On 10th February, Rally Sweden marks the start of the 2011 FIA World Rally Championship season, as well as the first competitive outing of the new generation of 1.6 litre turbo-charged World Rally Cars. In addition to the manufacturer entries from Citroën and Ford, five other one and two-car teams have currently registered for the Championship and, until MINI joins the series later in the year, the top of the leader board is likely to be dominated by Citroën DS3 and Ford Fiesta RS World Rally Cars. This year tyre regulations have also changed and all entrants in 4WD cars must use the tyres produced by the registered suppliers – Michelin and DMack – except for non-priority entrants driving 4WD Group N and 2WD cars.
Sébastien LOEB is without question the number one of international rallying, as confirmed by the 2010 world ranking WRR (World Rally Ranking) promoted by the IRDA (International Rally Drivers Association), the first place is always occupied by the French driver, in second place the Norwegian Petter SOLBERG (Citroen), the podium is completed by Finnish Jari-Matti LATVALA (Ford), who climbs up one place ahead of the other French driver of the Citroen Team, Sébastien OGIER. Juho HANNINEN is placed fifth place, but the Skoda Team driver is the number one amongst the drivers behind the wheel of a Super 2000 car. In the first 10 drivers in the world, there are three Finns, two French and two Norwegians, Spanish, English and a Czech. The world number one of snow rallies is the Finnish Team Ford driver Mikko HIRVONEN, the number one on tarmac is surprisingly Juho HANNINEN, and the number one on gravel is still Sébastien LOEB. 1630 drivers from the 5 continents and 72 countries in the world, after the running of the 143 international rallies in the FIA calendar, have scored the necessary results to enter the World Rally Ranking.
Rally Co-driver – Daniel Elena n° 1 in the World Rally Ranking
The important role of the co-driver in modern rallies has recently been enhanced by the FIA (Federation Internationale Automobile) which has established the World Championship and Continental Championships reserved for co-drivers. As for the drivers, the IRDA (International Rally Drivers Association) has established the 2010 world ranking WRR reserved for co-drivers. In the special 2010 WRR standings Daniel Elena is without doubt the number one, followed by Finnish Mikka Anttila, the podium is completed by French Julien Ingrassia, only a few points ahead of the Skoda Team co-driver, Mikko Markkula who is first amongst the co-drivers to have earned all his points with an S2000 car. Amongst the first 10 co-drivers in the world there are four Finns, two French, one English, one from the Czech Republic, a Belgian and Spanish. The world number one of snow rallies is the Ford Team Finnish co-driver Jarmo Lehtinen, number one on tarmac is surprisingly Belgian Frederic Miclotte, number one on gravel is once again Daniel Elena. 1670 co-drivers from the 5 continents and 72 countries in the world, after the running of the international rallies in the FIA calendar, have scored the necessary results to enter the World Rally Ranking.