This is the Statt Mann Baby. Time to Scatt a little bit.
There was a time when car makers promoted two World Rally Championship events in their showrooms to help sell cars. Always remember, car makers want to sell cars more than spend millions winning competition events.
There was the East Africa Safari Rally in April and the Monte Carlo Rally in January. Both, then and now, celebrated the ruggedness of car maker technology. And the public brought the allure of exotic cars racing in the African plains and the French Alps.
Now, though, the Monte Carlo can happen this weekend with little fanfare before or after the four days of stages.
There was even some human interest this year. Winner Sebastian Ogier came away with his record ninth victory in his favorite event.
Ogier, in fact, has won the WRC crown eight times but this year will be a part-time season with Toyota as Ogier looks for some sports car employment.
Still, don’t look for Monte posters in the showrooms in the coming weeks. Car makers don’t think we care about their rugged technology anymore.
Certainly not if it doesn’t come on the end of a long extension cord.