China on provisional 2016 WRC calendar, but 14 rallies angers teams

China has been included on the provisional 2016 World Rally Championship calendar to be debated at today's World Motor Sport Council meeting

China on provisional 2016 WRC calendar, but 14 rallies angers teams

The WRC's manufacturers have, however, been angered by the news that they are facing a 14-round schedule next season, an increase on this year's 13 rallies they have fought to avoid.

Citroen CEO Linda Jackson has previously outlined that an increase in the number of rallies would make it impossible for the French manufacturer to continue in the WRC.

While Citroen is also weighing up between continuing its WRC or World Touring Car Championship programmes in 2017, its stance is supported throughout the service park.

"This is crazy," one manufacturer source told AUTOSPORT.

"What do [the FIA] think can happen? That we can just magic budget from the air?

"I think there's no point to talk with these people.

"For sure, if we are 14 rallies, we cannot continue. I tell you, you will get the same answer from all manufacturers: no to 14!"

Earlier this month, FIA president Jean Todt made his position equally clear, when he explained that the WRC calendar remained the property of the governing body.

"I respect, of course, the opinion of the manufacturers, but it is up to the FIA to decide the number of events in its championships," he told AUTOSPORT.

TEAM VOTE PART OF PROCESS

WRC Commission members were issued with a proposed calendar by WRC Promoter, and asked to vote and answer two questions before close of play on Monday.

The first was a straight 'yes or no' question: do you want 14 rallies next season?

If they didn't want to answer that question, respondents were directed to another, choosing between 13 or 14 rallies, but naming the event to be dropped if they voted for 13.

The result of the WRC Commission vote will be discussed at the WMSC today, and while the return of China pleases teams, they are more interested in what could make way to maintain a 13-event calendar.

AUTOSPORT understands the Tour de Corse and Monte Carlo Rally are still yet to sign the formal WRC Promoter and FIA agreements.

Senior FIA officials have previously insisted that the 2016 calendar would not go to WMSC with any asterisks, however sources indicate it features two.

One covers the fallout from the FIA observers' report into Rally China and the requirement for change, the other a rider regarding Monte and Corsica signing up.

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FIA approves 14-round 2016 World Rally Championship calendar

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