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FIA to allow safer tyre compound in rallies from 2012 WRC season

Mikko Hirvonen, Ford, Australia 2011The World Motor Sport Council has confirmed WRC events can include a safer compound of tyre to be introduced from next year, following calls from the drivers.

There was outcry from the drivers on Rally Australia earlier this year, when heavy rain on the opening day made it difficult to find grip from the hard compound Michelin tyres the factory cars were forced to use.

The drivers called into question the safety of driving in such conditions as called on the FIA to implement a rule to allow an allocation of rubber which would be more suited to the unexpected conditions.

The WMSC agreed with this principle when it met in India today.

The communication from the meeting stated: "The WMSC agreed that, for safety reasons, a total of 10 tyres of a different compound may be used in place of the nominated compound, when specified as an option in the Supplementary Regulations of an event. The total quantity of tyres to be used during an event will however not change."

In addition to that decision, the date for the Catalunya Rally has been changed to November 8-11, a week later than originally planned.

The WMSC also confirmed that, from 2013, R4T rally cars will be eligible for FIA Regional Rally Championships.

The FIA said: "This new category of four-wheel-drive cars is designed to be cost-effective and more affordable for competitors. The acceptance of different category cars within the FIA World and Regional Rally Championships will be confirmed during 2012."

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