WRC ORLEN 80th Rally Poland
Starts: Thursday, June 27, 2024 at 8:00:00 AM
ERC Delfi Rally Estonia
Starts: Friday, July 5, 2024 at 6:00:00 AM
Ferratum World RX of Sweden 1
Starts: Saturday, July 6, 2024 at 6:00:00 AM

Fri 23 Dec 2022

Season Review: WRC2 Masters Cup

Mauro Miele’s job was straightforward. The Italian had to win at FORUM8 Rally Japan. If he wanted to defeat Armin Kremer in the race for this year’s WRC2 Masters title, victory was the only way.

It was a straight race between the top two, with Vodafone Rally of Portugal category winner Jean-Michel Raoux (Volkswagen Polo R5) just out of reach of the title in third place.

Miele was the man who’d started the strongest, winning the inaugural WRC2 Masters round at the Rallye Monte-Carlo in January. Never out of the top three times in the category, the Škoda driver topped the timesheets by more than two minutes by the finish.

Second places in Sweden and Croatia helped cement an early season class lead for Miele. The similarly mounted Kremer won in Zagreb, but retired from the next two rounds. When Miele put down another win in Estonia he enjoyed a 34-point lead over his nearest rival.

Kremer knew he was going to have to find something special if he wanted to stop the 66-year-old’s charge towards the silverware. He delivered it with four successive wins in Belgium, Greece, New Zealand and Spain. The Auckland win moved him into a 14-point lead.

Second in Salou kept Miele in the running, but then came Japan. Trailing by 21 points when he arrived in Toyota City, a win was the best way to secure the title. Kremer could do nothing. His scoring rounds had been counted. He just had to sit and wait.

From Miele’s side, the result was never in doubt. He led the class from start to finish in Japan and sealed the title with an outstanding – admittedly rain-affected – second fastest on the Wolf Power Stage.

With former factory WRC driver Freddy Loix (Škoda Fabia Rally2) fourth in the standings and Irish WRC stalwart Eamonn Boland fifth in his Ford Fiesta Rally2, there was quality as well as quantity in WRC2 Masters.