Stage cancellation request denied

The organisers of the Rally of Turkey have rejected a plea from the teams to cancel the second running of the Riva test this afternoon

Stage cancellation request denied

There were calls for the event's longest stage to be canned immediately after the recce with the drivers pointing to the significant damage the rocks would cause. Having run the stage this morning and seen the damage to the cars, the teams then asked the organisers to consider pulling it. Despite emails indicating this would be the case, SS17 will run as expected.

Petter Solberg World Rally Team manager Ken Rees said: "My concern is that we are a small team with a limited budget. Running the stage competitively means we will have to risk a lot financially. And, in the position we are in on the rally, we have to drive the stage competitively.

"We've had one run through the stage and we now know it's a lot worse than it was. At the team managers' meeting, they [the organisers] said they couldn't afford to lose 54km of the route which they would if they had cancelled it both times, but they've run it once and we felt losing 27km was acceptable. We simply can't afford to drive as hard as we would like to."

Ford's team director Malcolm Wilson echoed those sentiments, pointing out that running the stage the second time would cost the teams tens of thousands of pounds.

"If you look at the damage to the cars, it's pretty extensive," he said. "It's like Cyprus a few years ago when we were there with the 2005 car. This second pass is going to be horrendous. There's no question about the cost, it's already been an expensive stage for us."

A source within the organisers said: "The 17th stage of the event will run as it is scheduled to on the itinerary."

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