The WRC season has a long way to go before we crown a champion, but it has become clear after the first race that we might well be seeing the same familiar names at the top of the driver standings as the season progresses. It is, of course, much to early to be talking about potential champions for the 2023 season, but every driver will be well aware that getting out to a fast start can help them build momentum for the challenges that lie ahead. Race 2 of the season is set of this weekend, with the drivers heading to Sweden for the next rally on the schedule. I think we can once again expect some familiar faces to be in the hunt here, so let’s take a look at some of the potential WRC favorites analysis.
2023 Sweden Analysis and Preview | WRC Betting Picks
When: Thursday 9th to Sunday 12th
Where: Umeå, Sweden
Time: 12:00 PM EST
Over the past decade, there has been no driver more dominant than Ogier, as he went on a run that saw him win 7 of 8 world championships. With that in mind, you have to say that his 6th place overall finish last season was more than a little disappointing. He will be looking to bounce back this season and he certainly got off to the best start, winning the opening race of the year in Monte Carlo. During his great run of championship wins, Ogier had several wins in this rally, but it has been a while since his last victory there.
It was a rather quick rise to the top for Rovanpera, who finished last season as the WRC World Champion in just his 4th full season at this level. Since landing in the WRC, Rovanpera has made steady progress, so it maybe wasn’t a huge surprise that he ended last season as the overall winner. No matter the sport, it is difficult to repeat as a champion, but Rovenpaera looks ready totake another run after finishing 2nd in the opening race of the season. He won this rally in 2022, so we can certainly expect him to be among the leaders again this weekend.
If any driver on the WRC tour deserves a championship win, it is probably Thierry Neuville. Over the last 7 seasons, he has finished in the top 3 overall in 6 of those seasons, finishing 4th overall in the other. Neuville is consistently among the leaders, but he has not yet been able to turn his consistency into championships. He is back in among it again after finishing 3rd in Monte Carlo. He won in Sweden in 2018 and has been on the podium twice since then, so definitely worth a look.
This will be a season that Evans will be looking at as a bit of a bounce back year. He had finished 2nd overall in 2020 and 2021, but he slipped to 4th overall last season and failed to win a race during 2022. It is not a major slide by any stretch of the imagination, but you can’t really hope to end the season as a champion if you don’t win a race during the season. Evans has had some success in Sweden, winning this rally in 2020.
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