FIA admits WRC running order rules went 'too far' in 2016

FIA rally director Jarmo Mahonen has admitted he got this year's World Rally Championship running order regulations wrong and will oversee rule changes at Wednesday's World Motor Sport Council

FIA admits WRC running order rules went 'too far' in 2016

This year's rules forced the championship leader to run first on the road on the Friday and Saturday of every round of the series.

While the regulations helped boost diversity in terms of success - six drivers won six different rallies on the bounce in the middle of the year - it caused significant disharmony in the service park.

World champion Sebastien Ogier was bitterly opposed to the rule change and even talked about walking away from the championship at the height of his discontent.

Mahonen told Autosport: "I was the architect of this decision to change the rules for this year and it was too much.

"I talked to all of the drivers and I don't think it was much of a tough decision - they were all in favour of the change for next season.

'What we had this year, was a little bit too far."

FINAL 2017 CALENDAR EXPECTED

In addition to that regulation change, the Vienna meeting of WMSC is also expected to confirm a 13-round WRC calendar identical in its make-up to this year. China and Turkey will not be included.

"We evaluated the situation in Turkey," said Mahonen, "and we don't want to take any risks.

"It's the same with China - we don't want to bet on something of which we are a little bit unsure.

"Nobody knows what will be the situation [in Turkish politics] in one year, so it's better to wait."

Another key area of development from the WMSC will be the ratification of the 2017 FIA WRC Trophy, which will allow private drivers of 2016 or older World Rally Cars to compete for this new award. The crews will count seven scores to their final tally.

The inclusion of the new category will breathe new life into private 2016 cars on offer from M-Sport, PH Sport (DS 3 WRCs), Volkswagen and potentially Hyundai.

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WRC approves running order rule revamp and 2017 calendar

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