2018 WRC Stage Winners – Manufacturers

Following on from the look at the 2018 WRC Drivers Stage Wins we can now combine the driver’s wins into the four manufacturers and see if this data set can show the strengths and weaknesses of the car and/or driver line up. We’ll see there is no doubting Toyota were the worthy champions of the 2018 World Rally Championship Manufacturer’s title.

A quick note on data sources as I’ve noticed I have different number of stage wins to those mentioned on Twitter, eWRC and various other outlets. The data here is gathered directly from the WRC Results pages which although also displays stage timings in tenths of a second, the drivers are ranked with positions 1 and 2 where the time is the same. It has been mentioned in All Live commentary that official timings are carried out to 100ths or 1000ths of a second. I assume these positions are carried over to the results page. It may sound unfair to dismiss a driver’s talent or a car’s ability on millimetres over kilometres, but that’s the very nature of rallying. I’m not sure why WRC don’t publish the precise time, please let me know if you do!

Visualising the data with The Bubble Chart

2018 WRC Manufacturer Stage Wins Bubble Chart
2018 Manufacturer Stage Wins (Bubble), Average distance (KM) (X-Axis), Average Speed (KPH) (Y-Axis)

The Citroen C3 Goes Best Fast

The stand out bubble is Citroen with it’s average stage win run over 20.71km at 105.51kph. Weirder still their most stage wins (7) was in Mexico averaging a moderately slow 89.35kph. The remaining stages, equally spread across 10 more events and equally across four drivers, average at 110.66kph. This suggests that the C3 is the fastest car out there – but it’s not. It’s only at it’s best on the fastest stages.

The Toyota Yaris Goes Quicker All Round

In 2018 the Toyota Yaris won:

  • The fastest, slowest and longest stages
  • 10 of the 30 longest stages
  • 14 of the 30 shortest stages
  • 20 of the 30 fastest stages
  • 11 of the 30 slowest stages

In comparison the Citroen C3 won 9 of the fastest 30 but none of the slowest. Citroen’s slowest stage was the 39th slowest stage of the calendar. It appears the C3, or it’s 4 drivers, doesn’t run too well on the rough or technical stages. Does the Citroen C3 handle the altitude effects in Mexico better than the other teams? The all round results of the Yaris show it is the worthy winner of the manufacturer’s title.

The Technical Hyundai and Moderate Ford

For comparison, M-Sport Ford could not get close to the speed shown by the Citroens and Toyotas. Hyundai fared even worse winning only 17 of the fastest 100 stages. But they made up for this by being strong at the slow end, 13 of the 30 slowest. Using the term slowest is not correct as they were the fastest, through the slowest stages of the season. This shows that either the i20 or its drivers Thierry Neuville and Andreas Mikkelsen are more suited to cornering and technical driving than the rivals.

Thierry Neuville Hyundai i20 WRC Rally Italy Sardinia
Thierry Neuville on one of the Hyundai i20 Coupe’s strongest events – Rally Italy

Despite winning the driver’s championship the M-Sport Fiesta won less than half the number of stages of the Yaris (45 to 107). Though it’s a great all round car with results spread fairly across the board, the Fiesta just didn’t win enough stages. This could be put down to Seb Ogier sweeping the road for much of the season, a rookie year for Teemu Suninen and a disastrous year for Elfyn Evans. 

Why Look Closely At Stage Wins

As mentioned in the Driver’s Wins post, I have to acknowledge this isn’t a fair representation of a driver or cars performance. Therefore it is not a good indication of their performance when they are at their best, ie when they beat the opposition. It doesn’t consider the difference between finishing second and tenth. Or winning many stages to go and crash out of the rally completely on the second loop of Sunday. Or even that stage wins do not win a rally. For that their are deeper studies. If you are interested in this type of analysis consider signing up for email alerts or follow me on Twitter as I explore more what we can extract from rally data.

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