FIA closes WRC privateer testing loophole after Ostberg row

Private entrants have now been banned from testing 2017 World Rally Cars outside Europe, bringing drivers such as Mads Ostberg into line with manufacturers

FIA closes WRC privateer testing loophole after Ostberg row

Private entrants have now been banned from testing 2017 World Rally Cars outside Europe, bringing drivers such as Mads Ostberg into line with manufacturers.

Eyebrows were raised and complaints made when Ostberg tested his Onebet Jipocar World Rally Team Ford Fiesta WRC in Argentina before the country's WRC round last month.

Though Ostberg is ostensibly a privateer, the requirement for all 2017 World Rally Car drivers to be entered via a manufacturer team means he is considered under the M-Sport umbrella in paperwork terms.

The FIA has moved quickly to close down the testing regulation, much to Ostberg's frustration.

"I don't really understand that," Ostberg told Autosport.

"I just have to see the funny part - it's a rule that's been here for 15 years and now they change it.

"That's the only benefit I had left. What do I have on the factory teams?

"It's ridiculous. I mean, come on."

The FIA reported complaints from more than one manufacturer with one source explaining: "What's to stop, for example, Citroen from doing a deal with a local driver in Australia?

"They say PH Sport [Citroen's leading customer team] will run the car, go out there and do a week of testing and then hand that data back to the factory team.

"There's a danger that this could start happening, that's why we want to change the rules."

Ostberg's team pointed out that there were no M-Sport engineers or any mechanics from the factory team present at its test in South America.

shares
comments
Mads Ostberg may switch between DMACK and Michelin during 2017 WRC

Previous article

Mads Ostberg may switch between DMACK and Michelin during 2017 WRC

Next article

Citroen starting from scratch with new-for-2018 WRC2 car

Citroen starting from scratch with new-for-2018 WRC2 car
Load comments
Does Neuville have a point with his Rally1 rant? Plus

Does Neuville have a point with his Rally1 rant?

OPINION: Thierry Neuville's diatribe against the upcoming Rally1-spec machines that will usher in the World Rally Championship's new hybrid era was remarkable in an era where drivers are usually reticent to air their views in public. But are the Belgian's concerns about speed, safety and cost entirely valid?

WRC
Sep 16, 2021
How the WRC's new flying Finn reached new heights in the Greek mountains Plus

How the WRC's new flying Finn reached new heights in the Greek mountains

After Kalle Rovanpera’s historic feat at Rally Estonia, the Finn scaled new heights at the Rally of the Gods with a commanding victory. And this time Toyota’s young star demonstrated why the future is bright with his devastating speed and consistency at the Acropolis Rally

WRC
Sep 13, 2021
The WRC drivers that came of age at the Acropolis Rally Plus

The WRC drivers that came of age at the Acropolis Rally

Five drivers have won first time out at the Rally Acropolis, transcending the tough dirt and gravel Greek roads to cement a place in rallying folklore. Here are three of the first-time winners' tales

WRC
Sep 9, 2021
Understanding Suninen’s sudden WRC exit gamble Plus

Understanding Suninen’s sudden WRC exit gamble

From being considered a likely contender to drive the next-generation M-Sport Ford Puma in 2022, Teemu Suninen's abrupt exit has created plenty of questions. The Finn's bid to become his country's next World Rally Championship winner won't be furthered by being sidelined, but there may be reason behind the decision

WRC
Sep 2, 2021
Could Spa’s cameo offer the WRC a new avenue to exploit? Plus

Could Spa’s cameo offer the WRC a new avenue to exploit?

OPINION: The Ypres Rally featured a cameo from the Spa-Francorchamps circuit in its final stage, giving WRC teams the chance to experience its iconic corners in rallying machinery. It proved to be an engaging addition to the rally, and could perhaps serve as an example for other events to visit famous circuits

WRC
Aug 24, 2021
How Hyundai's home hero delivered overdue WRC success in Belgium Plus

How Hyundai's home hero delivered overdue WRC success in Belgium

With limited recent fortune and pressure starting to mount, Hyundai needed a big result at the Ypres Rally. All the key components came together in Belgium to see home hero Thierry Neuville lead a manufacturer 1-2 and kickstart its World Rally Championship challenge

WRC
Aug 16, 2021
The new car that can resurrect Ford's WRC winning pedigree Plus

The new car that can resurrect Ford's WRC winning pedigree

M-Sport has become the first to unveil its new-for-2022 hybrid World Rally Championship challenger, the Puma Rally1. Ford has upped its support in a bid for glory, but can the new machine roll back the years and return the Blue Oval to the top of the WRC tree?

WRC
Aug 12, 2021
The rookie WRC driver aiming to continue Loeb and Ogier's legacies Plus

The rookie WRC driver aiming to continue Loeb and Ogier's legacies

French drivers have dominated the World Rally Championship across the past two decades; Sebastiens Loeb and Ogier have racked up the titles in commanding fashion. With Ogier calling it a day on full-time WRC competition from next year, France will pin its long-term hopes on rookie Adrien Fourmaux, who looks to have a bright future.

WRC
Aug 7, 2021