I've been pretty busy (work, family) so yeah I'm a bit late and still lacking some bits of info but here goes.
Oh, yes. The rally is back! Back to my country (for a few years now) and back to where it's supposed to be. Though some classic stages in the center of the country are still missing (Sintra for one), it's now out of the "sterile" stereotyped Algarve and into to mixed, technical and spectacular stages in the North, framed by the incredible fans from the north of Portugal AND Spain.
You see, Rally is a spectator sport. Not to be seen in stands watching cars go by at a huge distance while having to buy food and drink from predefined (and expensive) stands.
Rally is going into the heart of your countryside, finding a suitable spot early in the morning, and enjoying the outdoors, the other fans' company, the home cooked food you carry with you and also the sight, sound and dirt of the cars going by.
Here's a personal video from this year:
There is no way for the rally to be a spectator sport in the South. It's incredibly limited in that way both by the "show areas" installed by the organization and by the sheer number of fans. I mean look at this:
That was taken from the Michelin Video:
Welcome back WRC. Welcome back home!
After all the talk of danger (still a hanging sword over the organization, after the Dan Wheldon crash) and cars flying and what not in practice, it was a brilliant classic Indy race. Some incidents, lots of good racing and brave gutsy high speed overtaking.
I though Dixon had it made (slightly fastest) but one can never rule out Power and Montoya. In the end JP's bravery, and even a bit of luck with that pit-out traffic for Will, meant the winner wasn't the one I was expecting. But unlike in F1, it wasn't due to some very awkward decision and those very "conspiracy fueling" events. It was genuinely GOOD RACING.
You can watch the final laps right here:
NASCAR... I fell asleep. It may due to my current physical/mental state, but it's kind of recurrent now. Anyway, you can watch the whole thing here (no embedding allowed) https://youtu.be/XBeX4WQCwmQ
F1 Monaco GP. I should've fallen asleep.
1 - Seriously... Lewis lost in such an amateurish decision in a house like Mercedes? I'll just leave it to the conspiracy theorists
2 - Alonso penalty. Versus no penalty for Ricciardo. Utter BS.
3 - Button scoring points. Expected to happen sooner or later, McHonda is on a careful but pretty good progress and is already starting to challenge for midgrid status. Pretty good for so little development time. Only good thing in the sorry weekend for me.
4 - Romain vs Verstappen. The battle of the hates. "Romain is a crasher" versus "The kid's too young". All wrong, all idiotic nonsense. Romain is a fighter and was holding his own, Max is a fighter and was trying to make himself another place. Typical GP2 crash, in a good way. No foul play, all done in the limit of fairplay. Penalizing Max was as idiotic as it would be to penalize Romain for defending.
So, yes... pretty much a let down. I end up nit picking at details instead of talking about racing, speed and overtakes. This is not racing, it's politics.
No use posting highlights as well, as they will soon be taken down by the copyright boogeyman... and not really worthy either so...