Do Median Stage Classifications Describe Performances?

Can the median average stage classifications for each driver be used as an alternative performance indicator? There is a metric used in football called expected goals, where probabilities and averages are used to describe performances. With an open mind this could be seen as a rally equivalent.

I’ve only done this for the Monte-Carlo results so far; take the individual stage classifications and run the median average for each driver. I’ve also added an addition step – I’ve used the mean average to help rank tied median values. In the table below ‘MTM Rank’ = mean than median rank. Tableau isn’t quite intuitive when it comes to sorting. For added clarity, this only includes completed stages – no Rally 2 or other clerk of the course stage times.

View this at Tableau

What to Look at

As you can see in the table the results are slightly different to the overall classifications. Firstly and obviously, nobody has retired in this list. Mikkelsen out-ranks Latvala which is fair enough considering Mikkelsen was third when he ripped his wheel off and retired.

Secondly, Gus Greensmith for example falls down to 16th in this list. Gus finished 7th overall but didn’t finish 7th or better on any single stage. He just drove a cleaner rally than those who fell around him and made it to the finish. To help illustrate this have a look at the chart under the Median-Position tab.

The X-axis is the actual overall classification. The Y-axis is the median stage classification minus the actual overall. Anybody with a positive number gained positions out of the misfortune of others. Anybody with a negative number had a moment or more of ‘bad luck’. Most people are above the line due to the amount of non-finishers (and why they are so high nearer the back).

Why?

You don’t need to tell me what rallying is. I understand Mikkelsen and Evans crashed out and Greensmith didn’t. I am not taking anything away from him. But if we were to rerun Monte now and you are picking drivers for a fantasy rally game, would you go off this list or the overall classifications? Would you rely on the same ‘luck’ to happen again to the same drivers or take a wider average?

For now this is just an idea that pays little respect to road order, weather conditions or stage length. Nor does it care for a win by 4 minutes or 4 tenths. I don’t expect it will run as convincingly after Sweden but I will do it and see. If you have any additional thoughts, observations or think this means nothing let me know!

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