CON­TROL TYRE DE­CI­SION DE­FERRED

GROUP RAL­LY­ING ED­I­TOR

Motor Sport News - - Rally News - Rally Es­to­nia re­port, p17 Pho­tos: mck­lein-im­age­database.com

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.

Miche­lin re­mains in WRC DMACK likes de­fer­ral de­ci­sion

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