FutureStarr

The Rival Championship Boss Who Disputes the Claim of 'Best Driver in the WRC'

The Rival Championship Boss Who Disputes the Claim of 'Best Driver in the WRC'

  Tommi Makinen made himself a household name during the 1990s as an outstanding Mitsubishi driver. He won three WRC rallies during his debut factory campaign before repeating that success on two other occasions. Red Bull boss Christian Horner stood firm with Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff in their dispute regarding the use of an additional "floor-stay", asserting that regulations must change to prevent cars 'porpoising" on their suspension systems. Sebastien Ogier Sebastien Ogier will go down as one of the greats in WRC history, making his mark through both junior and factory teams in 2010. Starting as a Junior World Rally Championship competitor - winning on his very first attempt! - and eventually joining Citroen factory team during 2010, Ogier quickly made an impression before becoming one of Loeb's key adversaries for much of 2010. Winning five events that season alone and becoming an ongoing challenge to Loeb; his chances for victory subsequently diminshed by retirements and poor finishes during final three rally campaigns he ran. Ogier was unstoppable again in 2011, winning five more races to earn him promotion to Volkswagen Motorsport's Polo WRC team and lead its inaugural rally season. Unquestionably the best driver on the grid at that point, Ogier continued his dominance by winning 17 events that year alone despite leading his championship race by an extraordinary margin. Ogier was particularly impressive during 2021's short season due to coronavirus pandemic-shortened events being cancelled off due to Ogier winning 8 rallies and dominating overall series performance; only Elfyn Evans managed to deny him victory for sixth straight year at season-ending rally race round 10. Ogier was chosen by readers at the 2021 Autosport Awards as Driver of the Year, making this his seventh win of this award and beating both Toyota team-mate Elfyn Evans and Hyundai's Thierry Neuville to it. Ogier announced his intent to retire from full-time competition at the end of 2022; however, he shows no sign of slowing down as he still competes at selected events in part time capacity. He plans on driving Toyota's new GR Yaris Rally1 car while exploring circuit racing opportunities as well. His "unbreakable love for rallying" ensures he remains on start lines for as long as possible - we wish him all of the best with his future endeavours! Tommi Makinen Tommi Makinen was known as one of the fastest drivers worldwide when driving his Mitsubishi Lancer Evo at the end of the 1990s, winning 24 rallies around the globe including four straight at Rallye Monte-Carlo where he secured one of three championship titles he would secure during 1999. Makinen made an unexpectedly late start in rally driving. However, at 30 he secured his first full-time manufacturer drive with Ford Escort RS Cosworth at Ford Racing and won both Group N Finnish Rally Championship and 1000 Lakes Rally victory that same year in an Escort SRX Cosworth alongside co-driver Seppo Harjanne. Makinen began climbing podiums more often in 1995, but it wasn't until 1997 that his true success began to show itself. He won races in Finland (his fifth straight 1000 Lakes win), Sanremo and Australia; although retirements from rival drivers - particularly Colin McRae who'd experienced numerous cambelt failures during that season - helped seal his success. Makinen earned his fourth straight championship victory during 1998 but ultimately would mark his last competition. Running second at one stage remaining, Carlos Sainz's Toyota Corolla engine broke on its final stage in Australia and dropped him from contention, ending Makinen's title hopes in that race. Makinen retired as a driver in 2003, spending two seasons serving as team principal with Prodrive-run Mitsubishi, leading Richard Burns to victory in 2001 in their challenging Evo VI vehicle. For 2002 he switched over to Subaru where he took his first win at Rallye Monte-Carlo with an iconic Marlboro liveried car. Since 2016, the 52-year-old has built up his own team, providing customer drivers with Group N and WRC cars before Toyota approached him in 2017. Since then, he has served as Ott Tanak's team boss at Toyota Gazoo Racing, dominating WRC 2018 along with Ott - including back-to-back titles for Tanak himself! Carlos Sainz Carlos Sainz Vazquez de Castro, or simply Carlos, is the son of World Rally Champion Carlos Sr and currently competes in Formula 1 with Ferrari. Standing 5ft 10ins tall from Madrid, Carlos is immensely popular among F1 fans. Sainz made his Formula 1 debut in 2015 after Daniil Kvyat moved up to replace Sebastian Vettel at Red Bull, and joined Max Verstappen at Toro Rosso alongside Max Verstappen as Daniil Kvyat took up Sebastian Vettel's seat with Red Bull. Sainz enjoyed an impressive debut, scoring two fifth-place finishes during Austria's season-opener doubleheader doubleheader for Toro Rosso in Austria and making two more. Sainz demonstrated an improvement during his second season with the team by earning his maiden podium finish at the Brazilian Grand Prix. Running sixth until the last laps began, Sainz took advantage of an incident up ahead that put both Lewis Hamilton and Alex Albon out of contention, giving him third. His bumper points haul helped propel him into sixth place overall for an all-time career-best championship standings finish. Sainz joined McLaren after the departure of Fernando Alonso for the 2021 season, making an immediate impact as COVID-19 delayed it and scoring five of seven races with stunning fifth-place finishes at Austria and Abu Dhabi - in both cases, outclassing Charles Leclerc who was considered his team-mate at McLaren. He won five races during this stint; including two fifth-place finishes during Austria's double header. Sainz continued his scoring streak into 2022 scoring an amazing five outright fifth-place finishes including another stunning outright fifth-place finish ahead of teammate Charles Leclerc who was highly-regarded by team management. Sainz would continue his stellar form in 2023 as he rose up the drivers' standings, just behind Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton. Outshouting teammate Leclerc with four podium finishes across the campaign and winning both pole position and fastest lap status he notched an impressive five podium wins for 2023's F1 campaign. Sebastien Loeb Loeb's arrival at Le Mans in 2004 was met with thunderous applause that would rival any Hollywood blockbuster. It was an ideal showcase for him after dominating WRC for most of the decade - collecting nine world championship titles, 76 victories, and 116 podium finishes to date. Loeb began his motorsport career by racing an early model Citroen 106 regional car in an individual regional class before graduating to higher-level Saxo Trophy series competitions in 1998 and winning all six events and leading by far. Due to this impressive showing, Citroen Sport granted Loeb a release to participate in Junior World Rally Championship, where he made an impressionant showing by winning five out of six events! Loeb was undeniable as the best driver during this decade, winning eight more championships (three consecutively) while also setting a record four runner-up finishes and dominating tarmac circuits with unrivaled speeds and consistency - even switching manufacturers when necessary (Peugeot in 2002). As he aged, he only became more dominating. In 2008 he won his fourth consecutive championship after an amazing vintage season which saw him win 11 rallies and three Race of Champions victories against Michael Schumacher and Tom Kristensen respectively. By the time he announced his retirement as a full-time World Rally Championship (WRC) competitor in 2013, he had won 13 of 14 seasons, including eight consecutive titles, as well as six out of the eight events at which he competed during his last decade in sport. Loeb has recently dabbled in endurance racing and rallycross as well as taking part in occasional rallies, with occasional appearances at WRC events such as M-Sport Ford's opening rounds of 2021 WRC series with them taking part. Following an extended break during 2022 however he rejoined M-Sport Ford to participate in partial season programs this year and next driving their third GR Yaris with Dani Sordo alongside them.

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