Inaugurated in 1973, the WRC is the true pinnacle of rallying and for 2012 Michelin continues to be the tyre supplier. Taking in some of the world’s toughest motorsport terrain, across the length and breadth of the globe, WRC is a true test of man and machine with no margin for error.
Rally Monte-Carlo returns to the World Rally Championship calendar this year, beginning the season in January. From there, 12 further events – from Sweden to Argentina, New Zealand to Italy – will form an action-packed and mouth-watering season. Rally of Great Britain, meanwhile, moves to an earlier slot than normal in mid-September.
Having claimed an unprecedented eighth WRC crown in 2011, Sebastien Loeb will be bidding to set yet more records this year. Intriguingly, his fiercest rival Mikko Hirvonen will be Loeb’s team-mate at Citroen for 2012. Add in the arrival of Volkswagen’s Polo, the impressive MINI and Ford’s new line-up of Petter Solberg and Jari Matti-Latvala and you have all the ingredients for a truly classic season.
Ones to Watch
Following his eighth WRC title victory in 2011, it’s hard to bet against anyone other than the legendary Sebastien Loeb again this season.
However, Michelin is confident Mikko Hirvonen will give his new team-mate a serious run for his money in the sister Citroen DS3 - it should be a classic year. Keep an eye out too for Dani Sordo in the lead MINI, he’ll undoubtedly be a podium contender and may well upset the established order on more than one occasion.
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