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Thursday, November 30, 2023

FIA to assessment WRC engine penalties after Tanak case

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Tanak was handed a five-minute penalty when his M-Sport crew had been pressured to vary the engine on his Ford Puma after it developed a major fault throughout Thursday’s shakedown earlier than the rally had begun.

Underneath the present laws, WRC groups are restricted to 2 engines per chassis throughout the season as a part of value saving measures beneath the Rally1 laws launched final 12 months.

The laws additionally stipulate that if an engine change is required, even when there may be nonetheless yet one more energy unit within the season allocation, the competitor will obtain a five-minute penalty whatever the timing of the change.

Tanak is now utilising his second engine of his allotted pool, which can now must final the remaining 5 occasions of the marketing campaign. An additional change will end in one other five-minute penalty.

The sanction on high of the drawback of shifting to a last allotted engine was labelled “harsh” and a “disgrace” for Rally Estonia by championship chief Kalle Rovanpera.

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The FIA has confirmed that it’ll assessment the laws following this incident, however insists there have to be a penalty in place for drivers if greater than two engines are used throughout a season.

“Each time there is a matter like this we’ve got to assessment and perceive, however clearly there’s a clear penalty for once you go above two engines [per season],” Andrea Wheatley, the FIA’s street sport director, informed Autosport.

“I feel what we have to assessment is whether or not that penalty is sufficient by itself or whether or not we nonetheless want the regulation that claims between scrutineering and the beginning of the rally [you receive a five-minute penalty]. I’m positive we will discover a higher strategy to handle that.

Ott Tänak, Martin Järveoja, M-Sport Ford World Rally Group Ford Puma Rally1

Picture by: McKlein / Motorsport Images

“Completely 100%, we are going to assessment that individual concern however the reality you get five-minute penalty for those who go above two engines continues to be going to be there [in the future].

“Clearly we have to assessment the state of affairs and I really feel desperately sorry for Ott and the remainder of the crew.

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“If an engine blows if you are main it’s a bit totally different, but when it blows up earlier than the rally it simply feels fallacious.”

M-Sport crew principal Richard Millener is hopeful {that a} dialogue on the matter shall be held following this weekend.

“I feel it’s one thing the game ought to focus on afterwards and perhaps we will tweak it,” he informed Autosport.

“There nonetheless must be a penalty accessible, you possibly can’t simply have limitless engines.

“I feel in case you are in that place once more and you’ve got solely used one engine for that chassis and the rally hasn’t began, do we are saying you possibly can match that engine with out a penalty if you might want to?

“If you’re in your second and it’s important to match a 3rd then there must be some penalty.”

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