The World Rally Championship is an auto racing championship which is recognized by the FIA or the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile as the top tier of international rally racing.
The 2019 World Rally Championship is the 47th edition of the WRC and the competition began last January 24, 2019, and will end with the last race day on November 17, 2019.
The competition consists of 14 Rallies in locations such as Europe, the Middle East, North and South America, and in Australia. As of June 30, 2019, a total of eight rounds have been completed with only six to go before we crown a champion. These are the remaining six races of the 2019 World Rally Championship and their dates:
- Rally Finland ( August 1-4, 2019 )
- ADAC Rallye Deutschland ( August 22-25, 2019 )
- Rally of Turkey ( September 12-15, 2019 )
- Wales Rally GB ( October 3-6, 2019 )
- RACC Rally Catalunya de España ( October 24-27, 2019 )
- Rally Australia ( November 14-17, 2019 )
After eight rounds of racing action, here is the current leaderboard for the 2019 World Rally Championship:
Back-to-back World Rally Championship 3rd placer Ott Tanak looks like he wants to take it a notch or two higher this season. The 31-year old Estonian is currently on top of the 2019 World Rally Championship standings with 150 points. As it has been in the last two years, Sebastien Ogier and Thierry Neuville are his rivals for the top spot.
Here are the latest odds to win the 2019 World Rally Championship. Odds were taken from TitanBet as of 7/01/19:
Ott Tanak has a total of 9 rally wins and 22 podiums in 100 rallies. He has 195 stage wins and a total of 757 total points earned during his career. After going winless in his first seven World Rally Championships entered, Tanak won a total of six between 2017 and 2018. This year though, he has won three out of the first eight races of the season, the reason why he is on top of the standings and the racing betting favorite to win his first World Rally Championship this year. Tanak’s wins in Chile and Portugal means that he has won two out of the last three races of the season. He has finished no lower than 8th in any race this year.
Sebastien Ogier is the current World Rally Champion. In fact, he has won the last six World Rally Championships. His six WRC titles and 46 victories in the World Rally Championship put him second all-time behind Sebastien Loeb who won a total of 9 titles. Ogier won the opening round in Monaco ( his sixth straight win ), retired in Sweden, won again in Mexico and finished at the podium in four out of the last five races of the season.
Ogier has 46 rally wins and 77 podiums in a total of 144 rallies. He has a total of 558 stage wins and 2114 points.
Thierry Neuville is a four-time runner-up at the World Rally Championship, finishing as the bridesmaid in the last three year as well as in 2013. The 31-year old Belgian has 11 rally wins and 38 podiums in a total of 105 rallies. He has 196 stage wins and has earned a total of 1196 points. Neuville won back to back rallies France and Argentina during rounds 4 and 5 of the 2019 World Rally Championship. Aside from his two wins, he also has three Top 3 finishes this year.
You might be wondering why we listed down only three favorites. My answer is that when you look at the odds board and drivers standings, Tanak, Ogier, and Neuville are in the Top 3 and they are by far ahead of the rest of the field. Considering that these three have finished 1-2-3 in the last two seasons, there’s a good chance that is going to happen for the third straight year.
With the current point-system and given the fact that the third-ranked driver in Neuville is 65 points ahead of the 4th placer, it is going to be hard for the field to catch up with the Top 3. Also, we are more than halfway done the 2019 World Rally Championship and so far on the Tanak, Ogier, and Neuville have won rallies this year.
When it comes to those three though, they are just separated by a mere 7 points. With at least 8 points awarded for a Top 6 finish, then this is still anyone’s championship to win. Looking back at last year’s performances in the remaining races of the 2019 World Rally Championship, Ott Tanak won in Finland, Germany, and Turkey and did not finish better than 6th in the remaining three races. Meanwhile, Ogier won in England and had five Top 10 finishes including four in the Top 5. On the other hand, Neuville finished 2018 with only three Top 5 finishes without a win. If we tally the points in the final six races of 2018, Tanak had 83, Ogier had 76 and Neuville had 42. I’m not saying these three will finish the way they did last year but given they have been 1-2-3 in the previous two years, their previous form can be an indicator. That said, I think that the 2019 World Rally Championship is down to three drivers. Among the three, like Ott Tanak and Sebastien Ogier. Ogier has the better betting value and when it comes to winning the WRC, he’s won it in the previous six seasons. But is this year Tanak’s year? I don’t think so, at least not yet. These two are separated by just four points and a difference of 1st and 2nd or even 2nd to 4th in one Rally could put Ogier on top of the standings. I will go with the driver with the experience. Prediction: Sebastien Ogier