Analysis: the rally tests facing Kubica

When Robert Kubica signed up to contest the Ronde di Andora in February 2011, the organisers of the event must have been delighted with all the potential publicity of having a former grand prix winner on the entry list

Analysis: the rally tests facing Kubica

Then his Skoda Fabia S2000 drifted wide on a slippery right-hander, hit the wall and the barrier. The Ronde di Andora got its 15 minutes of fame and Formula 1 has since been deprived the kind of talent which would almost certainly have been a force for the world championship by now.

Now though, Kubica and rallying have altogether more positive connotations as the Polish driver sets out his 2013 intentions in the World Rally Championship. And it'll be intriguing to see how he gets on.

It's a fair assumption that he will be at the sharp end of the European Rally Championship field in the Canaries later this month, but it's his WRC debut which will be the more interesting proposition.

It would be easy - especially on the back of his hugely strong performances in a C4 WRC towards the end of last season - to consider Kubica a strong proposition for the WRC2 title.

But there's gravel to consider.

And there's Esapekka Lappi to remember. The 22-year-old is the latest Finn to find fame in the rally world and won every round of the Finnish Rally Championship last season.

This year, he's driving a factory Skoda Fabia S2000 in WRC2 and is widely regarded to be the benchmark for this season's series. It's impossible to say where Kubica will slot into the Rally of Portugal classification when he goes up against Lappi and the rest of the WRC2 field for the first time.

Especially in Portugal.

The Faro-based event is one of the hardest WRC rounds to learn and make pace notes on for the first time.

The usually smooth gravel roads high above the Algarve are exceptionally hard to fathom, with direction changes regularly coming on the top or just beyond blind crests.

It's a place where experience and blind faith in the man sitting next to you counts for everything.

It's going to be fascinating to watch a consummate professional and vastly talented driver like Kubica come to terms with the latest challenge in his career.

shares
comments
Sebastien Ogier plays down 2013 WRC favourites tag

Previous article

Sebastien Ogier plays down 2013 WRC favourites tag

Next article

Hyundai reveals updated 2014 World Rally Car

Hyundai reveals updated 2014 World Rally Car
Load comments

About this article

Series WRC
Drivers Robert Kubica
Author David Evans
Why the casualty of rallying's evolution should still be cherished Plus

Why the casualty of rallying's evolution should still be cherished

The WRC's support categories are in a process of streamlining that will spell the end of a formalised 2WD world championship-level category. While its relevance to the top level has been questioned for some time, that doesn't mean it should be swept quietly under the carpet

WRC
Apr 5, 2021
Why WRC's hybrid path could leave it at a crossroads Plus

Why WRC's hybrid path could leave it at a crossroads

With all three major manufacturers committing to the World Rally Championship’s hybrid era from 2022, the future of the series is assured for now, but it could lead to trickier twists and turns further down the road

WRC
Apr 1, 2021
How Tanak froze out the competition at the Arctic Rally Plus

How Tanak froze out the competition at the Arctic Rally

Ott Tanak made up for a disastrous Monte Carlo Rally by leading all the way on the snow-kissed stages of the Arctic Rally Finland and in the process hit back at an event Toyota had been expected to dominate

WRC
Mar 1, 2021
What to expect from the WRC's venture to the Arctic Plus

What to expect from the WRC's venture to the Arctic

This week's Arctic Rally Finland will bring the World Rally Championship into new territory. And, almost without exception, the service park can't wait for the subzero challenge to commence

WRC
Feb 25, 2021
How Ogier achieved a fitting Monte Carlo farewell Plus

How Ogier achieved a fitting Monte Carlo farewell

Against pandemic-shaped odds, the World Rally Championship season opener went ahead in Monte Carlo last weekend as a familiar face again took top spot. But for an emotional Sebastien Ogier, his record-breaking eighth win meant more than most

WRC
Jan 25, 2021
What to look out for in the 2021 WRC Plus

What to look out for in the 2021 WRC

As the 2021 World Rally Championship prepares to launch amid tight COVID-19 restrictions in Monte Carlo, here are the eight things unrelated to the pandemic that you should keep an eye on this year

WRC
Jan 21, 2021
Evans on the talking points of WRC 2021 Plus

Evans on the talking points of WRC 2021

He came close to the title last year, and now Toyota's Elfyn Evans gives his verdict on what to expect from 2021 as the World Rally Championship prepares to reconvene for the Monte Carlo season opener

WRC
Jan 20, 2021
Why Britain's continued WRC absence is a wake-up call Plus

Why Britain's continued WRC absence is a wake-up call

OPINION: With Rally GB dropping off the World Rally Championship calendar for the second year in a row, one of Britain's best-attended sporting events faces an uncertain future. It's an unfortunate situation that points to troubling times ahead

WRC
Jan 12, 2021