World points scor­ing change plan draws crit­i­cism

Motor Sport News - - Rally News - Peu­geot em­ployed Panizzi for asphalt

Volk­swa­gen’s Jost Capito has crit­i­cised plans for proposed changes to next year’s World Rally Cham­pi­onship scor­ing sys­tem, say­ing it will kill the op­por­tu­nity for teams to de­velop young driv­ers.

Last week’s WRC Com­mis­sion meet­ing dis­cussed the po­ten­tial for teams to run three cars, with the top two clas­si­fied fin­ish­ers from the team scor­ing points. MN’S un­der­stand­ing is that none of the driv­ers would need to be nom­i­nated at the start of the sea­son.

This opens up the po­ten­tial for teams to bring more ex­pe­ri­enced driv­ers rather than young tal­ent, while also se­lect­ing spe­cial­ist driv­ers for spe­cific sur­faces – in the way Peu­geot did with a team run­ning Harri Ro­van­pera on gravel and Gilles Panizzi on asphalt be­tween 2001-03. Peu­geot won the ti­tle from 2000-2002 and when Citroen won the 2003 ti­tle with its su­perteam of Se­bastien Loeb, Colin Mcrae and Car­los Sainz, the rule was changed. Only two nom­i­nated driv­ers could score points for a man­u­fac­turer from 2004 on­wards.

De­spite it be­ing dis­cussed at Com­mis­sion, Capito doubts it will see the light of day in com­pe­ti­tion.

“I don’t think it will come,” he told MN. “There were rea­sons why this was taken away and there is noth­ing wrong now. I told Jarmo [Ma­ho­nen, FIA rally direc­tor], you will never get a young driver com­ing through with this rule. You will need con­sis­tency from your three good driv­ers and you will need your specialists. The old guys will come out of nowhere.”

Hyundai’s Michel Nan­dan had the po­lar op­po­site view, say­ing: “I think it’s a good idea. It will make all of the man­u­fac­tur­ers run three cars. That’s a good thing. It’s a big­ger show and a big­ger show needs more driv­ers.”

Ma­ho­nen said the rule would re­turn more out of ad­min­is­tra­tive con­ve­nience and as an ef­fort to make the sport clearer for the pub­lic.

Photos: mck­lein-im­age­, FIA ERC

Capito has slammed changes

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