by Rob Wilkins
Former WRC TV presenter, Jon Desborough use to provide regular coverage and thoughts on the FIA World Rally Championship in the UK. Crash.net Radio
caught up with him at the recent Rallyday 2006 at Castle Combe in Wiltshire and got his thoughts on the first half of the season...
Jon, what have you made of the WRC overall this year?
I am not surprised Sebastien Loeb
has continued to be such a dominant force that he is - but I did think with him running in this kind of semi-privateer team with Kronos, that somebody would have his skin and have beaten him by now, quite handsomely. It hasn't happened though as often as I thought it would. Marcus Gronholm I know is very keen to make history of Sebastien Loeb
but that hasn't happened either and Marcus is running in the full Ford works team. So somebody has got to beat him and beat him well before the end of the season, because then Citroen
are back in with all their money in 2007 and then Sebastien Loeb
will continue to be the legend, and the winning legend, that he is at the moment.
Like you said there Loeb is in a semi-privateer team effectively - but we haven't noticed much of a difference with things have we?
Yeah, but maybe what you and I think of a semi-privateer team is one thing, but what Kronos and Citroen
think of a semi-privateer team is another thing. There was an awful lot of technology, spare parts and resources' from last year's Citroen
team that has found its way towards Kronos...
A lot of the mechanics are the same aren't they too?
Well exactly - picture yourself, you are going to lose the Xsara from the championship, you are going to go on to the C4 and make a WRC car out of that, so that is all old technology with the Xsara - you can write it all of, you can hand it all over, can't you?
How do you think the C4 will go then in 2007? Citroen
have been testing that for some time now, it should hit the ground running shouldn't it?
I haven't got the first clue - my mum and dad's C4 is very good! That hasn't had to go back yet and they drive it a lot more carefully than he does!! It is always difficult with a brand new car to make it a winning car from the word go, but if any team, if any manufacturer can do that, it will be them. They test twice, three times as many times as the other teams and they invest a lot of time and money in it, so maybe it will win first time out in Monte Carlo. I know that is what they will want and they will aim for a 1-2-3 in Monte Carlo, because they will want to make a statement of their arrival for the new season and with the new car. Whether or not it will happen I don't know, we will have to wait and see.
Related to that and Citroen, what have you made of Dani Sordo this season, since he stepped up from the Junior WRC with the Xsara WRC? He has been very impressive hasn't he?
Yes - but it would have been nice to see Kris Meeke do that, because I am sure Kris would have been equally sensational. But there was a time when Citroen, the World Rally Championship team Citroen
went Spanish - if you remember Carlos [Sainz] got the drive instead of Colin [McRae] and that has been replicated with Dani Sordo getting the drive instead of Kris Meeke. Kris would have been brilliant in that car and if he had been in that car this season, we would have all been much more involved in the championship, than I think we are at the moment. But you can't keep talent down can you? And Dani Sordo is a talent.