Rally Sweden organisers relieved usual World Rally timing system back in use
|By David Evans||Thursday, February 9th 2012, 19:38 GMT|
Rally Sweden clerk of the course Bertil Klarin has praised the FIA for returning the timing and tracking systems for his event.
Klarin admitted he had a back-up plan in case British-based timing and tracking provider Stage 1 Technology could not reach an agreement to continue, but said it did not offer the guaranteed coverage of S1T. S1T was unable to attend last month's Monte Carlo Rally due to former World Rally Championship promoter North One Sport being placed in administration, but the firm agreed a one-off deal for Sweden.
"This is the system we have been using for the last 10 or 11 years, so all of my marshals are used to it," said Klarin. "It was a big relief when we knew that Stage 1 managed to get the contract to come here."
Klarin added that the use of the repeater plane, which flies at 20,000 feet over the rally footprint for the duration of the event, ensuring perfect tracking coverage, was key for the safety of the crews. Prior to Monte Carlo, the plane had only been down once in 11 years.
"It's absolutely vital that we had this system and the plane back for the safety of the crews. I heard the stories from Monte Carlo, when [Jari-Matti] Latvala went off the road and the team knew he was off long before the organisers!" said Klarin.
"When we have the plane in the sky, we are 100 per cent sure that the tracking is working. It will be difficult to find a system around the world [which works as well as this]."
FIA vice-president Morrie Chandler added that the future of this side of the sport was being investigated at the moment.
"We've got used to the system from Stage 1 Technology and it was hard when we didn't have it in Monte Carlo," he said. "There's a research group looking into it at the moment, we're considering all the options."