WRC teams confident FIA will embrace suggested changes to running order rules

World Rally Championship manufacturers are confident their suggested change to the FIA's controversial 2014 running order rules will be embraced by the governing body

WRC teams confident FIA will embrace suggested changes to running order rules

Last month the WRC Commission advocated running the first two days of every round in championship order, with the final day in reverse classification.

The theory is that it would offer an initial advantage to the slower drivers, handicapping the frontrunners by forcing them to sweep the loose surface clear on hot gravel rallies, as was the case in the similar format used prior to the qualifying system adopted for the past two years.

The teams disagreed with this unanimously and all abstained from the relevant vote before Volkswagen team principal Jost Capito walked out of the meeting.

In Wales last week, the teams met with the promoter and the FIA to discuss a revised possibility under which cars would only run in championship order on day one before using reverse-rally-order for the remaining legs.

AUTOSPORT understands that teams want championship frontrunners disadvantaged early in the rally by the FIA's proposed running order to have sufficient time to catch up when they get better road positions later in the event.

An AUTOSPORT source said: "Basically, we want 50 per cent of the route - give or take 10 per cent either way - run in reverse classification.

"We believe this is the fairest way. This requires very few changes to the itinerary of rallies.

"Currently, on a Thursday night and Friday, the events will run around 50 per cent of their route. Under their [FIA] proposal, we are left with 30 kilometres or something on a Sunday with the cars running in reverse order - and this makes it very difficult for the leaders to make back the time lost on days one and two.

"We are confident this will be acceptable for the FIA."

The final decision on next year's running order comes at December's meeting of the World Motor Sport Council.

This season the WRC has used a qualification stage to offer drivers the chance to pick their position, with the fastest in qualifying having first pick of where to run on the road. Qualifying will not form part of the WRC itinerary next season.

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Series WRC
Author David Evans
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