It is a sport that tests man and machine like no other. Eye watering speeds, the most incredible terrain on Earth. The WRC is motorsports gauntlet to any driver in any discipline. “Come and have a go if you think you’re hard enough…” At it’s peek with crazy unrestricted Group B cars the sport was more popular than Formula One, but with the introduction of ever smaller engines and strict rules it has never been quite as exciting. Legends pop up now and then sparking great interest in the sport, a Mr McRae springs to mind, but the latest rule changes appear to have undone all of their good work. Next year sees VW join the fray but is it too little too late? A longstanding competitor has decided that today the once great World Rally Championship is no longer worth contesting.
Today Ford has announced its withdrawal from the WRC at the end of this season. A works team will be absent from 2014 onwards leaving privateers running blue ovals to fend for themselves. It is a big loss to the already weak sport with dominant Citroen looking to move into touring car and Mini leaving all together. Ford won the championship in 2006 and 2007 but every manufacturer at the moment is struggling to keep up with Sebastian Loeb and his DS3.
With such big blows one after another and a continued lack of following, can the WRC survive?