In the absence of Petter Solberg, we were hoping that someone was going to step up to the plate in the ‘massive, massive denial that Sébastien Loeb is the fastest rally driver’ stakes.
Sure enough, when he’s 90 seconds down to his former team-mate, you can rely on Sébastien Ogier to flat refuse to stare facts in the face.
Best of all, as Loeb has been stretching his lead in Monte Carlo he has been saying that the stages remind him of Sweden – which is only three weeks away and the second of the nine-time champion’s four events this season. We can’t wait! Imagine the press conference transcript on the opening day flashing up on the FIA website:
Q: In Monte Carlo you seemed to think that you were leading the event, when clearly you weren’t. Can you-
Sébastien Ogier: People can’t figure me out. They can’t process me. I don’t expect them to. You can’t process me with the normal brain.
Q: Ummm… right. So are you saying that you won the Monte, then?
SO: I’m tired of pretending I’m not special. I’m tired of pretending I’m not a total bitchin’ rock star from Mars.
The name Inessa Tushkanova might not mean a massive amount to you yet, but give the girl time. Or just give her $3 million and Malcolm Wilson will put her in one of his cars for a season.
At present M-Sport’s second seat is likely to be heading towards another spectacular Russian driver who is unlikely to trouble the championship title battle, Evgeny Novikov. Nevertheless, while Inessa may lack Evgeny’s seat-of-the-pants excitement in the car, she excels in the pants-completely-missing excitement of a glamour girl.
Yes, if the American public is both titillated and appalled by Danica Patrick’s rampant sexiness in America, they ain’t seen nothing compared to dear old Inessa.
It’s as camp as one of Elton John’s birthday parties, as slender and nubile as Jabba the Hutt’s sister and more likely to break down than Kate Winslet during an acceptance speech. The Peugeot 307 CC is a car that looks as though part of it was designed to go backwards… the bodywork, mainly.
You can forgive it many things when you see one lingering in the classifieds for week after week. Although, deep down, you know that the owner is praying that someone – anyone! – will at least come to test drive it (and that if anyone does so the roof doesn’t get stuck halfway down again), it’s calling to you, isn’t it?
Because while most people look at a 307 CC and wonder who on Earth wants a car specifically designed to turn the world into a roaring vortex of air above 30mph (assuming that the roof has retracted properly in the first place), you see something special in its soap bar styling. You see…
Don’t worry. You’re among friends here. Together at WRF you will find kinship and support to get you through the dark days. You filthy perv, you.
As we look forward to the action in France this weekend, another family might have to do a double-take while watching the TV coverage.
Yes, that’s right, their baby looks like Mikko Hirvonen – just like this one
Either his hat’s on back-to-front or that’s not actually Mikko
With the countdown underway to the end of Sébastien Loeb’s time at the top of the WRC tree as a full-time world champion, let’s spare a thought for the man who has been at his side throughout: Daniel Elena.
Elena has become no less of an icon in many ways, having developed the unique style of creating and delivering pace notes in a way that has baffled many – and outpaced nearly all. The way in which Elena reads the road to Loeb was startlingly different: it has consistently given Loeb an advantage which saw him rise to stardom through a field that included the likes of Mäkinen, Sainz, McRae, Burns, Solberg, Märtin, Grönholm et al
So while we may miss the silky smooth skills of the man at the wheel, let us also raise a cheer for Daniel with his sing-song Monegasque tones that have guided the way to glory for almost a decade. With Loeb now aiming to go and race touring cars, we have to wonder what Daniel do now… oh no. Hold on…
Daniel Elena. Allegedly.
It’s not the sort of thing that you can say in polite company, but there’s just something about the Toyota Corolla, isn’t there?
You know how it is. You know that you shouldn’t. You know that you will be stigmatised, ostracised and possibly lobotomised. And yet while some people would look at the picture above and see the automotive equivalent of a Rich Tea biscuit that’s been left on the driveway for 14 years, what you see is…
Yes, that’s what you see, isn’t it?
At this moment there is no known cure. Corollaitis has been identified as a strain of infection that’s from a family of viral epidemics that includes Escortitis, Octaviitis and Lanceritis. The symptoms are that you see ugly, colourless cars the same way as other people, but they appear different. They draw your eye in the way that no Scaglietti-bodied coupe or sonorous V12 ever could.
It’s OK. We understand. We’re not judgemental here at WRF. Together we’ll work our way through this…
For anyone seeking the elixir of eternal youth, we can only suggest breaking in to Mikko Hirvonen’s bathroom cabinet. Quite what it is that makes him such a clear-eyed example of good health we’re not sure… but perhaps the sky-high price of booze in Finland and years on M-Sport’s payroll combined to keep him off the hard stuff.
Certainly our soon-to-be lead driver for the Abu Dhabi Citroën World Rally Team looks a darn sight better than most other folk who’ve been on the WRC trail for as long as he has!
The ever-youthful Hirvo
We like nothing better than a good look-a-like here at WRF, so here’s our opening gambit: a doppelgänger for Hirvo if ever we saw one. Feel free to send in more where that came from!
It’s uncanny, isn’t it?