World Rally Championship poised for crunch meeting over future format

The FIA is presenting its plans for the immediate future of the World Rally Championship in Paris this week

World Rally Championship poised for crunch meeting over future format

Led by its rally director Jarmo Mahonen, the FIA has joined forces with WRC promoters Red Bull Media House and Sportsman Media and British sports consultancy firm Portas to produce a document outlining the way forward for the series.

Mapping out the WRC's future

There had been growing disquiet in the service park surrounding the lack of movement from both the FIA and the promoters, but recent meetings have relieved that pressure.

The first reveal of a roadmap that has been worked on for the last three months is being heralded as a major step forward for the WRC.

The roadmap encompasses all aspects of the future of the WRC, save for any in-depth technical discussion.

Following this week's meetings in France, the plans will then be put forward to further working groups and the WRC Commission in Geneva next week, before finally heading to World Motor Sport Council at the end of next month for possible ratification.

"We have a lot of meetings planned, and decisions taken in the next two weeks will be very important to the future of the WRC," Mahonen told AUTOSPORT.

TEAMS OPTIMISTIC

Teams are optimistic that the current discussions could be the breakthrough the WRC has craved.

M-Sport team principal Malcolm Wilson added: "The meetings I've had recently - including discussions with the consultant - have been the most positive I've ever had in this championship. We are getting somewhere now.

"These people have listened, they've taken their time, built up their knowledge and the feeling is that everything is now where it should be. I feel very confident about the future."

AUTOSPORT opinion: radical change is WRC's only hope

Among the primary points under discussion are the use of live television coverage and the powerstage.

Last week, AUTOSPORT revealed the possible use of a live powerstage as a shootout to decide the final rally results.

This will be discussed this week along with the potential for running a powerstage every day.

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