Following a meeting of the World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) yesterday, a number of amendments to the World Rally Championship (WRC) Sporting Regulations have been accepted, in principle. These will be further developed before application with the...
Following a meeting of the World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) yesterday, a number of amendments to the World Rally Championship (WRC) Sporting Regulations have been accepted, in principle. These will be further developed before application with the intention of enabling the WRC to respond to current economic challenges, and to further aid the development and promotion of the sport. This is particularly relevant in light of the FIA's recent appointment of a Championship Promoter, ISC.
The principles of the amendments to the 2010 WRC Sporting Regulations are detailed below.
There shall be no minimum or maximum stage distance. However, there shall be a maximum of 80 kilometres between service halts. The stage distance of a World Rally Championship event has been revised to become between 300 kilometres and 500 kilometres.
The current system of 'Super Rally' will be replaced to provide additional media stories, encourage retired competitors to return the following day, and to recognise rallying as an endurance sport. As a consequence, only competitors who have completed each stage of the rally will appear in the Final Classification. Bonus points from each day will replace existing time penalties for missed stages, and will be in addition to the Final Classification points. In recognition of the new points scoring system, a daily and overall classification will be drawn up at the end of each day of competition.
A global Drivers' World Ranking will be introduced from 2010 to identify the positions of personalities within the sport.
While the recommendation for one central service park remains, organisers may submit promotional plans to support relocation during the rally. In addition, Remote Service Zones designed to take the sport to the population in large towns and cities are encouraged. Crews will also be required to attend autograph sessions at the mid-day service, and be available for promotional activities during the final service each day
One type of tyre will continue to be used for all events, except those that are fully on asphalt. However, the option of a choice of compounds will be investigated to increase media interest.
In an effort to reduce the WRC's carbon footprint, the importance of a single fuel supplier will be investigated.
A podium at the end of each day will be introduced to provide media opportunities in recognition of the winner of the day and the leader of the rally.
To assist media deadlines, the finish and podium ceremony procedures must be completed by 16:00 hrs CET. For events outside Europe, this will be subject to agreement between the organiser and the Promoter.
The FIA World Rally Championship for Manufacturers will be eligible for all cars, including existing WRC cars with any driver. Registered Manufacturers must enter two cars in all rounds and must use 2009 homologated cars.
With the intention being to assist in the promotion of the series, the World Rally Championship Commission will also review the possibility of the Manufacturers' Championship becoming a Teams' Championship.
Manufacturer Teams must participate in at least seven nominated rounds, including one outside Europe. They may enter one or two cars homologated prior to 2009.
Promotional activities may be scheduled during reconnaissance and events may also specify PR activities involving mandatory driver or team participation.
Organisers may arrange scrutineering as entertainment for the public and a visual opportunity for the media.
Shakedown will be developed as a promotional and media opportunity, requiring a specific level of participation by Manufacturers and Manufacturer Teams. The possibility of there becoming a start order qualifying will be studied.
The service park can be redesigned to permit access from the rear of each team's service area. This will allow spectators to be closer to the action.
Subject to satisfactory levels of safety, night stages are permitted but should not form the whole itinerary of the day.
Cars that are certified by ASNs, and which are based on those eligible to enter the WRC, shall be permitted and identified in a National classification. Entries for all World Championship rallies will close four weeks prior to the start of the event.
The WMSC also took the following decisions, which were announced yesterday.
The date for introduction of the 1600cc turbo engine for the WRC car has been brought forward to 2011 to bring it in line with the engine used in the cars on sale to the public.
Event organisers will be given flexibility to evolve the character of their events to create a unique flavour. Rallies may run over two, three or four days, but must finish on a Saturday or Sunday. To increase the spectacle, there will be freedom to mix asphalt and gravel surfaces either within a stage or within the itinerary of the day.
A 'WRC Cup' for Super 2000 cars will be introduced for 2010. Teams must register and contest at least seven nominated rounds, including at least one outside Europe. Conditions for registration will be finalised in due course.