WRC faces overhaul

FIA president Max Mosley has sent out his starkest warning yet to manufacturers in the World Rally Championship that the series will not survive unless drastic action is taken to cut costs

WRC faces overhaul

In a move that mirrors his bid to cut spiraling costs in Formula 1, Mosley has contacted all the current and possible future manufacturers in the WRC outlining his proposed rule changes in 2006 which would reduce the escalating costs.

The proposed regulations - known as Super 2000 - would be a dramatic move away from the current rules of the sport, but Mosley believes they hold the only hope of keeping the WRC alive.

"On the basis of the information available at present," Mosley told Autosport magazine, "the only sure way of keeping the World Rally Championship alive and prosperous is to make the changes which are currently under discussion."

Under Mosley's proposed new system, two-litre engines would replace the existing turbochargers while the sophisticated electronic and transmission systems would be canned in favour of a simpler and more cheaper alternative that would be made available to all of the manufacturers through a sole supplier."

The WRC currently has five manufacturers competing in the series. But Mitsubishi suspended its 2004 programme after Germany following a disastrous time with the Lancer, while Ford has yet to decide whether it will even be in the championship next year.

"The way things are right now, it's almost certain one manufacturer is going to walk away," a senior source within the FIA told Autosport magazine. "If that happens then we will lose one of the French teams. If that happens, then it is highly unlikely one French team will stay to fight Subaru, so they will also go - then the world championship will collapse.

"There is a high level of interest in Super 2000. These cars would cost about a quarter of what current WRC's cost and, if we are draconian in the way we govern the sport in the coming years, then we can avoid that collapse. The case for Super 2000 is overwhelming. The alternative is nothing. The alternative is no WRC."

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