Stewards close 'puncture' loophole (Updated)

The stewards of the Cyprus Rally have closed a loophole that could have allowed the event's leading drivers to improve their road position by changing 'punctures' prior to stage starts

Stewards close 'puncture' loophole (Updated)

The tactic, which was employed by Richard Burns in Australia last year, does not incur road penalties if carried out between a stage's arrival control and the stage start. However, the ruse means the car then starts the stage further down the order - a major help in Cyprus, where the early cars act as 'road sweepers' for the later runners.

Now, stewards have deleted article 20.2.3 a of the 2001 FIA Rally General Prescriptions and say that a change of a punctured or damaged tyre while in parc ferme is strictly forbidden under pain of exclusion.

Going into the third and final leg of the Cyprus Rally, Burns' Subaru led the rally, meaning he would run first on the road. Colin McRae's Ford was second, with Marcus Gronholm's Peugeot third and theoretically well-placed to benefit from the Burns/McRae 'road-sweeper'.

As things stand, the rule is only for Cyprus. But with similarly rough conditions expected on the next round of the championship, Acropolis, it is likely that the ruling will be extended.

The situation in Cyprus is set to re-open debate on whether Rally Australia-style end of leg rules should be introduced on the whole of the WRC.

Prior to 2000's event, Australia's WRC round allowed drivers in the top 10 to decide where in the top 10 they wished to start the next leg, with the rally leader getting first pick. Effectively, this stopped drivers from being 'penalised' for leading a leg and having to start first on the road the next day.

However, a second school of thought says that on events like Cyprus, the situation as it is now adds an extra twist and an added tactical dimension to the rally.

shares
comments
Stop tactical driving, say Sainz and Burns
Previous article

Stop tactical driving, say Sainz and Burns

Next article

SS15, Vavatsinia: Gronholm's hot... Too hot?

SS15, Vavatsinia: Gronholm's hot... Too hot?
Load comments
How WRC legend Ogier will be remembered by his peers Plus

How WRC legend Ogier will be remembered by his peers

After winning his eighth WRC title, Sebastien Ogier has drawn the curtain on his full-time rallying career. To understand Ogier's legacy, many of his former rivals, team-mates and colleagues have shared their thoughts on a vastly successful career

WRC
Nov 26, 2021
Ranking lost WRC legend Richard Burns' 10 best rallies Plus

Ranking lost WRC legend Richard Burns' 10 best rallies

Richard Burns was a determined driver who took on the best rally drivers in the world during a boom period in the early 2000s, and beat them. On the 20th anniversary of his crowning glory in winning the 2001 WRC title, and 16 years on from his death on the same date, Autosport picks out his 10 greatest drives

WRC
Nov 25, 2021
The internal focus that made Burns a legendary world rally champion Plus

The internal focus that made Burns a legendary world rally champion

At the turn of the millennium, WRC was full to the brim with rallying's great and good - and 20 years ago on this day, Richard Burns became England's first world rally champion. Although Burns' natural talent drove him to the top, his steely determination and mental strength was the key attribute behind his title-winning form

WRC
Nov 25, 2021
How Ogier emerged out of Loeb's shadow to form his own WRC legend Plus

How Ogier emerged out of Loeb's shadow to form his own WRC legend

OPINION: Adding an eighth WRC title to his name, Sebastien Ogier has bowed out from full-time rallying in style. Having been compared throughout his career with nine-time champion Sebastien Loeb, Ogier has convincingly demonstrated that he can stand on his own as one of the greatest rally drivers in history

WRC
Nov 22, 2021
How confronting self-doubt drove Ogier to become a WRC legend Plus

How confronting self-doubt drove Ogier to become a WRC legend

This weekend's Rally Monza marks the end of an era in the World Rally Championship, as Sebastien Ogier prepares to bring down the curtain on his full-time career with an eighth title. For all his enduring success, the Toyota driver reveals in an exclusive interview that lingering insecurities have compelled his quest for perfection

WRC
Nov 18, 2021
The third generation McRae on his way to the WRC Plus

The third generation McRae on his way to the WRC

The McRae family name is steeped in rallying history, with eight British titles between Jimmy, Colin and Alister - plus the small matter of the 1995 WRC title too. Next on the conveyor of talent is Alister's 17-year-old Max McRae, who’s setting out in Australia to conquer the world of rallying and return the famous name to the WRC...

WRC
Nov 12, 2021
Inside Hyundai’s radical approach to prepare for the WRC hybrid era Plus

Inside Hyundai’s radical approach to prepare for the WRC hybrid era

As the World Rally Championship undergoes its biggest shift in regulations for a generation, teams are taking radical measures to prepare for its new era. Hyundai's unique approach involved conducting a private 1500km rally in Italy and Autosport went to see how the team is preparing for 2022

WRC
Nov 4, 2021
How Neuville stole the show from Ogier vs Evans slugfest in Spain Plus

How Neuville stole the show from Ogier vs Evans slugfest in Spain

While all pre-event chat focused on the two World Rally Championship title fighters, their closest challenger charged into the spotlight on Rally Spain. Thierry Neuville's star turn and another strong drive from Elfyn Evans in his fight with Sebastien Ogier made for an intriguing event as the 2021 campaign nears its crunch point

WRC
Oct 18, 2021