New plan meets with uni­ver­sal ap­proval

Motor Sport News - - Rally News - By David Evans

Last month’s World Rally Cham­pi­onship Com­mis­sion meet­ing ap­pears to have brought clar­ity to the con­tro­ver­sial de­bate over run­ning or­der reg­u­la­tions in the series.

The quar­rel over who runs first on the road has plagued this year’s sea­son. When Se­bastien Ogier wasn’t voic­ing his dis­quiet, his for­mer team prin­ci­pal Jost Capito was pre­dict­ing his re­tire­ment from the sport should change not be af­fected soon.

Change it ap­pears is on its way and Ogier has spo­ken out in favour of what he sees as the fairest – and ap­par­ently the most likely – op­tion.

That op­tion is cham­pi­onship or­der for the open­ing day with cham­pi­onship or­der re­versed for the pri­or­ity driv­ers on day two be­fore re­versed clas­si­fi­ca­tion or­der (as it has been this sea­son) for Sun­day’s stages.

When asked if the for­mat could work, Ogier said: “Why not? I will be fine with that – it is fair. I think this can work, it can still be af­fected by the weather, things can still hap­pen. For me that will make me happy and it will be also a big gain for the cham­pi­onship be­cause it means we can skip this sub­ject which is all the time in the mind of ev­ery­body. It’s im­pos­si­ble to avoid it – it’s such a big in­flu­ence on the per­for­mance and the re­sult of ev­ery­one.

“Look to the last six months, it looks like I lost the per­for­mance, but that’s not true – I still had the speed and I showed this on every Sun­day morn­ing and e very pow­er­stage. It was just that I was not able to do this when the con­di­tions were not equal.”

Ogier’s new team prin­ci­pal Sven Smeets agreed that a so­lu­tion could be in place be­fore the end of Septem­ber from the World Mo­tor Sport Coun­cil meet­ing at the end of the month.

“That’s the in­ten­tion,” Smeets told MN. “Like we have said con­sis­tently: we want the fairest op­tion. We had a lot of ideas be­ing talked about, now we’re down to just a cou­ple.”

MN un­der­stands the al­ter­na­tive is a re­turn to cham­pi­onship or­der on day one fol­lowed by re­versed clas­si­fi­ca­tion of World Rally Cars on both Satur­day and Sun­day.

A re­turn to qual­i­fy­ing has been ruled out by WRC Com­mis­sion.

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