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FIA considering tweak to running order

Sebastien Ogier, Citroen, Jordan 2011The FIA is considering a change of regulation ahead of the next round of the World Rally Championship to reverse the running order on rallies.

The top 15 crews after day one of world rallies were reversed until the end of the event, before a regulation change at the start of 2008, which meant the cars ran in championship order on day one and rally order on days two and three.

Citroen team principal Olivier Quesnel railed against this last season and raised the issue in Jordan last week, where he felt Sebastien Loeb and Mikko Hirvonen were ruled out of the fight because they had to run first on the road.

A source within the FIA said: "There are, as ever, strong feelings on this matter and we are looking at it closely. Yes, regulations could be changed before the next round of the championship, we have seen this happen before. But we have to give careful consideration to all aspects of this and, we would want to have to approval of the teams before we make the change."

And that could be the sticking point for the change as Ford's Malcolm Wilson is not convinced by the need to revert to the old rule.

"Look at the fight in Jordan," said Wilson. "Look at all of the rallies this season, five drivers in with a chance of winning in Sweden and then in Jordan the closest finish ever, that's because of these regulations. We are seeing some incredibly exciting sport right now and if we go back to reversing the order, we could have some fairly predictable results."

Quesnel countered that by saying: "We knew from the start that Mikko and Seb [Loeb] could not win this rally. The result was as we expected: Ogier and Latvala fighting - the first day reversed. If we don't change this, we can't find out who is the fastest driver because the conditions will not be the same for everybody."

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