Who is the greatest WRC driver of all time? That's the question being asked of rally fans as we try to find more things to fill in our lockdown days.
The winner will be revealed at the culmination of a month-long search conducted by the WRC, supported by WRC tyre manufacturer Pirelli, in which WRC fans and an expert panel of journalists vote for their greatest in a series of head-to-head driver battles.
All 18 champions since the introduction of the FIA World Rally Championship drivers’ title in 1979 are joined by two wildcard entries – nominated on their performances – to rank the sport’s top 20 drivers.
All are WRC greats – but who is the greatest of all?
And what defines the greatest? It could be world titles or rally wins. Or other factors such as sheer speed, bravery, tactical nous, mechanical sympathy. Or all of these together.
A tournament-style draw brings drivers into a head-to-head contest against each other. Every day, fans have the chance to vote for their favourite from each pairing on the WRC’s official wrc.com website.
The fan vote will count for 40 per cent of the result in each driver face-off. It will be combined with the decisions from six expert journalists, whose vote will count for 10 per cent each, to produce a final result.
The 20 drivers have been seeded based on titles, rally wins and podiums. The lowest eight seeds take part in a qualifying round, with the four winners from the driver duels joining the top 12 seeds in the first round.
The eight round one winners progress into the quarter-finals, followed by the semi-finals. The final will reveal The Greatest WRC Driver.
The drivers and their seedings are: 1. Sébastien Loeb; 2. Sébastien Ogier; 3. Tommi Mäkinen; 4. Juha Kankkunen; 5. Marcus Grönholm; 6. Carlos Sainz; 7. Miki Biasion; 8. Walter Röhrl; 9. Colin McRae; 10. Didier Auriol; 11. Hannu Mikkola; 12. Björn Waldegård; 13. Petter Solberg; 14. Ott Tänak; 15. Stig Blomqvist; 16. Timo Salonen; 17. Ari Vatanen; 18. Richard Burns; 19. Markku Alén; 20. Jari-Matti Latvala.
The panel of expert WRC journalists comprises Julian Porter (WRC commentator and broadcaster), Marco Giordo (Autosprint magazine, Italy), Reiner Kuhn (Motorsport aktuell, Germany), David Evans (DirtFish, USA), Loic Rocci (AUTOhebdo, France) and José-Manuel Gonzàlez (WRC+ All Live commentator, Spain).
The competition starts with the qualifying round on Monday, 6 April when voters are asked to decide the initial four driver duels between:
Petter Solberg v Jari-Matti Latvala
Ott Tänak v Markku Alén
Stig Blomqvist v Ari Vatanen
Timo Salonen v Richard Burns
The winners will be announced the following day and take their place in the first round, which begins on Wednesday 8 April. Those results will be announced at the completion of the eight daily duels.
As well as voting daily, fans will be invited to predict how the tournament results will shape up and submit their prediction via WRC Facebook Messenger (http://m.me/WorldRally). If it matches the final version after voting is completed, they will be entered into a draw to win a prize from Pirelli and a one-year subscription to WRC+.
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