This might end up being yet another post discussing a horse that is so very dead, but I had to get it out and out it went. Perhaps it would be better to just drop it altogether, since it is probably not going to materialize, but as long as it keeps reappearing, I am going to keep shooting at it. Sooner or later, I’ll shoot it out. Shoot it out, get it? Nevermind. Maybe you’ve guessed it by now, maybe you haven’t. It’s the idea of shoot-out stages. Yes, that again. Just when we thought it gone, never to return, the man who gave birth to it could not let it rest in pieces. Even though he is leaving the WRC to join Formula 1. Which is where this idea of his could actually work, because they seem to be open to all kinds of stupidity.
In short, some time ago Jost Capito brought this idea back to life, reiterating that no, the WRC cannot possibly survive, thrive or progress unless it decides to adopt this bold new concept. People who originally opposed this idea once again spoke out against it and for a moment it looked like that was it, the final nail. Until former World Rally Champion and master rally driver, Ari Vatanen, for reasons unknown, decided to declare himself a fan of the shoot-out stage. Ari Vatanen. Wants to see the WRC events decided by basically ignoring 2 full days of rallying.
I honestly believe Ari only wants what’s best for this sport, he wants to see it grow and enchant new fans all over the world. But he, I hoped, would want to see that happen by keeping the core of the sport intact, and we are talking about core here. This idea is not about stage lengths or if 15 superspecials is too much in a single event, no. This idea, and I hate to call it that, wants to turn the World Rally Championship into 2016 Formula 1 qualifying, but have it take place after the race. It’s completely unimaginable. I still hope Ari just misunderstood something or his statements were taken out of context or something like that.
Can we just let it (the idea) die already, please. And start thinking about and discussing things that make sense, to begin with. Jarmo Mahonen made the first step by saying “nope, not going to happen” and he also expressed concern over destroying the core values of the sport. Well done!