FIA to clamp down on World Rally Championship stage speeds

World Rally Championship stages deemed to be too fast will not be tolerated this season, FIA rally chiefs insist

FIA to clamp down on World Rally Championship stage speeds

The second run of Rally Sweden's Knon stage last weekend was called off after pacesetter Ott Tanak's M-Sport Ford set an average speed of 85.62mph on its first use.

The FIA is considering regulatory changes to ensure average speeds do not go above 80mph.

FIA rally director Jarmo Mahonen told Autosport: "These cars are quicker than the old cars - but in this stage even last year's [cars] were going more than 130km/h [80mph]

"These kind of stages teach us one thing: we need to take a more firm grip when organisers want to introduce new stages, we have to be present to check them.

"If we see a stage time of more than 130km/h then it's an indicator that we need to be looking at this.

"From our point of view this was too fast. What we want to do is look at a guideline on this, but maybe we need to think to the regulations."

Mahonen hopes other rally organisers will take note of what happened in Sweden.

"We want the cancellation of this stage to send a message to the other organisers to think carefully about their route," he said.

"We want speeds lower than 130km/h, but I remember when I was an organiser and I didn't want to use straw bales to make chicanes.

"I understand that, and the answer is simple: use smaller roads that will be slower. This is what we have to do."

The Swedish stage cancellation prompted criticism from drivers.

One said: "I don't understand how we can get to this point in the rally before the FIA stepped in and did something about it.

"The road was just straight, not dangerous, just boring. But it was like this when the FIA inspected the route."

Mahonen confirmed the FIA would be taking a more active role in checking new stage routes in the future, but said organisers had to do more too.

"Maybe some of the organisers use older drivers who have not been in this game in several years and maybe they don't have an idea of how quick these cars are," he said.

shares
comments
WRC chiefs warn Rally Sweden must ensure its route has snow

Previous article

WRC chiefs warn Rally Sweden must ensure its route has snow

Next article

Rally Sweden key to move on from Monte Carlo tragedy for Paddon

Rally Sweden key to move on from Monte Carlo tragedy for Paddon
Load comments
How Finland’s newest rally hero made WRC history in Estonia Plus

How Finland’s newest rally hero made WRC history in Estonia

Kalle Rovanpera broke a decade-old record in becoming the World Rally Championship's youngest-ever winner in a truly dominant performance on Estonia's fast gravel roads. Staving off the challenge of Hyundai's Craig Breen, his committed drive showed a maturity beyond his 20 years that gives Toyota's post-Ogier era a far brighter complexion

WRC
Jul 19, 2021
How WRC's new Safari adventure ended with a familiar tale Plus

How WRC's new Safari adventure ended with a familiar tale

The World Rally Championship’s delayed return to the Safari Rally was always set throw up some surprises, but aside from a spirited showing by Thierry Neuville it became another painful event for Hyundai in 2021. Once again it was Sebastien Ogier who took full advantage as he completed a stunning comeback drive

WRC
Jun 28, 2021
Remembering Colin McRae’s final WRC win Plus

Remembering Colin McRae’s final WRC win

The Safari Rally returns to the World Rally Championship this weekend for the first time since 2002 - when crowd favourite Colin McRae set aside the maximum attack style for which he was renowned to deliver a textbook third win

WRC
Jun 23, 2021
How Hyundai's broken record gave Toyota a special Sardinia 1-2 Plus

How Hyundai's broken record gave Toyota a special Sardinia 1-2

For the second WRC gravel rally in a row, a promising Friday for Hyundai turned into desolation as Toyota gratefully picked up the pieces. This time it was championship leader Sebastien Ogier who took full advantage after Ott Tanak and Dani Sordo retired to score a memorable victory, having swept the road on the first two days

WRC
Jun 7, 2021
How Hyundai's latest self-destruction handed Evans Portugal victory Plus

How Hyundai's latest self-destruction handed Evans Portugal victory

At one point Hyundai held the top three positions in Portugal, but when trouble struck the Korean marque's two leading chargers, a grateful Elfyn Evans was on hand to see off Hyundai third man Dani Sordo and become the third different winner in four rallies

WRC
May 24, 2021
Why the success of AVB's WRC debut won't be defined on the stages Plus

Why the success of AVB's WRC debut won't be defined on the stages

Three years after a Dakar Rally crash resulted in him being airlifted to hospital, Andre Villas-Boas is preparing to make his debut on his home round of the World Rally Championship later this month. His goals for the event are modest, but the same cannot be said for the charities he plans to promote where his true impact could be felt

WRC
May 13, 2021
Why there's no easy fix for Hyundai's operational Achilles Heel Plus

Why there's no easy fix for Hyundai's operational Achilles Heel

Hyundai Motorsport boss Andrea Adamo was vocal in his criticism of his team's tyre choices on Rally Croatia and declared that he "had better move my ass and solve it". Doing so will be vital to getting Hyundai's 2021 WRC title hopes back on track, but finding the root of the problem won't be the work of a moment

WRC
Apr 28, 2021
How Ogier held on after a shock bump in the road to triumph in Croatia Plus

How Ogier held on after a shock bump in the road to triumph in Croatia

Sebastien Ogier was already in an incredibly tight fight at Rally Croatia before a surprise collision with public road traffic at the start of the final day. But the defending champion held his nerve to take a narrow victory and create further World Rally Championship history

WRC
Apr 26, 2021