …First to discover all the rocks and loose sandy gravel and wandering mariachi bands.
  • …Jer-Bear appears to be in (overall) fifth at the moment.
  • By the way, Las Minas is a 15.59km stage.
  • …Mountainside, narrow, high, dusty, classic Mexico.
  • Ogier/Ingrassia speed off the line.
  • …Ogier was just bumped to second.
  • …It has yet to be seen how that spankin’ new hardware on his left hand is affecting his driving.
  • …That shiny elephant in the room.
  • …That he keeps playing with.
  • Latvala moves into the flatter sections.
  • …Ever so slightly wider.
  • …But, not to be trusted.
  • As is expected in Mexico, Latvala is kicking up crazy dust clouds.
  • …Will Ogier get caught up in Latvala’s dusty wake?
  • …Probably not.
  • …No more than normal and to be expected, at least.
  • If you are in the US, this is being broadcast on MAVTV, by the way.
  • …I should have started with that, but…you know…blind rage.
  • Latvala crashed out of Mexico early in 2013, but worked his way up to 16th.
  • Latvala makes it through.
  • …With his newfound confidence.
  • Hey, don’t talk over Jerry Matt’s comments in Finnish.
  • Okay, the focus shifts to Ogier.
  • …The 2013 winner.
  • …Who celebrated by running his face into a door and getting stitches.
  • …Basically.
  • Ogier finishes ahead of Latvala.
  • Seriously, I’d like to hear Ogier’s comments in French.
  • Here comes Østberg/Andersson.
  • …Their first time to Mexico in the Citroën DS3.
  • …And, they take the lead from Ogier.
  • …Maintaining their overall lead.
  • …I’ll pass on the Norwegian comments.
  • …Inside joke.
  • Østberg’s teammates, Meeke/Nagle, head out.
  • …Meeke stands in fourth (overall).
  • …In his first trip to Rally Mexico.
  • And, there goes the Hyundai i20 of Neuville/Gilsoul.
  • …The Belgian babies took their first podium at Mexico last year (third).
  • …This is their first go at gravel in the i20.
  • …Essentially, this is a test season (for Hyundai).
  • …Whatever they can accomplish on the board, great.
  • …But, the primary focus is learning.
  • …A huge gamble for Neuville/Gilsoul, who took Championship second in 2013.
  • Meeke/Nagle wrap up their run.
  • …Meeke reporting that he wasn’t feeling the run.
  • …But, armed with the perfect attitude, focusing on the learning process.
  • M-Sport’s Hirvonen/Lehtinen speed off.
  • …The Finns are Mexico podium staples.
  • …Always a bridesmaid, never a bride.
  • …They bump Ogier and take second, moving Latvala to fourth.
  • And, in another M-Sport Fiesta, Evans/Barritt take the stage.
  • …This is Evans’ first time in Mexico.
  • …And, what, fourth time in a WRC car?
  • …So, we have another student driver.
  • …It feels like there are a lot of student drivers this season.
  • …A lot of seat-swapping, new faces, and reentries.
  • …Which has been, to be honest, a lot of fun to watch.
  • …The WRC needs more competitors.
  • Just an FYI, I’m not listing these in order.
  • …I’m just calling them as I see them.
  • I (still) haven’t decided which is easier/harder: live WRC or F1 commentating.
  • …They’re just very different.
  • …As I’ve said forever, the sports are apples and oranges.
  • …Very different, but (both) delicious and nutritious.
  • Neuville finishes with concerns regarding a possible slow puncture.
  • …Again, it’s all about learning the Hyundai.
  • …How it works and how to make it work better.
  • Fiona and her boys (Prokop/Tamánek) speed down the dusty road.
  • …It has yet to be seen as to whether Fiona will want to compete, or take Spring Break.
  • …We will know as the stats appear and videos emerge.
  • …You know how that goes.
  • Here come Kubica/Szczepaniak, in their RK M-Sport Fiesta.
  • …Kubica spent a bizarre amount of of his time at Rally Sweden, perfecting putting the block on Østberg.
  • …Unfortunately, he did it literally, rather than figuratively.
  • …One of the quotes of the rally came from the Norwegian, who, after just missing Kubica’s car and the spectators trying to free it, reported that he “…just had a (really) close call with a Formula 1 driver”.
  • …That was a mouthful of frustrated thought and a half, there.
  • …Kubica, despite reporting problems, steals stage sixth.
  • Local favorite Guerro/Rozada rolls in with his M-Sport-backed Fiesta.
  • Hyundai’s Atkinson/Prevot are on the stage, but…
  • …Um…
  • …Well, the good news is that they are moving.
  • …The not-so-good news is that they are moving at a crawl and flailing about quite a bit.
  • …Okay, let’s find out what the deal is…
  • …He’s not sure, writing off a puncture (as they didn’t hit anything) and thinking an arm may have just given out.
  • Well, that’s that.
  • One live stage from Mexico done.
  • Østberg, Hirvonen, Ogier, and Latvala take the first run of Las Minas.
  • …As the first run of Las Minas takes the nerves of a few competitors.
  • …And, VWII’s Mikkelsen/Markkula have gone missing.
  • …Trouble reported in SS3 for the Rally Sweden runner up.
  • Right, back to trying to retrieve those thousands of words.
  • …If anyone is frightened by Jerry Matt’s new boost in confidence and needs to see a complete wreck, I’ll be here all day, fighting myself even more than normal.
  • I have no idea when the next live/delayed broadcast will be.
  • …But, I’ll be there.
  • …It’ll be a surprise.
  • …Like the worst thing to ever jump out of a cake.
  • Until then, toodles from your least favorite Central Time frenemy.
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