Statement on Sainz fire

Neil Duncanson, the managing director of Chrysalis Television, has responded to criticism from Citroen team boss Guy Frequelin of the new on-board camera units that contributed to Carlos Sainz's retirement from Wales Rally GB yesterday (Friday)

Statement on Sainz fire

The unit, different from the usual type to allow for live TV coverage, installed in Sainz's car caught fire numerous times on Friday morning. Sainz eventually crashed out of the event, but said that he did so because he wasn't concentrating on the road.

Frequelin was angered because he felt the system hadn't been tested properly. "Normally I'd never accept an unused system in the car without a test," he said. "If we had known it was a new system, for sure we would not have accepted this."

However, Duncanson said: "We have now had the opportunity of examining the on board system which is still fully functional and shows no signs whatsoever of any fire damage - indeed no damage of any kind.

"The installation and technical specification of the new on board camera systems have been discussed with the teams over the last few months. BBC Resources, who are the technical partners of WRC TV, have been working with the teams to carry out detailed installation and testing during October.

"Throughout this period no problems have been experienced and all the other installations in teams' cars on this rally have been working satisfactorily.

"We cannot, however, get away from the fact that there was a problem with Carlos's unit which created smoke in the cockpit and was clearly an alarming situation. This will be fully investigated, in co-operation with Citroen at their factory in Paris next week.

"This new technology is ground breaking and critical to the future development of live coverage of the WRC and we remain totally committed to delivering a revolutionary TV product that will enhance the enjoyment of the sport to millions of fans all over the world and, hopefully, bring a new fan base to the sport."

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