Just like the title says this post is about the current WRC drivers and who matches them closely from the past seasons. First up is Toyota in the form of Jari Matti Latvala.
Jari Matti Latvala and Henri Toivonen
It’s no secret that Jari idolised Henri Toivonen when he was growing up and that’s probably why they have a very similar driving style. Brutally fast and sometimes too fast but that’s what makes Jari the character he is. Henri was the youngest driver to ever win a round of the WRC back in 1980 at the Lombard RAC Rally just after his 24th Birthday. This record was not beaten until Jari beat it after winning Rally Sweden in 2008 aged 22.
Kris Meeke and Colin McRae
Another poorly kept secret is the link between Kris and Colin, Kris was mentored by Colin in the early stages of his career and the evidence of this is very visual with the dramatic driving style Kris has adopted. Just take the recent Rally Mexico as an example, a very comfortable lead but a slight error after pushing to hard very nearly cost him the win.
Juho Hänninen And Ari Vatanen
Juho, Juho, Juho, possibly the most underrated and looked down upon driver in the WRC today. First of all he was heavily involved with the Toyota development that has helped bring the success to the team. As I driver I dont know why people can look down on his success after winning the Intercontinental Rally challenge and WRC Super 2000 championships. This season I think he has been very unlucky but he has clearly shown the pace he is capable of on all events so far. Now you might ask what’s the link to Ari Vatanen? Well Ari was often known to find the wrong side of the ditch and had the attitude, to find the limit, first you must go over it. This was true in many stages of his career wether it was in a MK2 Escort or a 205 T16. Juho is very similar, he pushes as hard as he can from the start but this often gives him the advantage in pace compared to the rest of the field.
Dani Sordo and Carlos Sainz
Dani Sordo, so much promise but hidden in the shadow of Mr Loeb. Dani often matched the pace and beat his team mate on various rallies but being the second driver for Citroen he was always cast into the shadows. Perhaps if he was with another team we could have seen more success from the Spaniard because he certainly deserved it. Even today he still shows strong pace against his competitors. Dani’s driving style is very similar to that of Carlos Sainz and perhaps he took some inspiration from his fellow country man. A very controlled and calculated driver who may not have had the out of the box performance like some of his competitors but his consistent speed particularly on tarmac still makes him a threat that can’t be ruled out today much like Carlos was back in the Toyota days.