Acropolis Rally: Citroen's protest against Volkswagen rejected

Citroen's protest against all three Volkswagen Polo R WRCs contesting the Acropolis Rally was quashed by the stewards, ensuring Jari-Matti Latvala remained victorious in Greece

Acropolis Rally: Citroen's protest against Volkswagen rejected

The French team questioned the presence of a second battery in the boot of the Polo R WRCs, but the event stewards decided at close to 1am local time to declare the protest unfounded.

The case centred on Article 255A of the FIA Sporting Code, which precludes a competing car from running with two batteries.

The stewards found in favour of Volkswagen after the German team pointed to another ruling (Article 252 - 7.3) which allows a spare battery to be run in the car as a spare part.

The stewards' decision stated: "They [Volkswagen] explained that while the battery is installed in the right-rear corner of the car, it is not connected and can only be connected after disconnecting the battery in use. They also claimed that they had clarified the use of a spare battery with the FIA Technical Delegate last year and therefore used this installed battery.

"The stewards then heard the FIA technical delegate as a witness, who confirmed he had been asked by Citroen to look at the spare battery installation of cars seven and eight in parc ferme.

"He also confirmed that he has clarified with Volkswagen that this spare battery was in conformity with Article 255A and it was considered to be a spare part, He produced pictures of the spare battery showing that it was installed and not connected."

After concluding only one battery was in use and one must be disconnected before the spare could be connected and that no regulations had been broken, the stewards found in favour of Volkswagen.

Having spent much of the evening awaiting the decision, Volkswagen took the unprecedented step of communicating the stewards' announcement.

The Volkswagen press release said: "The Citroen Total Abu Dhabi Team launched a protest against the classification of the three Volkswagen Polo R WRCs. This protest was rejected due to a formal error.

"The manufacturer then filed a further two protests against Volkswagen Motorsport and Volkswagen Motorsport II (Andreas Mikkelsen's car). These protests also exhibited mistakes in their content, but were accepted by the sports commissioners. Both sides were summoned to a hearing to explain their viewpoints.

"The protests were directed at batteries, which, exclusively during parc ferme periods, are left in the cars overnight as spare parts and are then removed the following morning before leaving the service park. This has been common practice in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) for years.

"A technical delegate of the FIA approved this procedure prior to the 2013 season, upon explicit inquiry from Volkswagen.

"After extensive consultation, the sports commissioners dismissed the protests as unsubstantiated."

Citroen will not appeal the decision.

shares
comments
Acropolis Rally: Robert Kubica secures first WRC 2 win

Previous article

Acropolis Rally: Robert Kubica secures first WRC 2 win

Next article

Neuville: I've proved I can be clever enough for WRC success

Neuville: I've proved I can be clever enough for WRC success
Load comments

About this article

Series WRC
Author David Evans
Why the casualty of rallying's evolution should still be cherished Plus

Why the casualty of rallying's evolution should still be cherished

The WRC's support categories are in a process of streamlining that will spell the end of a formalised 2WD world championship-level category. While its relevance to the top level has been questioned for some time, that doesn't mean it should be swept quietly under the carpet

WRC
Apr 5, 2021
Why WRC's hybrid path could leave it at a crossroads Plus

Why WRC's hybrid path could leave it at a crossroads

With all three major manufacturers committing to the World Rally Championship’s hybrid era from 2022, the future of the series is assured for now, but it could lead to trickier twists and turns further down the road

WRC
Apr 1, 2021
How Tanak froze out the competition at the Arctic Rally Plus

How Tanak froze out the competition at the Arctic Rally

Ott Tanak made up for a disastrous Monte Carlo Rally by leading all the way on the snow-kissed stages of the Arctic Rally Finland and in the process hit back at an event Toyota had been expected to dominate

WRC
Mar 1, 2021
What to expect from the WRC's venture to the Arctic Plus

What to expect from the WRC's venture to the Arctic

This week's Arctic Rally Finland will bring the World Rally Championship into new territory. And, almost without exception, the service park can't wait for the subzero challenge to commence

WRC
Feb 25, 2021
How Ogier achieved a fitting Monte Carlo farewell Plus

How Ogier achieved a fitting Monte Carlo farewell

Against pandemic-shaped odds, the World Rally Championship season opener went ahead in Monte Carlo last weekend as a familiar face again took top spot. But for an emotional Sebastien Ogier, his record-breaking eighth win meant more than most

WRC
Jan 25, 2021
What to look out for in the 2021 WRC Plus

What to look out for in the 2021 WRC

As the 2021 World Rally Championship prepares to launch amid tight COVID-19 restrictions in Monte Carlo, here are the eight things unrelated to the pandemic that you should keep an eye on this year

WRC
Jan 21, 2021
Evans on the talking points of WRC 2021 Plus

Evans on the talking points of WRC 2021

He came close to the title last year, and now Toyota's Elfyn Evans gives his verdict on what to expect from 2021 as the World Rally Championship prepares to reconvene for the Monte Carlo season opener

WRC
Jan 20, 2021
Why Britain's continued WRC absence is a wake-up call Plus

Why Britain's continued WRC absence is a wake-up call

OPINION: With Rally GB dropping off the World Rally Championship calendar for the second year in a row, one of Britain's best-attended sporting events faces an uncertain future. It's an unfortunate situation that points to troubling times ahead

WRC
Jan 12, 2021