Controversial WRC running order rules changed for 2017

One of the most controversial rules in the World Rally Championship has finally been settled for next season - with the running order returning to a system favoured by Sebastien Ogier

Controversial WRC running order rules changed for 2017

The current regulation forces the championship leader to run first on the road for Friday and Saturday of every WRC round, seriously handicapping progress on dry gravel rallies.

Ogier's former team principal Jost Capito warned earlier this year that a failure to change the regulation would, in his mind, likely send Ogier into retirement.

Wednesday's WRC Commission meeting in Paris has decided the running order for next year will leave the championship leader first on the road on only the opening day.

For Saturday and Sunday, the cars will run in reverse classification order in the same way they did in 2014.

That decision is bound to cause yet more controversy, with many favouring this year's system and pointing to the six different winners in six rallies as confirmation the changes worked.

Ogier, by his own admission, did his own cause for change no good by winning a fourth straight title with two rounds still to run.

In addition to that decision, the WRC Commission is understood to have confirmed additional powerstage points, with the fastest time taking five rather than three with points offered 5-4-3-2-1 for the top five on the final stage of a WRC round from Monte Carlo 2017 onwards.

Work has begun on the FIA WRC Trophy, a new category for private drivers of 2016 cars and, Autosport understands, WRC3 will remain next season - despite widespread belief it would be canned.

These decisions will all go forward for ratification at World Motor Sport Council later this month.

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