CONTROL TYRE DECISION DEFERRED
GROUP RALLYING EDITOR
The decision on whether to run a control tyre in the World Rally Championship has been deferred for a year – Michelin and DMACK will remain the series main suppliers in 2017.
News of a potential change in regulation broke at Rally Poland earlier this month, when WRC Promoter confirmed a control tyre remained an option for next season. WRC manager Jarmo Mahonen told MN it would not happen in 2017.
“It’s the normal business of the promoter to investigate these things,” said Mahonen, “but it can’t happen next year.”
Asked if it could happen in 2018, Mahonen replied: “It’s always a possibility. With the multi-supplier approach we have at the moment all of the brands are benefitting from promotion with the world championship and, of course, we like the competition in the series. This is important.
“On the other side, we remember when Pirelli was investing as the control tyre supplier – there was a financial element to this. Beyond that financial side, having a control; tyre would obviously give us some sort of control over what the tyre is and how much grip it offers. We have to discuss some more, but it’s sure it won’t be for next season.”
DMACK’S Dick Cormack said the deferred decision was commonsense for the series.
“The view that we have is the same as Michelin,” said Cormack, “and that’s very simple: a control tyre is not the right way forward. Michelin and DMACK want the same thing, we want competition.
“But what we need more than anything right now is some clarity on this whole issue. We have some significant investment coming and we’ve got big plans for the future, but we need to know what the future holds beyond 2018. And I can say right now that a control tyre would hold no interest for us.”
Pirelli ran the WRC’S only control tyre from 2008-2010 and the Italian firm has said it could be interested in a frontline WRC return under either control or multi-supplier regulations once it sees what it feels is an upturn in the promotion of the series.
competition split between two loops of three stages. The action remains in the same region as last year, but with alterations to all three of the roads used.
Saturday’s opener is cut short from last year (20 miles instead of 34). Once again the stage starts in Lardier et Valenca, just outside Gap, but this time it heads north to Oze instead of south to Faye. The day’s second test starts from La Batie Monsaleon and finishes in Faye.
Sunday is two runs at the three-mile Luceram-col St Roch, the second of which is the powerstage. They sandwich the run from La Bollene Vesubie-peira Cava, which means an identical run over the Col de Turini as this year.
A change to the final day is the replacement of Sunday morning service with a tyrefitting zone. It means the rally cars will have no assistance after the 170-mile road section on Saturday night.
The rally finishes outside the palace in Monaco at around 1400hrs on Sunday January 22.