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WRC NEWS 

World Rally manufacturers want series to focus on Europe and Americas

Sebastien Loeb, Citroen, Australia 2011The World Rally Championship manufacturers are believed to have proposed a 2013 calendar with no scope for any rallies outside of Europe and the Americas to the FIA.

FIA president Jean Todt has long campaigned for a geographically wider-ranging WRC - but the manufacturers want 10 rallies in Europe, one in central America and two in South America next season.

The 2013 calendar will be debated for the first time at the May meeting of the WRC Commission, with both parties hopeful of the schedule being cemented at the World Motor Sport Council meeting a month later.

One team source said: "The value in the American markets is enormous and we need a calendar which will reflect that. What we need now more than ever is value in return for every Euro we spend."

Controversially, the manufacturers have left Rally New Zealand, Rally Australia and the South African candidate event off the proposed schedule - while there is an expectation that one or both candidate events (the other runs in Brazil) will be on the FIA's draft calendar, albeit with a 'provisional' asterisk, in May.

In January, Todt talked about splitting the championship with half the rounds in Europe and half spread around the rest of the world.

"If we make the WRC concentrated to German rally, French rally, which are 20km from each other, economically it will be easier," he said. "But, we say we want a strong world championship and we are working on that. We have to try to see how to combine a worldwide event while taking into consideration the limited budgets available."

Todt added that the FIA remained committed to the WRC's three-year roadmap, which the FIA and all WRC stakeholders rubber-stamped at the end of last season. That plan confirms the WRC will move into two new territories next season, with Russia, Brazil, China and India the most important of those strategic regions.

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