Mäkinen’s Monte joy
Toyota boss sets sights on strong Sweden
The first opportunity to see them in competition came in the wintry French Alps - and at wrc.com we were mightily impressed. Here’s a few thoughts about what we liked about the new-generation cars now that we’ve seen them out on the stages:
Whether you view them from the front or back, you can’t fail to be impressed by the aggressive appearance. Extra width has given the cars a genuinely muscular look and while each manufacturer has taken a different approach to the more relaxed aero rules, those big rear wings are pretty special.
They sound great
We loved the noise of the new cars. The sound of them blasting up and down Alpine mountain passes and echoing through the valleys was spine-tingling.
They were reliable
There were concerns that such a demanding rally as the Monte might take a heavy mechanical toll on the cars. Sure, there were a few niggles and Ott Tänak deserves a special mention for bringing his sick Ford Fiesta to the finish, but the mechanical problems across the four teams were pretty minor on the whole.
The public loved them
There were big crowds at the Gap service park, there were plenty of fans in the stages and even on the liaison sections people turned out for a peek of the cars.