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FIA affirms place on unlawful WRC recceing after Neuville exclusion

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Neuville was excluded from the occasion final weekend, the place he completed eighth, after stewards decided a “individual linked with the crew travelled on or over the route of two Particular Levels, after reconnaissance, with out authorisation” following the official pre-event recce.

Article 35.4.2 of the FIA World Rally Championship states: “After the publication of the Supplementary Rules, solely with the categorical authorisation of the Clerk of the Course and the FIA Rally Division could any individual linked with an entered crew journey on or over the route of a particular stage of the rally (besides on foot). This rule shall apply till that particular stage is terminated, open for public site visitors and can now not be used inside the rally.”

Neuville’s co-driver Martijn Wydaeghe claimed within the stewards report that an individual was despatched to the stage to know the “ambiguity to what constitutes corner-cutting and the anti-cutting measures that the organiser was perceived to have launched following reconnaissance.”

Neuville took full accountability and apologised for his lapse in judgement.

The FIA has issued a press release to Autosport to make clear its place on the matter.

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“We’re conscious that there have been circumstances through which opponents have expressed their desire for this rule to be modified,” learn a press release from FIA Highway Sport Director Andrew Wheatley.

“But, the vast majority of opponents within the WRC don’t have the sources or the desire to ship private representatives to examine the phases earlier than or after the official recce.

Thierry Neuville, Martijn Wydaeghe, Hyundai World Rally Staff Hyundai i20 N Rally1

Picture by: Austral / Hyundai Motorsport

“This explicit difficulty has been commonly mentioned within the WRC Fee and constantly, the representatives of the producers, organisers and the Promoter have voted to uphold the regulation in place.

“The FIA, together with the occasion organisers, work carefully on this difficulty as using roads – be they public roads or, as within the case of Safari Rally Kenya, non-public reserve – is a really delicate stability for native residents and land house owners. As such, it’s crucial that every one entry is monitored and managed. Unauthorised entry might create vital points that might result in the elimination of the choice to make use of the street.”

PLUS: How Ogier held his nerve to repeat Toyota’s Safari WRC rout

Hyundai issued a press release on Monday morning acknowledging the stewards resolution, stating it will “be aware of the FIA’s place to take obligatory steps to cease the customary follow of members accessing the roads to reinforce their data.”

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“On this foundation, we don’t contemplate unlawful recceing as a “customary follow” and characterising it on this method doesn’t mirror the place of the WRC Fee and its members,” continued a press release from FIA Highway Sport Director Andrew Wheatley.

“Modifications to the street circumstances and itinerary between recce and the rally are averted to the extent potential. Each time adjustments are required, these are very properly knowledgeable to all opponents.

“As a concrete instance, a bit of the Hell’s Gate stage on Safari Rally 2020 was rebuilt between recce and the rally attributable to excessive injury on an uphill part. Consequently, the primary run of the Energy Stage was shortened by 5km to permit crews to drive the repaired street as a street part and verify the street circumstances earlier than the high-speed Energy Stage run.”

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