Trac­tor chi­canes leave world cham­pion Ogier fum­ing in Fin­land

Motor Sport News - - Rally News -

The use of trac­tors to cre­ate a chi­cane on a Rally Fin­land stage was deemed “ir­re­spon­si­ble” by the teams last week.

World cham­pion Se­bastien Ogier said the drivers first raised their con­cerns about hav­ing the two trac­tors on a stretch of as­phalt where the crews were run­ning gravel tyres, as po­ten­tially com­pro­mis­ing safety in the event of rain.

Ogier told MN: “We talked about this straight af­ter the recce and said this can’t be se­ri­ous. The FIA is fight­ing [for] road safety and in F1 we see such bad ac­ci­dents in­volv­ing trac­tors. OK, our cars are a lit­tle bit safer with more [pro­tec­tion] around us and we don’t ar­rive with the same speed, but any­way there’s no point in that – it’s not re­ally clever. We have asked for these to be re­moved af­ter we drove the stage on Thurs­day night, for the sec­ond time we go to the stage on Fri­day, but they were not [re­moved].”

Rally Fin­land clerk of the course Kai Tarki­ainen said the de­ci­sion was his to place the trac­tors on the road as part of a com­mer­cial agree­ment with event part­ner Val­tra.

“The com­pany con­sulted with me to see if that could be done, I con­sulted the FIA and then made the de­ci­sion,” Tarki­ainen told MN. “We mea­sured and con­sid­ered ev­ery­thing that could hap­pen. It was done with the FIA’S mea­sure­ments re­gard­ing how much free space there has to be be­tween the ob­sta­cles and the reg­u­la­tion doesn’t de­fine what the ob­sta­cle should be. I’m sur­prised to hear this be­cause none of the teams have ap­proached me about it.” ● Rally Fin­land’s place on the WRC cal­en­dar is con­firmed for the next two sea­sons.

Ogier had safety con­cerns

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