Ral­ly­ing fun

Motor Sport News - - Historics -

The rally stage will again be a pop­u­lar fea­ture of the Fes­ti­val of Speed and will be topped by runs from Jari-matti Lat­vala in the VW Polo R WRC that he will also drive up the hill. Mike Con­way, fresh from rac­ing at Le Mans with Toy­ota, will drive the Toy­ota GT86 on the rally stage.

Hyundai team prin­ci­pal Michel Nan­dan says a re­turn to three car ‘su­per teams’ with spe­cial­ist driv­ers isn’t pos­si­ble as they sim­ply don’t ex­ist any­more.

Nan­dan’s op­po­site num­ber at Volk­swa­gen, Jost Capito, has voiced his con­cerns over a po­ten­tial FIA reg­u­la­tion change al­low­ing the top two driv­ers from a three-car team to score points next sea­son, in a change from the cur­rent two driv­ers only per team. Capito feels this will re­vert the se­ries to the days when driv­ers like Gilles Panizzi and Harri Ro­van­pera were drafted in to per­form on spe­cific asphalt and gravel ral­lies. The rule was changed at the end of 2003 in an ef­fort to stop teams buy­ing the best driv­ers for all ral­lies.

Nan­dan said: “The time of the spe­cial­ist has gone. The driver of to­day has changed. Be­fore we would look to the French Cham­pi­onship be­cause that se­ries was strong on the asphalt and the Finns and Swedes were more lo­cated in their [na­tional] cham­pi­onships, but now there are more driv­ers do­ing WRC2 and the Ju­nior [WRC] and these driv­ers are more used to all sur­faces.”

Nan­dan en­dorsed the three-driver rule, say­ing: “It’s a way of mak­ing sure all the man­u­fac­tur­ers run three cars.”

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