Do not dismiss the 2016

2015 World Rally Championship / Round 06 / Rally d'Italia Sardinia // Worldwide Copyright: M-Sport/McKlein

I know we’re in the middle of the 2015 season, and by all accounts it is a good one, but what are your hopes for 2016? Beyond the usual “I hope someone finally takes the fight to Seb Ogier, por favor!”? It could be a tricky year, a final outing for current generation WRC cars, although I am fairly certain good amount of those will continue to run for years to come. How far into the season will teams push their 2016 cars, before fully committing to 2017 set of regulations? We would probably have to ask team bosses for opinion, mainly to hear what their comments are regarding the new rules, tech- and development-wise. Even though cars will look bolder and have more power, perhaps the transition from current generation to post-2017 one is not as radical as it sounds? I would really like to hear what their thoughts are on this matter.

The thing I want the most for 2016 is – stability. I want to see safe events, solid battles and further consolidation of media and marketing activities in and around the WRC. This year could be used to prepare existing fans for the 2017, to do so while emphasizing the importance of car and tech development, but also to include the awesome WRC history and its heritage. We want to hear more about the importance of rallying as a technology tool and we want to promote it as such – there is a lot to gain here. But these are just bits and pieces. As I said earlier, I hope for stability in everything except results. That, however, is not up to FIA or the promoters, but drivers. As much as I want to see a trouble-free season in terms of events and stages, I also want to see close(r) battles between teams and especially between drivers. Some of them are walking a fine line between having a job or being unemployed, so we could be seeing some new, or maybe even old, faces next year, making things even more exciting and entertaining.

In short, I sincerely hope everyone just keeps doing their job and focus on bringing more into this sport. There is no reason 2016 should not end up being one of the most exciting seasons in sport’s history, no matter if the rules are changing or not. It’s easy to get excited over 2017 and its “group B-ish” cars, but we have a whole year ahead of us, and that’s a lot of stages and lot of proper rally awesomeness for everyone.