WRC Rally de Catalunya - Rally Spain 2017 Betting Tips and Odds

Updated Thursday 21st February 2019, 12:37 PM

Rally de Catalunya, the 11th round of the 2017 WRC season gets underway on Thursday 5th October, as eyes turn to both the drivers’ and manufacturers’ title bids, both of which will go down to the wire. Sebastien Ogier is back in the lead of the championship once again after a third place finish in Germany nudged him 17 points ahead of Belgian title contender, Thierry Neuville. Neuville finished in 44th place at the tarmac event, meaning he will need an extra push in the remaining three rallies of the season.

Since Rally Germany, Hyundai have signed Andreas Mikkelsen for the remainder of the 2017 season and two full seasons in 2018-19. The move brings the former Volkswagen driver back into the main championship on a full-time basis for the first time since 2016, with the hopes that his previous experience will help nudge Hyundai ahead of M-Sport in time for the final event of the season in Australia.

The Spanish outing will see drivers take on 312.02 competitive kilometres across 19 stages, with mixed surfaces (gravel and asphalt) to tackle. Proceedings begin with the opening ceremony in Salou on Thursday evening and conclude in the Santa Marina Power Stage on Sunday. M-Sport’s Sebastien Ogier and Hyundai’s Thierry Neuville are undoubtedly the drivers to watch, with just 17 points separating them at the top of the rankings.


Sebastien Ogier has now reclaimed the top spot of the Drivers’ Championship – a position he has been familiar with since former team Volkswagen joined the championship in 2013. Now driving for M-Sport, the Frenchman has achieved two first-place finishes this year in Monte Carlo and Portugal. Other events such as Sweden, Mexico, France, Poland and Germany have seen Ogier achieve second or third place – enough to keep him just in the lead of Belgian rival Neuville. With three out of the last four Rally Spain outings resulting in victory for Ogier (a crash in the Power Stage in 2015 causing his only loss at the event while at VW), the Frenchman looks a strong contender for victory this time around.

Thierry Neuville will drive alongside Andreas Mikkelsen and Dani Sordo for the event, and having finished third place here in 2016, he shouldn’t be ruled out for a victory this weekend. After a tough start to the 2017 season, the Belgian picked up the pace and gained momentum, accelerating him to the top of the Driver’s Championship going into ADAC Rallye Deutschland. An unfortunate outing in Germany meant Neuville’s spot at the top of the table was lost, and 17 points were ceded to a third-place Ogier. Bookies have placed him at similar odds to Ogier for the event, so expect an intense race to the finish as the two fight to maintain the lead.

Ott Tänak added to an already impressive 2017 season in Germany, when he beat Mikkelsen to the finish by 16.4 seconds to take his second ever WRC rally win (the first being back in Sardegna, also this year). With confidence undoubtedly at an all-time high, the Estonian will be in no mood to back off in Spain. The combination of Tänak and Ogier’s continued high point-scoring throughout the season has led M-Sport to the top of the Manufacturers’ championship with 325 points, 64 ahead of Hyundai in second place. Will Ogier and Tänak be able to keep up the pressure on a reinvigorated Hyundai as they swap out Hayden Paddon for Andreas Mikkelsen in a bid to shorten the gap? Only time will tell.

Previous WRC Rally Spain Podiums:

Position 2016 2015 2014 2013
1st Sebastien Ogier Andreas Mikkelsen Sebastien Ogier Sebastien Ogier
2nd Dani Sordo Jari-Matti Latvala Jari-Matti Latvala Jari-Matti Latvala
3rd Thierry Neuville Dani Sordo Mikko Hirvonen Mikko Hirvonen

Sports.net’s View

As the odds have proven, all eyes are going to be on Sebastien Ogier and Thierry Neuville as the 11th round of the 2017 season gets underway. With just Wales Rally GB and Rally Australia to follow, these three events will be make or break M-Sport and Hyundai’s bids for the 2017 title. If Neuville fails to secure a podium position while Ogier succeeds, the gap between the two will become incredibly difficult to close in just two events. Shakedown gets underway this Thursday, where we will get a glimpse of the 2017-spec WRC cars on Spanish roads for the first time.

Sports.net’s Top Tip

Sebastien Ogier to take the victory over Neuville at Rally Catalunya.

Written By
Last Updated: Thursday, 21 February 2019 12:37:00+00:00
Published By Sports.net

Found this article interesting?
Share it on Social Media!