GROUP RAL­LY­ING EDITOR “Santos crash kick-started safety de­bate”

Motor Sport News - - Rally News - Pho­tos: mck­lein-im­age­ Gwynnespeed fea­ture, p34

Robert Reid is emerg­ing as a strong can­di­date to head up the in­au­gu­ral World Rally Cham­pi­onship driv­ers’ as­so­ci­a­tion.

The 2001 World Rally cham­pion co-driver re­cently de­parted his role within the sport’s gov­ern­ing body, the FIA, and wants to help ad­vance the views of the crews in the WRC.

There has been talk of a Grand Prix Driv­ers’ As­so­ci­a­tion-style body for some time in the WRC – and there have been loosely formed groups in the past – but Reid sees the re­la­tion­ship be­tween the driv­ers and the FIA as key to the sport’s fu­ture.

Along with GPDA chair­man Alex Wurz, the Scot was one of the names dis­cussed at the re­cent driv­ers’ meet­ing in Mex­ico. Wurz him­self tipped Reid for the job last month.

Reid said: “We all want the same thing: a safer sport and a bet­ter re­la­tion­ship be­tween the FIA and the crews. I’ve been a com­peti­tor at a high level, I know what it’s like when that mist de­scends and the only point of view you can see is your own. And the same from within the FIA, where I’ve spent the last three years as vice-pres­i­dent of the WRC Com­mis­sion; it’s at th­ese times that com­pro­mise needs to be found. I would rel­ish the chance to have a pos­i­tive im­pact for the fu­ture.”

While the driv­ers are not dis­cussing the de­tail of their Mex­ico meet­ing, one driver present told MN: “Robert is def­i­nitely the kind of per­son we’re look­ing at. We need to know the best way for­ward and we need some­body with an in­sight into what the GPDA achieves and how we can take the best from that.”

when I stopped for a while and he’s just gone from strength to strength. He’s def­i­nitely the bench­mark for any­one out­side of a World Rally Car now, and he’s even chal­leng­ing those.”

Davies won the last round of the cham­pi­onship – on the Sun­day por­tion of the Mid Wales Stages – by 54.8s af­ter just four stages, ahead of Andy Davies and Max Free­man.

“It was pretty much per­fect,” said Davies. “I was a bit an­noyed at my­self as I had a spin early on, but apart from that it felt re­ally good from the word go. The start to the BTRDA has gone badly though.”

Davies was OTL af­ter the last stage of the Mal­colm Wil­son. A fire in the stage was put out by he and co-driver Llion Wil­liams, and they pushed the car across the fin­ish, al­though it was deemed three min­utes late.

Reid (top left) is a win­ner at WRC level

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