WRC manufacturers react to FIA reforms

The World Rally Championship factory teams will meet next Tuesday to consider a united response to the unpopular reforms that were confirmed for the 2004 series by the FIA this week [Sep 10]. David Richards of ISC, the commercial rights holder, commented: "The over-riding issue is the way the rules are being imposed. If [this] is the manner in which the FIA proposes to deal with matters, you have to question the whole structure . of the FIA. We're going into a very dangerous phase."

WRC manufacturers react to FIA reforms

The FIA World Motor Sport Council, voting by fax on Monday, approved an increase from 14 to 16 events, with the additions of rallies in Japan and Mexico. The WMSC says that cost-cutting measures - a restriction to two-car works teams, and a reduction of 'recce' activity on events - will offset the extra expense for the teams.

All the manufacturers are opposed to the reforms although, as a cost-cutting measure, Citröen is in favour of two-car teams, which are already operated by Ford and Hyundai.

Richards continued: "There is an FIA commission with all the appropriate stakeholders. To take the authority away from that group is wrong."

Ford is understood to be reviewing its entire participation in the WRC. Ford of Europe competition chief Jost Capito said: "Ford budgets are being reduced and if WRC budgets have to be increased, the feeling within the company is that it might not be right."

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