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WRC: VW win - what now for Citroen?

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Volkswagen have won their maiden World Rally event, with Sebastian Ogier driving the marque to victory in Rally Sweden.

The well documented victory adds fuel to the fire concerning Ogier and VW's title credentials, and certainly supplies an unwelcome migraine to rival teams Citroen and Qatar M-Sport. However, does the win have further implications? 

Well, a brief pondering-session would suggest so. A maiden victory for any team/driver combination is always a popular one, even if it comes courtesy of one of the worlds largest car company's. However, it's taken less than two-events for VW to achieve success.With almost-guaranteed car development thanks to the marques deep pockets, and arguably the finest driver line-up in Jari-Matti Latvala and Sebastian Ogier, is it probable more than possible that VW might about to completely steam-roll the WRC? 

Should this illusion of mine take shape, it leaves the series' most prolific competitor, Citroen, with a number of huge decisions to make. Do they invest more into their rallying-programme to try and compete? Do they bide their time as second best, in an obviously struggling series? With all important TV-Rights/airtime going quite frankly arse-over-tit in the WRC at the moment, and an expected assault in World Touring Cars on the horizon, fans, the F.I.A, and indeed Motorsport as whole, should be worried. 

Should Citroen leave the sport as a factory-backed team, it leaves the newbies VW as the only factory-representatives. In a nutshell: less sponsorship, which is good for no-one.

A final key-catalyst of potential destruction, is the part-retirement of a certain Frenchman, Sebastian Loeb. Loeb is quite simply the most successful rally driver of all time, and is to rally what Tiger Woods is (well, was...) to golf, and what David Beckham is to football.Take away such a name from a sport in such a fragile state as the WRC is now, and it could be potentially be disastrous. Citroen have lost their champion, massive brand identity and elder statesman responsible for all their WRC success, and fans around the world have lost a man truly worshipped by admirers of sideways-action. A legend removed, and an ever gaping hole left behind, could well see the the WRC go head on into a tree, at what is a tight icey turn in the series' illustrious existence.s broadcasting appeal, reduction of competition, and in tough economic times (yawn), a high doubt-factor of any other manufactures rushing to the rescue of the WRC. 

 




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