WRC drivers pushing for more compact event schedules

A more compact World Rally Championship event schedule is on the wishlist of drivers as the WRC Commission prepares to discuss format changes for next year.

Sébastien Ogier, Vincent Landais, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota GR Yaris Rally1

WRC Promoter has collated a raft of ideas over the last three months to improve the championship, having faced criticism from drivers concerned by the WRC's appeal and perceived lack of direction.

These proposals are set to be discussed by the WRC Commission on Friday to decide which changes will be voted on by the FIA to be included at events next year.

As previously reported, condensing events, changes to Sunday's format, a possible restructuring of the points system, more remote services and a move away from a central service park are believed to be up for discussion.

High on the WRC drivers' wish list is a move to decrease the length of road sections compared to the amount of stage kilometres completed at rallies.

At some events, crews will spend 12 hours on the road between leaving and returning to service park to complete 140 kilometres of competitive stages.

"The biggest thing for me is how long days are for how many stage kilometres we do," Toyota's Elfyn Evans told Autosport when asked what changes he would like to see in the future. There is really no sense in this.

"It means we have barely any time to do anything during the rally week yet there are always complaints that we [the drivers] don't have time, so there is a clear answer there somewhere.

"We seem to driving the length and breadth of the countries that we are going to when there are three stages that can be huddled together in a compact way.

Elfyn Evans, Scott Martin, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota GR Yaris Rally1

Elfyn Evans, Scott Martin, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota GR Yaris Rally1

Photo by: Toyota Racing

"It felt sometimes we are driving for the sake of driving and that is something that needs to be addressed quickly."

These thoughts have been echoed by eight-time world champion and Evans' Toyota team-mate Sebastien Ogier, who feels a more compact schedule would help fans follow the event more closely.

"We have discussed this many times between drivers and the promoter and everybody and we just hope at some point there will be some changes and we are listened too," Ogier told Autosport.

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"We are all together saying that the itinerary that we are doing is not right.

"Most of the time we are spending more than 12 hours in the car every day to sometimes do 100 kilometres of stages or sometimes less.

"The opening day of Germany [Central European Rally] we are going to be doing 300 kilometres for just over 10 kilometres of stages, which is ridiculous.

"I think it is important to make some real change on that so that we have in our eyes a more compact rally with maybe a smaller time window.

"We can still put on a great show over 48 hours with 300 kilometres instead of loads of hours on a road section. So that's one of the areas where I think we need to improve and put some more intensity into the race and allow the public to follow us a bit more closely."

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