FIA to clamp down on excessive WRC stage speeds

WRC stages deemed to be too fast will not be tolerated this season, FIA rally chiefs insist.

FIA to clamp down on excessive WRC stage speeds
Dani Sordo, Marc Marti, Hyundai i20 WRC, Hyundai Motorsport
Jari-Matti Latvala, Miikka Anttila, Toyota Yaris WRC, Toyota Racing
Hayden Paddon, John Kennard, Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC, Hyundai Motorsport
Ott Tänak, Martin Järveoja, Ford Fiesta WRC, M-Sport
Dani Sordo, Marc Marti, Hyundai i20 WRC, Hyundai Motorsport
Sébastien Ogier, Julien Ingrassia, Ford Fiesta WRC, M-Sport
Mads Ostberg, Ola Floene, Ford Fiesta WRC, M-Sport
Kris Meeke, Paul Nagle, Citroën C3 WRC, Citroën World Rally Team

The second run of Rally Sweden's Knon stage last weekend was called off after pacesetter Ott Tanak's M-Sport Ford set an average speed of 85.62mph on its first use.

The FIA is considering regulatory changes to ensure average speeds do not go above 80mph.

FIA rally director Jarmo Mahonen told Motorsport.com: "These cars are quicker than the old cars – but in this stage even last year's [cars] were going more than 130km/h [80mph].

"These kind of stages teach us one thing: we need to take a more firm grip when organisers want to introduce new stages, we have to be present to check them.

"If we see a stage time of more than 130km/h then it's an indicator that we need to be looking at this.

"From our point of view this was too fast. What we want to do is look at a guideline on this, but maybe we need to think to the regulations."

Mahonen hopes other rally organisers will take note of what happened in Sweden and will ensure they don't allow average speeds to get too high.

"We want the cancellation of this stage to send a message to the other organisers to think carefully about their route," he said.

"We want speeds lower than 130km/h, but I remember when I was an organiser and I didn't want to use straw bales to make chicanes.

"I understand that, and the answer is simple: use smaller roads that will be slower. This is what we have to do."

The Swedish stage cancellation prompted criticism from drivers, with one saying: "I don't understand how we can get to this point in the rally before the FIA stepped in and did something about it.

"The road was just straight, not dangerous, just boring. But it was like this when the FIA inspected the route."

Mahonen confirmed the FIA would be taking a more active role in checking new stage routes in the future, but said organisers had to do more too.

"Maybe some of the organisers use older drivers who have not been in this game in several years and maybe they don't have an idea of how quick these cars are," he said.

shares
comments
Neuville's “big mistake” in Sweden shouldn't have happened - Hyundai

Previous article

Neuville's “big mistake” in Sweden shouldn't have happened - Hyundai

Load comments

About this article

Series WRC
Event Rally Sweden
Author David Evans
Why WRC's hybrid path could leave it at a crossroads Prime

Why WRC's hybrid path could leave it at a crossroads

With all three major manufacturers committing to the World Rally Championship’s hybrid era from 2022, the future of the series is assured for now, but it could lead to trickier twists and turns further down the road

WRC
Apr 1, 2021
How Tanak froze out the competition at the Arctic Rally Prime

How Tanak froze out the competition at the Arctic Rally

Ott Tanak made up for a disastrous Monte Carlo Rally by leading all the way on the snow-kissed stages of the Arctic Rally Finland and in the process hit back at an event Toyota had been expected to dominate…

WRC
Mar 1, 2021
What to look out for in the 2021 WRC Prime

What to look out for in the 2021 WRC

As the 2021 World Rally Championship prepares to launch amid tight COVID-19 restrictions in Monte Carlo, here are the eight things unrelated to the pandemic that you should keep an eye on this year

WRC
Jan 21, 2021
Evans on the talking points of WRC 2021 Prime

Evans on the talking points of WRC 2021

He came close to the title last year, and now Toyota's Elfyn Evans gives his verdict on what to expect from 2021 as the World Rally Championship prepares to reconvene for the Monte Carlo season opener.

WRC
Jan 20, 2021
Why Britain's continued WRC absence is a wake-up call Prime

Why Britain's continued WRC absence is a wake-up call

With Rally GB dropping off the World Rally Championship calendar for the second year in a row, one of Britain's best-attended sporting events faces an uncertain future. It's an unfortunate situation that points to troubling times ahead

WRC
Jan 12, 2021
The Top 10 WRC drivers of 2020 Prime

The Top 10 WRC drivers of 2020

A drastically-shortened 2020 season gave the World Rally Championship protagonists precious little stage mileage to strut their stuff, but as ever the cream rose to the top across the seven events. We rank the year's best performers

WRC
Jan 4, 2021
The twists and turns of a turbulent 2020 WRC season Prime

The twists and turns of a turbulent 2020 WRC season

The 2020 World Rally Championship bestrode all 12 months of the Gregorian calendar, and in terms of the competition it was a cracker. Moreover, it was an inspiration in dark days for the world and our industry.

WRC
Jan 1, 2021
The early setbacks that shaped the WRC's greatest driver Loeb Prime

The early setbacks that shaped the WRC's greatest driver Loeb

A series of close calls in his formative years threatened to leave rallying's top echelon tantalisingly out of reach for the man who would go on to claim nine WRC titles. In an exclusive interview, Sebastien Loeb recalls the key steps on his road to dominance.

WRC
Dec 11, 2020