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FIA releases WRC fan survey results

The FIA has released selected data from the World Rally Championship fan survey that was conducted to help form the future pathway for top-level rallying.

Esapekka Lappi, Janne Ferm, Hyundai World Rally Team Hyundai i20 N Rally1

Photo by: Red Bull Content Pool

The world motorsport governing body launched a fan survey last month asking rally enthusiasts a range of questions to help understand the future direction of the championship.

The FIA has confirmed more than 11,000 fans took part in the online survey. The data was presented at the World Motor Sport Council where the FIA released an extensive vision for the future.

This vision is the result of work carried out by a working group created in December last year, headed by FIA deputy president Robert Reid and former WRC team boss David Richards.

The concept for the future included the removal of hybrid units from the Rally1 cars from next season. Data released by the FIA has revealed that only 23% of respondents were in favour of hybrid power in WRC, while 59% supported a view of pursuing sustainable fuel.

There was a consensus (72%) that there should also be a level playing field for rally cars, which are based on cars larger than the current size. Unsurprisingly, an overwhelming 97% want to see more manufacturers competing in the championship, with only Toyota, Hyundai and Ford, through M-Sport, involved at the top level currently.

The large majority of fans (80%) would like to see longer rallies in the future and for the calendar to have the right balance between sprints and endurance events. The FIA confirmed last week that it intends to offer a variety of endurance and sprint-style events moving forward.

The results have also confirmed that fans receive most of their information about the WRC from electronic media, and primarily trade media. But only slightly more than 53% are satisfied with TV/Internet airtime that is currently provided. Fans would like to see a greater presence of rallying in this media with a balanced split between free and paid content.

Adrien Fourmaux, Alexandre Coria, M-Sport Ford World Rally Team Ford Puma Rally1

Adrien Fourmaux, Alexandre Coria, M-Sport Ford World Rally Team Ford Puma Rally1

Photo by: Red Bull Content Pool

The survey revealed that less than 30% of respondents went to a WRC rally during the past twelve months with the main obstacles being cost and distance.

Reflecting on the results, FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem said: “The impressive response from WRC fans is a clear indication of the passion held for this unique motor sport, and the information they have shared is invaluable as we look to review the Championship and set future objectives.”

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