Behold the news about World Rally Championship and rallying in general, effective next year and beyond (unless FIA managed to miss a typo in the text below). Federation’s World Motor Sports Council took a trip to Qatar to have a wee little meeting, setting some rules and changes in motion for most of the motor sports disciplines, run under FIA’s banner. Our precious WRC was also discussed, although it only got a few bullet points and a calendar full of asterisks, compared to Formula 1 and their five hundred and sixty seven changes. Perhaps they’re broken and we’re not?
Anywho, the main news is ban of the so-called “performance data to or from a competing car”, which in the language of men means – no splits. How will they police it and what will it mean, remains to be seen. This ban has good sides and bad sides, but if winning and performing is so deeply linked to crews knowing about rivals’ performance, then I’m sure they’ll… uh… find a way.
“If at a tight left hander, 5.65 kilometers from the stage start you see three guys wearing red jackets, you’re too fast. If they’re wearing green, you’re too slow. If they’re wearing blue, they’re from the FIA, don’t look at them!”
This is the official summary of changes concerning WRC and rallying under FIA’s jurisdiction for 2015:
THE WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP
The 2015 FIA World Rally Championship calendar is confirmed as follows:
25 January MCO Rally Monte Carlo**
15 February SWE Rally Sweden
08 March MEX Rally Mexico*
26 April ARG Rally Argentina
24 May PRT Rally Portugal
14 June ITA Rally Italy*
05 July POL Rally Poland
02 August FIN Rally Finland
23 August DEU Rallye Germany
13 September AUS Rally Australia
04 October FRA Rally France**
25 October ESP Rally Spain
15 November GBR Rally Great Britain
Note: The finish date given is the Sunday of the rally weekend.
* Subject to ASN’s confirmation.
** Subject to Organisation Agreement.
- From 2015, the transmission of performance data or information to or from a competing car, not in relation with safety, is forbidden during special stages to help promote greater competition.
- In order to give greater opportunity to teams entering just one car in the WRC 2 and WRC 3 Championships for Teams, only the best placed car in a team will be taken into account for points.
- It is clarified that a car which has not started from the start line within 20 seconds will be considered as retired and will be able to restart under Rally 2 on the subsequent day.
- In order to give flexibility to non-priority drivers, it is proposed that these drivers may continue to use the previously homologated specifications of asphalt tyres for one additional year.
- From 1 January 2016, R5 cars will be recognised as the top competition car in the FIA European Rally Championship (ERC) and the S2000-Rally 1.6 turbo car will no longer be eligible in these events.
- In order to harmonise the number of results counting towards ERC titles, the maximum number of events counting towards the ERC 3 Championship has been increased to seven.
- In order to reduce costs for ERC Junior competitors, the tyre lottery will no longer exist from 2015, enabling competitors to re-use tyres from one rally to another.
- When allowed in the rally Supplementary Regulations, Priority drivers may now be allowed to participate in the shakedown on ERC events, after the results of the Qualifying Stage are official.
- A specific Priority status will be assigned to drivers registered in the FIA R-GT Cup, enabling them to be seeded amongst the P3 drivers during the WRC and ERC Cup events.
- In order to help increase the number of participants in the FIA African Rally Championship, cars homologated by Motorsport South Africa, as well as historical cars conforming to Appendix K, will be eligible in the Championship.
- Similarly, in the FIA Asia-Pacific and NACAM Rally Championships, additional eligible categories have been added and the APRC series may also permit ASN approved cars to compete and score points. Eligible categories are available from the Championship Secretariats.