Rally Ar­gentina to change route af­ter FIA raises spec­ta­tor safety con­cerns

Motor Sport News - - Rally News -

Rally Ar­gentina has made ma­jor changes to the route for next month’s event af­ter the FIA was un­happy with safety for the pro­posed itin­er­ary.

WRC safety del­e­gate Michele Mou­ton trav­elled to Villa Car­los Paz just be­fore last week’s Rally Mex­ico to look at the planned route. Mou­ton was con­cerned at the fast na­ture and lim­ited ac­cess for fans on the se­cond and long­est day. The or­gan­is­ers scrapped the Satur­day itin­er­ary and is­sued a re­vised sched­ule.

Rally Ar­gentina is run­ning un­der warn­ing for spec­ta­tor safety in­fringe­ments last sea­son and WRC man­ager Jarmo Ma­ho­nen made it quite clear that a re­peat of those is­sues would re­sult in Ar­gentina be­ing ejected from the se­ries.

Talk­ing to MN about the changes made at her re­quest, Mou­ton said: “Satur­day’s stages were a long way to the north of the ser­vice park and I un­der­stand why they did this – they were tak­ing the route away from the spectators to try to avoid the prob­lems we had last year. The trou­ble is that the three stages they had used were in very quick suc­ces­sion with very lit­tle road sec­tion be­tween them.

“Th­ese were stages from Dakar, just straight roads and too fast. The other prob­lem was that you could only get spectators into the first stage. So, now we have three stages much closer to Cor­doba [the big­gest pop­u­la­tion cen­tre], but with enough room for the spectators.”

The orig­i­nal 12-hour Satur­day in­cluded 89 com­pet­i­tive miles but has been re­placed by 98 miles in 10 hours of ac­tion.

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